Table 6 shows that among girls, one of the strong feelings are their duty to support their husband economically. Psychological and social values of marriage The other psychological values of marriage were found similar among boys and girls except in relation to sex. Boys expressed a strong agreement to the statement "Sex in marriage strengthens the love bondage between husband and wife. Regarding social values, mean scores of boys for the two statements namely "Women should tolerate ill treatment from her husband rather than going for divorce" and "Living together before marriage is essential" were found to be higher than girls'mean scores.
The former attitude expressed by the boys revealed the male dominance and later attitude indicates the modification in the value of marriage. Similarly girls opinion towards "Hindu marriage is a religious tie but not a contract" and "Inter-caste marriage lessens the problem of dowry have shown the girls" concern towards dowry in marriage and the religious sentiment of marriage. The recorded mean scores for girls were found to be higher than boys see table 7.
Another change in the traditional marriage pattern is visible in the practice of inspecting the prospective bride before marriage by the members of the bridegroom's family. A comparison of the difference between the joint and the nuclear families showed that the practice found greater spread in the nuclear families than in the joint families, indicating that nuclear families are more open to accepting new trends Lal, Marriage is one of the most important family formation variables.
The institution of marriage and the event of child bearing are considered so essential for family life that couples staying together without marriage, single parent families, and childless families are not accepted as complete or normal families Tata Institute of Social Sciences [TISS], Within marriage women do not enjoy any reproductive rights, these are exercised by the husbands and their family members, both with regards to numbers, timings, and sex composition of the children.
Though love marriages have gained momentum in recent times through the influence of print and electronic media, their characteristics remain distinctly similar to that of joint families which include emotional, instrumental, and financial assistance. Divorce In the Indian society, women derive their social status from their husbands. Since the time of Vedas 2 , the institution of marriage was of sacramental character among the Brahmins 3.
For others marriage was contractual. Divorce was, and still is, permitted among the scheduled castes and tribes.
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In contemporary India, there is now a legal provision for divorce. Studies from different parts of the country indicate that cases of marital disharmony or estranged marriages are increasing, but in the Indian urban and upper caste divorce as an alternative to marital problems is not widely put into practice Mullatti, Social relationships of the divorced couple often get disrupted. For example, mutual friends tend to take sides, holding one or the other partner responsible for the disruption. Well wishing friends try to bring a compromise between the spouses.
One of the partners may be left virtually friendless and be forced to rebuild his entire social world. The marital disruption also has a major impact on parent-child relations. They are predictive of the immediate and long term psychological and behavioral adjustment of children Amato, Cooney found that the children's feelings about a given parent were strongly correlated to contact with that parent in divorced families, suggesting that family relationships may become more voluntary after divorce.
In other words, the quality and frequency of contact, and therefore the relationship, is by choice. In contemporary research, divorce and re-marriage are viewed not as single, static events, but as part of a series of transitions, modifying the lives of children. In addition to the trauma of divorce itself, the transition related to divorce often involves geographic moves, the addition of step-siblings and a new set of extended family members.
Divorce followed by re-marriage can involve the introduction of parent figures with multiple roles and overlapping relationships. Taken together, these factors related to divorce have a direct impact on the life courses of children and may be specially challenging for the adolescent who is simultaneously involved in critical developmental transitions Hines, Husbands and wives go through high emotional tension.
The husband's relationship is marginally affected, whereas the wife's drastically changes. The wife moves out of the husband's house. If they stay in the same town, she does not enjoy same trust, confidence, and closeness as her previous counterpart does. She cannot make friends with her male colleagues, nor with married couples as the other women consider her to be a husband snatcher. Marital and Parental Relationships Husband-wife relationship is the basic and most important amongst the network of relationships on which a family revolves.
Healthy relations facilitate the spouses not only to perform their roles effectively but also help in the proper socialization of the children. On the other hand, marital conflict leads to familiar disorganization and has negative consequences on the upbringing of children. Thus, the quality of interaction between a husband and a wife has repercussions on the whole family. Parent-Child Relationships Parent-children conflicts with regards to individual freedom and double standards giving greater freedom to sons than daughters, is a recurring feature and has been noted in many studies Kurian, A girl child is allowed to remain a child only for short period of life.
