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Who are Hindus?

Who are Hindus?

The word Hindu is from the Greek word ‘indoi’ for the Indus Valley civilization inhabitants. The word Hindu did not have a religious connotation; instead, it had a territorial signification. However, Hindu got a religious significance when Muslims came Into India.

Application of Hindu Law

According to section 2(1) of Hindu Marriage Act 1955. The persons to whom Hindu Law applies-

  • Any person who is Hindu, Jain, Sikh or Buddhist by religion.
  • Hindu by Birth
  • Any Muslim, Christian, Parsi, or Jew and who is not governed by another law.

Hindu by religion:

  1. Two types of persons fall under this category-
  • Those who are originally Hindus, Jains, Sikh, Buddhist.
  • Those who convert or reconvert to Hindu, Jain, Sikh, Buddhist.

2. Followers of Jainism, Sikhism, Buddhism, are included under the definition of Hindu.

3. Any person who is covert or reconvert to the Hindu, Jain, Sikh, Buddhist are included under the definition of Hindu.

Hindu can be classified in 3 parts:

Hindu by religion
1. Ordinary Hindu, Jain, Sikh, Buddhist.

2. Followers of Hinduism
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Followers of Jainism, Sikhism, Buddhism.

3. Convert and reconvert to Hindu, Jain, Sikh, Buddhist.
Hindu by birth
1. Both the parents are Hindu, Jain, Sikh, Buddhist.

2. One of the parent is Hindu, Jain, Sikh, Buddhist.
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child must be brought up as Hindu, Jain, Sikh, Buddhist.

Persons who are not Muslims, Christians, Parsi or Jew.
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Persons who are domiciled in India
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Persons who are not governed by any other law



Followers of Hindu religion

In Shastri v. Muldas AIR 1966 SC 1119

The Supreme court held that accepting Vedas with reverence for the number of gods to be worshiped at large indeed is the distinguishing feature of the Hindu religion..

who are Hindus?

Convert and reconvert of Hinduism

In Perumal v. ponnuswami AIR 1971 SC 2352

The Supreme court let down that a person can also become a Hindu if after expressing an intension, expressly or impliedly.

In Nitaben & others. v. Dhirendra Chandra

The Supreme Court held that no particular ceremony is required for reconversion to Hinduism of a person.

Hindu by declaration

Mohandas v. Devasworn (1975)

The Kerala High court held that when a person declare that he is the follower of Hindu faith and if such declaration is bona fide and not made with any ulterior motive, then he becomes Hindu by declaration.

Hindu by birth

A person will be Hindu:

  • If both parents are Hindu.
  • If one parent is Hindu and brought up as Hindu.

A non- Hindu will become Hindu by conversion

  • If he undergoes a formal ceremony of conversion or reconversion.
  • If he express a bonafide intension to become a Hindu.
  • If he declares that he is a Hindu.

Full- Blood, Half- Blood, Uterine- Blood: section 3(c)(d)

Two persons are said to be each other:

  • By Full blood- When they are descended from same ancestor by the same wife.
  • BY Half blood- When they are descended from the same ancestor but different wife’s.
  • By Uterine blood-When they are descended from the same ancestress but by different husbands.

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