Recent Tanishq advertisement conjured a debate on inter-faith marriages after section accused it of promoting 'love jihad' where Muslim men woo Hindu women to get them to convert after marriage.
When it comes to inter-faith marriages, the usual norm is that either man or woman converts to their partners' religion because religious institutions don't conduct marriages without conversion.
Usually, women are expected to do it because culturally, she moves in with her husband.
However. women can get their rights under the Special Marriages Act, 1954
(SMA) when it comes to inter-faith marriages.
Here is what women need to know;
- Under SMA, women don't have to change into their partner's religion.
- Since caste and religion remain intact, women have the rights to ancestral property. For example, if Hindu don't convert if married to Muslim or Christian, then she can inherit the family’s ancestral property as guaranteed under the Hindu Succession Act, 2005.
- Under SMA, women severe ties from Hindu Undivided Family, which is a legal unit through which Hindu joint families are constituted.
- Individuals with the intention to marry must give notice in writing to the Marriage Officer in District.
- Their children's rights are governed by the Indian Succession Act, 1925.
- SMA and Section 26 grants legitimacy to children. They will have rights on the property even after the said marriage has been nullified.
- Section 27, of SMA, gives women the right to divorce on the grounds of adultery, cruelty, unsound mind, or by mutual consent.
However, there are questions regarding women’s access or right to inherit husband’s money or property without a Will.