It is always stressed that her relationship with her natal home is temporary. Parents tend to discriminate among boys and girls not only in terms of reinforcing speech, activity and play, but also in terms of food, education and other material possessions in India. Many of the social customs and rituals favour or promote child abuse. Indian society makes a relative underestimation of girls and views them as a family liability. Girls get less autonomy and freedom from parents than boys Ghadially, Sibling Relationships Sibling relationship is recognized as unique among close human relationships because siblings share a common genetic heritage and common early experience within the family.
The exchange patterns of emotional support are established among the siblings during early years Avioli, Sibling relationship is also marked by discord when paternal authority is weak or absent. Such conflict is an important dimension of sibling relations. Herzberger and Hall a state that boys and girls may have different expectations when siblings are involved in the conflict.
Severe sibling violence was found to be more prevalent among boys. Furthermore, when younger children were victimized by an older sibling they sought help from parents. As joint family system is one of the basic features of Indian society, it becomes essential to consider the cordial and conflicting relationship between secondary relatives. Mother-in-Law and Daughter-in-Law Relationships The mother-in-law occupies a dominant position and plays an important role in the social life of the daughter-in-law.
This is one area where very few studies have been done. Srivastava in his comparative study of folk cultures of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh states of central India reported that in both the regions, usually the mother-in-law kept severe control over the daughter-in-law. The elder woman finds the younger was disrupting unity among brothers; the younger finds the elder to be intolerably demanding and dominating Madan, The relationship of women with sisters-in-law is another area which has dearth of studies although it is of great significance in a joint household.
Problems Faced in Family Relationships Marital problems A background of patterns of marital interactions, roles, and power in India is essential before we review research on marital problems. However, studies on family in India have generally concentrated on the joint family, with a patriarchal structure. It has been largely recognized that conjugal relations have little significance in the joint family Ramu, Consequently, marital interaction, role, and power have received scant attention.
The few studies that are identified in this area are grouped and described below. Marital adjustment versus maladjustment Marital adjustment refers to a state of accommodation which is achieved in different areas where conflict may exist.
Srivastav, Singh, and Nigam studied the effect of certain demographic characteristics such as age differences, duration of marriage, education, occupation, socio-economic status, and number of children on marital adjustment. The analysis indicated that age difference between husband and wife highly contributed towards marital adjustment. Secondly, differences in educational level of the spouses were more evident in the maladjusted couples.
Shukla observed that as compared to the single career couples, more of the dual career couples expected that the husband and the wife should be about equally responsible for the provider and the housekeeper roles, and evaluated the wives more favorably in the provider role and the husbands in the housekeeper roles. It is interesting, though, that in both the groups, wives derived greater happiness in their marriages when they were satisfied with the housekeeper role and evaluated their husbands favorably in the provider role.
Husbands, on the other hand, attached greater importance to satisfaction with and a favorable evaluation of themselves in the provider role and their spouses in the kinship roles. Thus, the working woman ends up playing a multiplicity of roles. The main reasons behind the unsatisfactory relationship were lack of time to interact freely with husband and lack of time to provide adequate love and care for their children. The other reasons were physical and mental exhaustion due to heavy and never ending work, indifferent attitudes of their husbands and in-laws towards their over work and inability both of them to gain control over the women workers earnings.
In another study, Mohan and Singh studied mental adjustment of rural and urban couples in relation to their personality in terms of extroversion, neuroticism, and psychotism. The analysis showed that rural couples were better adjusted than urban. Kumar and Rohtagi studied the dominance need of spouses and also attempted to identify personality factors such as intelligence and extroversion with reference to adjustment in marriage. It was found that husbands with high adjustment possessed a higher need of dominance, whereas wives with high adjustment were submissive.
It was found also that couples with high adjustment were more intelligent, possessed high extroversive interest as compared to couples showing low adjustment. Kumar and Rohtagi examined the relationship of anxiety, neuroticism and security variables with adjustment in marriage and showed that anxiety affects one's adjustment in marriage.
Family Violence Family violence is a complex concept which encompasses wife abuse, child abuse, and elderly abuse. Pagelow , p. It has recently been recognized by the United Nations as a fundamental abuse of women's human rights. It lists under the category of gender based violence, abuses such as battering, sexual abuse of female children, dowry related violence, marital rape, and female genital mutilation.
Female infanticide is still common in some pockets of the country. In recent years, new forms of violence have been added to the list. Most important among these are dowry deaths and female feticide. Heife, Pitanguy, and Germaine , paper describe violence against women as "any act of verbal or physical force, life threatening deprivation directed at an individual women or girl that causes physical and psychological harm, humiliation or arbitrary deprivation of liberty that perpetuates female subordination. The situation continues to decline further.
