In our country most marriages are governed by the precise marriage act, governing each religion. However in an extraordinary situation when there’s marriage happening between two different castes or between different religions, the Special Marriage Act becomes compulsory. The Special Marriage Act requires certain pre-conditions essential for any marriage to be formalized under this law. This legal provision is indeed an enormous step towards a ‘broad-minded society’. Hindu Law has no stringent provisions regarding inter-caste marriage in and of it, however, Muslim Law does. The youth of present days are quite open-minded associated with inter-caste and inter-religion marriage.

Until recently, it was absolutely a rare phenomenon in traditional India, even with the numerous religious communities dwelling there, including Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Parsis. Facilitated by education, industrialization, rural-urban migration, and social mobility, inter-faith marriages are increasing in number in India today. The Constitution of India, social legislation, and governmental policy and programs are in favor of such marriages. Economic status, level of education, and kind of occupation are important determinants of inter-religious marriages. Despite serious resistance by the bulk of society, this sort of marriage is probably going to extend under present conditions of life. 

An Introduction to Concept of Marriage

Marriage is defined differently, supported by cultural, religious, and private factors under which caste and religion are an integral part of society. These two systems bring gaps within the society thanks to which hatred and tension are caused among the social groups. Marriage between identical religions is that the rule of Indian society.
I am the sky and you’re the planet. I’m the giver of energy and you’re the receiver. I’m the mind and you’re the word. I’m (saama) music and you’re the song (Rik). You and that I follow one another. – A Mantra
To consider marriage between different caste and religion is a socially unacceptable act. The matter of inter-religion is so deep-rooted that it’ll take several years to come back out of this problem. Today with change within the mentality, the Indian society has also changed at a certain level. With many social reforms coming, the cities in India have shown a noteworthy growth in inter-caste and inter-religious marriages, ultimately helping the communities and castes to exist together.

Provisions of Marriage under various Laws

1.Hindu Law
Justice and Equality are the 2 aspects often talked about by most nationalists. to realize the subsequent goals, several provisions are included within the Constitution of India. On identical lines, Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 was framed. This act not only provides the possibility of marriage between two people of various castes but also makes their marriage a legitimate one.
 Provisions under Hindu law are very simple. No restrictions regarding caste are there in the Hindu marriage act. The sole essentials defined under section 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act are:
Monogamy: This provision implies that if any party includes a living spouse at the time of marriage, then he/she cannot enter into the wedding.
The soundness of Mind: This provision makes it necessary that the parties should be capable of giving free consent and may be of sound mind and may not be plagued by recurrent attacks of insanity.
Age: The bridegroom is required to complete the age of 21 years and also the bride should have completed the age of 18 years. The parties don’t seem to be within prohibited relationships. The parties shouldn’t be ‘sapinda’ to every other. If we analyze all the conditions laid down under Section 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, then intrinsically there are not any restrictions on the individuals regarding caste or religion. All such marriages including the inter-caste and inter-religious marriages, which fulfill these conditions, are valid regardless of the other ground.

2.Muslim Law
Under Muslim law, there’s no division on the premise of Caste. they’re divided into three schools:

  • Shia
  • Sunni
  • Mutuzilla

The essentials for marriage under the three schools are nearly the same and per se, no prohibition is there on the parties to undergo inter-school marriages. But when it involves inter-religious marriages, Islamic laws prohibit them. In respect of inter-religious marriages, Sunni and Shia laws are different. The law is therefore discussed separately in both colleges.

Sunni Law
Under Sunni law, a boy is allowed to marry a Muslim girl of any sect and is additionally allowed to marry a ‘Kitabia’ girl. a lady is kitabia if she belongs to a community origin of which is from a heavenly book. Under the law, Christians and Jews are considered to be kitabia. Thus a Sunni male has the proper to contract a lawful marriage with a Christian or a Jew woman; their marriage is perfectly valid.
If a Sunni male marries a female who is neither a Muslim, not Kitabia, the wedding isn’t void; it’s merely irregular (Fasid). An irregular marriage is neither valid nor void. As soon as irregularity is removed, an irregular marriage becomes completely valid. for instance, the wedding of a Sunni boy with a fore worshipper or a Hindu girl is simply irregular and will be regularized and treated as valid when the girl converts to Islam. That’s to mention, the wedding of a Sunni male isn’t void; it’s merely irregular with any non-Muslim or non-kitabia girl.