The latest reports indicate that crime against women rate is Steinmetz and Lucca stirred a controversy by reporting that men do not have a monopoly as tormentors. Rather, they found a considerable similarity between husbands and wives using violent methods for resolving marital conflicts.
Nevertheless, though women may be more verbal, the resort to physical means to maintain their dominant position in the family is held by men Gandhi, According to Gandhi, factors related to poverty and lack of education among women make them more vulnerable to violence. Thus, elimination of violence against women requires reengineering of society on equalitarian values, where women enjoy equal rights over education, land, property, and business.
The creation of such a society needs the support of all, including men. Effect of Family on Child Development In a joint family, the child gets multiple parents and many adult figures for his or her identification. In these families, children are overprotected and sheltered and, as a result, self-non-self segregation is hampered. In a nuclear family, the child has a limited set of adult models to emulate. As a result, he or she develops a strong sense of personal bond with the parents, with a greater scope of developing clear-cut self-identity Sinha, Children brought up in single parent families have only one adult member in the family and often lack kinship and community support.
These children develop early independence with added responsibilities. A majority of the single parent families being the poorest of the poor cannot adequately meet their children's needs. A large number of children in institutions and on streets come from single parent families. Thus, to enhance the impact of child development, direct work with children is not adequate. The family life and the family's environment also have to be enriched.
A strong family unit would promote child development and prevent child destitution. The Elderly's Need of a Family and Abuse of Elders In the Indian context, responsibility for care of the elderly is primarily borne by members of the family. However, few parents go to court to claim maintenance from their children. The Constitution of India recognizes the duty of the State towards the elderly. Traditionally, the aged in India continue to live in their homes where they have been living throughout their lives.
Low household income and asset ownership continued to be strongly associated with increased risk of overall mortality, but asset ownership alone were strongly associated with age-specific mortality. Total household income reflected short term, self-reported wealth of a household. The benefit of higher income may not trickle down to all members of the household at different ages. The data did not reflect significant income effect on mortality risk across age groups Table 3. Household asset ownership is a relatively accurate long-term reflection of a household's economic well-being than income.
Asset ownership measure has lower recall bias; consumer goods and housing quality can easily be verified by survey administrators. Comparing the two different household wealth indicators, we observed differential mortality gaps across age groups, mainly concentrated in infants and elderly Figure 1 , Figure 2.
Socio-Economic Life of Northern India
Furthermore, the mortality gradient of the population over 64 years old was much greater when deprived of asset ownership than of high household income. This suggested that wealth in terms of monetary resources translated less readily to standard of living in elderly than ownership of household goods and housing quality. Among different household goods and housing qualities, there exists a differential mortality risk reduction for different age groups as well.
For instance, an electric fan may reduce risk of malarial infection in infants and young children who stay at home, but not for older children and adults. We observed significant interactions between asset quintiles and age groups 0—18 years but not with older adults, suggesting ownership of particular assets could affect age groups selectively Table 3. Consumption captures monthly household expenditures such as staple food cost and seasonal or sporadic expenditures such as contributions to annual festivals, weddings and major medical expenses. Surprisingly, our findings showed significantly lower odds of mortality in individuals from lower quintiles of monthly consumption per capita.
Higher quintiles of monthly consumption per capita captured poor households that might need to exert greater marginal effort and percentage of household wealth than rich households to obtain similar daily resources . For example, a woman in an urban center could switch on a tap for potable water in the matter of seconds and a woman living in a rural village may require several hours each morning and afternoon to line up, pump and carry water for daily use, in turn reducing her available income-generating time.
On the other hand, high monthly consumption per capita was strongly associated with high mortality risk in elderly individuals Figure 3. This was likely due to the increased medical expenses at older ages. The findings of our study need to be considered along with following limitations. Our — update of mortality differential across socioeconomic factors in India was based on cross-sectional survey data. Although it captured only a snap shot of India's mortality patterns, it reinforced previous findings from the NFHS that economic well-being was a more robust determinant of mortality risk than social caste  , .
However, both findings related to mortality were influenced by recall bias of deaths within the household . Age of the deceased and socioeconomically levels influence under-reporting of deaths differentially. The Sample Registration System SRS , which is a large-scale demographic survey conducted in India, reports birth rate, death rate and other fertility and mortality indicators at the national and sub-national levels.
The crude death rate from IHDS was 7. Furthermore, our measures do not capture all dimensions of socioeconomic status. Although multiple studies have illustrated strong link between education levels of the head of household and mother with childhood mortality  ,  ,  ,  , education levels of individuals who died was not collected from IHDS, thus related aspects such as maternal education level and literacy rate were not included in our analysis.
Given the above, conclusions drawn from the mortality analyses presented should qualitatively reflect the underlying patterns of mortality differences across social castes and household economic well-being . Our study suggests a gradual decrease in importance of social caste as an intrinsic mortality risk. Social caste influences individuals' opportunities to income-generating work and asset ownership. However when adjusted for these economic household measures, the importance of social caste attenuates while the economic measures remain strong indicators of the mortality gap.
Overall, mortality differential in India remains salient. Social caste exerts strongest influence in mortality during the first year of life while economically disadvantaged households bear heavier burdens across several age groups. Conceived and designed the experiments: SVS. Analyzed the data: JP. Browse Subject Areas? Click through the PLOS taxonomy to find articles in your field. Abstract Background The dimensions along which mortality is patterned in India remains unclear.
Methods and Findings Cross-sectional data on individuals from 41 households from the — India Human Development Survey was analyzed using multiple logistic regressions. Conclusions Mortality burden in India is largely patterned on economic dimensions as opposed to caste dimensions, though caste may play an important role in predicting economic opportunities. Introduction Social class and economic well-being have been identified as important social determinants that shape health inequalities  ,  ,  ,  , .
Outcome and Predictors The study outcome measure was a dichotomous variable indicating whether an individual was dead 1 or alive 0. Statistical Analysis We used logistic regression to model the association between mortality at the individual level with demographic and socioeconomic predictors. Ethical Review The India Human Development Survey was conducted under the scientific and administrative supervision of the National Council of Applied Economic Research, Delhi and the University of Maryland and was reviewed by the relevant ethics review board.
Results Descriptive Statistics There were individuals included in the analysis. Download: PPT. Table 1. Table 2. Interaction of Socioeconomic Factors with Age The mortality odds of infants younger than one year were differentially associated with social castes. Figure 1. Predicted probabilities PP of death by age groups comparing income quintiles. Figure 2. Predicted probabilities PP of death by age groups comparing asset quintiles. Figure 3. Predicted probabilities PP of death by age groups comparing monthly consumption per capita quintiles.
Table 3. Interaction of Social Castes with Wealth Measures There were significant interactions found between Scheduled Castes and asset ownership, but not with household income or monthly consumption per capita Table S3. Initially it was not obligatory for the women but if she practiced such a custom she was highly respected by the society. Sati was considered to be the better option then living as a widow as the plight of widows in Hindu society was even worse.
Some of the scriptures like 'Medhatiti' had different views it say that Sati is like committing suicide so one should avoid this. Jauhar was prevalent in the Rajput societies. In this custom wives immolated themselves while their husband were still alive. When people of Rajput clan became sure that they were going to die at the hands of their enemy then all the women arrange a large pyre and set themselves afire, while their husband used to fight the last decisive battle known as "Shaka", with the enemy.
Thus protecting the sanctity of the women and the whole clan. Girls were married off at the age of They were not allowed access to education and were treated as the material being. The plight of women can be imagined by one of the shloka of Tulsidas where he writes [r1] "Dhol, gawar, shudra, pashu, nari, ye sab tadan ke adhikari". Meaning that animals, illiterates, lower castes and women should be subjected to beating. Thus women were compared with animals and were married off at an early age. The child marriage along with it brought some more problems such as increased birth rate, poor health of women due to repeated child bearing and high mortality rate of women and children.
They were not treated as human beings and were subjected to a lot of restrictions. They were supposed to live pious life after their husband died and were not allowed entry in any celebration. Their presence in any good work was considered to be a bad omen. Sometimes heads of widows were also shaved down. They were not allowed to remarry. Any woman remarrying was looked down by the society. This cruelty on widows was one of the main reasons for the large number of women committing Sati. In medieval India living as a Hindu widow was a sort of a curse.
It was used to protect the women folk from the eyes of foreign rulers who invaded India in medieval period. But this system curtailed the freedom of women. They were given education related to household chores. But a famous Indian philosopher 'Vatsyayana' wrote that women were supposed to be perfect in sixty four arts which included cooking, spinning, grinding, knowledge of medicine, recitation and many more.