Shia Law
Shia male has no right to contract a wedding with any non-muslim female. An Islamist cannot even marry even a kitabia female. All such marriages of an Islamist are void. However, a Shia male may contract a Muta marriage with a kitabia or a fireplace worshipper female

Provisions under Special Marriage Act, 1954

Anyone regardless of religion can lawfully marry anyone of the opposite gender, under this act. “A marriage contracted under this act is thought as ‘court marriage’. When someone solemnizes marriage under this law then the wedding isn’t governed by personal laws but by secular laws. Similarly, the rights and duties arising out of marriage also are governed by secular law. Succession is governed by the Indian Succession Act, 1925, and not by the non-public laws.
 The main reason behind the enactment of the Special Marriage Act was to produce a special type of marriage for the people of India and every Indians residing in foreign countries, regardless of the faith or faith followed by either party, to perform the intended wedding. In line with the Act, the bride and also the groom shall observe any ceremonies for the solemnization of their marriage, provided they complete certain formalities that are prescribed for the wedding, by the Act.
The Special Marriage Act 1954 has proved to be beneficial for the NRIs, because it provides for the appointment of diplomatic and consular officers as marriage officers (registrars), for solemnizing and registering marriages between citizens of India, in an exceedingly foreign country. The Special Marriage Act 1954 is applicable throughout India, except in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Try the clauses of the Act within the following lines.

The Special Marriage Act states that a wedding between two persons are often legalized, provided that the subsequent conditions are satisfied at the time of marriage:

Neither of the 2 incorporates a spouse living, at the time of the wedding.
 Neither of the 2 is incapable of giving sound consent to the wedding because of unsoundness of mind. Neither of the party has been affected by mental ailments to such an extent, that they’re unfit for marriage and also the procreation of youngsters.
Neither party has been subjected to recurrent attacks of epilepsy or insanity.

At the time of marriage, the groom should be of twenty-one years old, and also the bride should be eighteen years old. Both the parties don’t seem to be within the degrees of prohibited relationship; provided where a custom governing a minimum of one in all the parties permits of a wedding between them, such marriage is also solemnized, notwithstanding that they’re within the degrees of prohibited relationship.
If the wedding is solemnized within the State of Jammu and Kashmir, both parties should be the citizens of India, domiciled within the territories to which this Act extends.

When a wedding is meant to be performed following the Act, the parties of the wedding shall give notice in writing, within the Form per the Second Schedule to the wedding Officer of the district, where the wedding goes to be solemnized. The marriage shall be solemnized after the expiration of thirty days of the notice period that has been published under the sub-section of the Act. At least one in all the parties visiting perform the wedding should have resided for a period of not but thirty days, immediately preceding the date on which the notice for marriage is issued to the registrar. If the wedding officer refuses to solemnize the intended marriage, then within thirty days of the intended marriage, either party can prefer an appeal to the District Court, within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the wedding officer has his office. the choice of the District Court, regarding the solemnization of the intended marriage, shall be final. Hence it will be said that Special Marriage Act is largely the legislation formalized to offer validity to few specific marriages which are declared as void or voidable under the provisions of assorted personal laws. Thanks to this feature of the act, it’s one of the foremost secular laws in the civil matter of a private. This step can further help in strengthening a good relationship between various castes and religions.

Perception of Youth towards Inter-Religious Marriages

Inter-religion marriage could be a marriage between spouses of various ethnicities and religions. Religion could be a style of the system which was not supported by any of the religion but has been in practice in India, but it affected the full Indian society. The ethnic groups and religions are by no means isolated from one another in India. They need been interacting with one another groups over a few years.

Furthermore, with more globalization and an increase in educational facilities, there’s great change within the views of individuals on religious behavior. The opportunities for cultural exchanges, travel, work, and study abroad have brought contacts and relationships with a different religion. Within India also, more and more teens are connected across religious and ethnic lines in schools, colleges, and workplaces. Thus, mingling with different castes and ethnic groups many of us are entering into such marriages. During this changing social scenario, this paper examines the attitude towards inter-religion marriage among educated youths.
 Attitude towards Inter-religion marriages in India coincides with higher educational achievements of the different religions. The tutorial institutions provide opportunities for inter-religion interactions between people of comparable status, thus promoting inter-caste relationships. With the spread of upper education both among males and females, inter-religion marriages find great favor amongst the younger generation.
Respondents showed a high degree of acceptance of inter-religion marriage no matter grouping, religion, and socio-economic class. Although the youth’s attitude toward the acceptance of Inter-religion marriage is increasing, the bulk of the respondents are still against inter-religion marriage. In general, the responses indicate a reasonably favorable attitude towards inter-religion marriage. This view isn’t performing in real practice and traditional religious values and parent’s roles still play a key role in inter-caste marriage.

With awareness programs and various other activities now the youth of our country is trying to form people privy to the adverse effects of this method. A society that is split doesn’t subsist for long. With education playing a key role, people are now thinking beyond these boundaries. When God while creating men hasn’t discriminated on the premise of caste or religion then why such discrimination is formed on earth.
With such discrimination, we don’t seem to be only leaving from one another but also developing enmity between us. The reservation system has again played a key role in bringing different castes and religions together. By providing the downtrodden society of India access to education and various other opportunities has remarkably reduced such caste and spiritual distinctions.

The modern youth who are well educated are very positive towards such marriages. As they study together with people of various castes and religions thus they develop good relations with them. Thanks to this their mindset are improving with every successive generation. But the sad part is that that the older generations are still very strict with the caste and religious aspects of marriage. Similarly, the uneducated youth is additionally an obstacle in this way.