Though these evils were present in medieval Indian society but they were mainly confined to Hindu society. As compared to Hindu society other societies such as Buddhism, Jainism and Christians were a bit lenient. Women in those societies enjoyed far more freedom. They had easy access to education and were more liberal in their approach. According to these religions gender was not the issue in attaining salvation. Any person whether a man or a woman is entitled to get the grace of god.
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During the time of king Ashoka women took part in religious preaching. According to Hiuen Tsang, the famous traveler of that time, Rajyashri, the sister of Harshavardhana was a distinguished scholar of her time.
Another such example is the daughter of king Ashoka, Sanghmitra. She along with her brother Mahendra went to Sri Lanka to preach Buddhism. The status of women in Southern India was better than the North India. While in Northern India there were not many women administrators, in Southern India we can find some names that made women of that time proud. Priyaketaladevi, queen of Chalukya Vikramaditya ruled three villages. Another women named Jakkiabbe used to rule seventy villages.
In South India women had representation in each and every field. Domingo Paes, famous Portuguese traveler testifies to it. He has written in his account that in Vijaynagar kingdom women were present in each and every field. He says that women could wrestle, blow trumpet and handle sword with equal perfection. Nuniz, another famous traveler to the South also agrees to it and says that women were employed in writing accounts of expenses, recording the affairs of kingdom, which shows that they were educated.
There is no evidence of any public school in northern India but according to famous historian Ibn Batuta there were 13 schools for girls and 24 for boys in Honavar. There was one major evil present in South India of medieval time. It was the custom of Devadasis. In this system girls were dedicated to temples in the name of gods and goddesses.
History of India:8th to 18th century
The girls were then onwards known as 'Devadasis' meaning servant of god. These Devadasis were supposed to live the life of celibacy. All the requirements of Devadasis were fulfilled by the grants given to the temples. In temple they used to spend their time in worship of god and by singing and dancing for the god. Some kings used to invite temple dancers to perform at their court for the pleasure of courtiers and thus some Devadasis converted to Rajadasis palace dancers prevalent in some tribes of South India like Yellamma cult.
The plight of women in medieval India and at the starting of modern India can be summed up in the words of great poet Rabindranath Tagore: "O Lord Why have you not given woman the right to conquer her destiny? Why does she have to wait head bowed, By the roadside, Waiting with tired patience, Hoping for a miracle in the morrow?
We can count on certain names from the British India where women put the example of extraordinary bravery which even men might not be able to show. Rani Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi was the one such woman. She was the one who put even British rulers to shame with her extraordinary feats in battle. She fought for her kingdom, which Dalhousie, British Governor General, had unlawfully annexed. She was in a true sense the leader of uprising of There are certain men who took the cause of women in India. Raja Ram Mohan Roy Born on 22nd may he was the torchbearer of social reforms for the women.
He was strictly against the evils prevalent in society in his time.
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He is the one who has done women a great favor by abolishing Sati lawfully. It was due to his efforts that Lord William Bentinck banned the custom of Sati in Though this law was not a great deterrent but it changed mindset of people to some extent. Ram Mohan Roy also did great work in the field of women education. He was against child marriage and favored widow remarriage. He himself married a widow thus setting the example for the whole society.
SM Lesson 4 Political, Social and Economic Conditions (8thth Centuries)
Testifying to his name he was truly the sea of knowledge. He was a pillar of social reform movement of Bengal in 19th century. He widely read ancient Hindu scriptures and came to know that the gender divide which was prevalent in Bengal was not encoded in our ancient texts instead it is the politics to keep women subordinate to men. He strongly supported women education in Bengal and went door to door to persuade people to send their girl child to school. He also did a lot in the field of widow remarriage. He opened many schools for girls.
He was the one to open first girl school in India. He is also credited with opening first home for widows of the upper caste and a home for newborn girl children so that they can be saved from female infanticide. He translated Vedas from Sanskrit to Hindi so that a common man can read it and understand that the Vedic Hindu scriptures gave utmost importance to women. He emphasized for the equal rights for women in every field.
He tried to change the mindset of people with his Vedic teachings. Mahatma Gandhi The social reformers of 19th century laid down the stage for the emancipation of women but it was Mohan Das Karam Chand Gandhi under whose influence these reforms reached masses[r10]. He was the one who liberated Indian women from the clutches of 'Purdah' and other social evils. He brought them from their confinement and asked them to participate in the struggle for independence. According to him women should be liberated from the slavery of kitchen only then their true potential could be realized.
He said that responsibility of household is important for women but it should not be the only one. In fact she should come forward to share the responsibilities of nation. He spread the message of equality of the gender to the masses and criticized the desire of Indian people to have male child instead of a female. Gandhiji was strictly against the child marriage and favored widow remarriage.
He urged the youth to come forward and accept young widows as their life partner. He said that the girls are also capable of everything boys can do but the need of the time is to give them opportunities so that they can prove themselves. It was mainly due to his efforts that when India got independence 'right to vote' came naturally to Indian women whereas in other developed nations like England and America women got this right very late and that too after lot of protest.
Independent India Women in India now participate in all activities such as education, politics, media, art and culture, service sectors, science and technology, etc. The Constitution of India guarantees to all Indian women equality Article 14 , no discrimination by the State Article 15 1 , equality of opportunity Article 16 , equal pay for equal work Article 39 d. In addition, it allows special provisions to be made by the State in favour of women and children Article 15 3 , renounces practices derogatory to the dignity of women Article 51 A e , and also allows for provisions to be made by the State for securing just and humane conditions of work and for maternity relief.
Article The Constitution of India guarantees equality of sexes and in fact grants special favours to women. These can be found in three articles of the Constitution. Article 14 says that the government shall not deny to any person equality before law or the equal protection of the laws. Article 15 declares that government shall not discriminate against any citizen on the ground of sex.
Article 15 3 makes a special provision enabling the State to make affirmative discriminations in favour of women. Moreover, the government can pass special laws in favour of women. Article 16 guarantees that no citizen shall be discriminated against in matters of public employment on the grounds of sex. Article 42 directs the State to make provision for ensuring just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief. Above all, the Constitution imposes a fundamental duty on every citizen through Articles 15 A e to renounce the practices derogatory to the dignity of women.
All these are fundamental rights. Therefore, a woman can go to the court if one is subjected to any discrimination. When we talk about constitutional rights of women in India, we mainly pertain to those areas where discrimination is done against women and special lawsformulated to fight those bigotries. The most important issues stand as those pertaining to marriage, children, abortion, crimes against women, and inheritance.
Before modern Hindu laws were passed, child marriages were the norms, inter-caste marriages were banned, the girl became a part of the husband's family, and polygamy was common. In the 19th century, the British rulers passed several laws to protect customs and traditions while abolishing detestable practices like Sati. In the beginning, the Act sets four essential conditions for a valid Hindu marriage. They are: 1. Monogamy 2. Sound mind 3. Marriageable age 4. The parties should not be too closely related Polygamy was permitted among Hindus before the Act was passed in However, after the act was passed, any man marrying again while his wife is living will be punished with fine and imprisonment up to seven years.
Formerly, child marriages were common. The Child Marriage Act of was not very effective as such marriages were continued to be performed. Now, however, the bridegroom must be 21 years old and the bride 18 years. However, there is a separate Muslim Code of Conduct, which allows polygamy of up to four wives as per Islamic laws.
A marriage may be invalid without the boy or the girl realizing it at the time of the wedding. A civil marriage would be void if four essential conditions are not complied with. Prohibited relationships are listed in the Special Marriage Act. There are some grounds available to the wife only, both in Hindu and civil marriages. One such ground available exclusively to the wife is her husband's commission of rape, sodomy or bestiality. Under the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act , a Hindu wife is entitled to be maintained by her husband.
Section of the Criminal Procedure Code also deals with maintenance of wife and children. If there is a decree of maintenance against the husband and the couple have been living apart for over one year, it would be a ground for the wife to seek dissolution of marriage. Here again the Muslim Personal Law has a different set of conditions for the annulment of an Islamic marriage. The Dowry Prohibition Act of says that any person who gives, takes, or abets the giving or taking of dowry shall be punished with imprisonment, which may extend to six months or with fine up to Rs.
Dowry that started off as a practice to give away presents to the departing daughter, usually some resources to begin her new married life, slowly assumed extraordinary proportions and turned into a social evil. Brides were expected to bring the "gifts" regardless of their personal willingness. The bride's family could no longer have an individual say; lists were prepared and sent to the girl's house before the final agreement between the two families.