BA LLB history sample question answer first semester first year condition of women in medieval India: In this article you will read about condition of women in medieval India |status of women in modern india|status of women in ancient india|womens status in present day in india|status of women in india|womens condition in 19th century in india|important woman ruler of medieval india|womens condition in 21st century in india|womens status today
Account for the changing status of women in India. What change do you notice in the status of woman in India? Explain the factors responsible for such a change.
Describe the factors that have improved the status of Hindu women in Indian society. Discuss the consequences of education in the connection.
Discuss status of women in Indian tribal society.Mention the legislative measures providing support to Hindu women in seeking divorce. Review briefly the Hindu Code legislative measures that have changed the status of Hindu women.
Table of Contents
Q. 1. Account for the changing status of women in India.
Status of Hindu Women The status of women n any society is the index of the standard of its social organization. The standard of a society rises and falls in correlation with the rise and fall in the status of women. Society is a web of social relationships. Of social relationships those between male and female are the most intimate and stable. The Hindu society has
always remained dynamic. The status of women in it has consequently always changed. A study of this change of status will on the one hand
show the Hindu women’s gifts for her rights and on the other hand the dynamic nature of Hindu social organization. Status of Women in the Ancient Hindu Society
In ancient India the women were given an equal status along with men in almost every field of life. They received higher education and participated in the discussion of political and philosophical nature with male scholars. The Vedas, the Upanishads, the Mahabharata, and the Purnas mentioned the names of the lady scholars, philosophers, poets and politicians in ancient India. In Mahabharata the wife has been called the better half of the husband. In Aitreya Upanishad, the wife has been called the companion of the husband. In Rig Veda the wife has been blessed to live as a queen in the house of her husband. The word ‘Dampai so often used in the Vedas characterises both wife and husband. According to Macdonell and Keith this word signifies the high stalus of women in ancient India. The wife and husband cooperated in different functions of the household. They together performed religious duties, enjoyed and carried out other functions. In Mahabharat the wife has been called the root of Dharma, prosperity and enjoyment. No man was allowed to perform religious duties without a wife. Thus like the status of the women in contemporary western world, the status of Indian women in ancient India was based on liberty, equality and co-operation. What, however, makes them different is the ancient Indian emphasis on spirituality and religion, duly and co-operation in the family life. Status of Women in Medieval India
In the medieval India, the status of women was very much lowered. The scriptures prescribed rules for child marriages which increased the number of widows. The rules of conduct for the widows were even more rigid. The ancient Indian ideal of the equality of male and female was finished and women were considered to be slaves of men. In Buddhist and Muslim periods, the status of women was lowered even further. In the Muslim time the custom of veil, the Sali custom, and the custom of dying on the funeral pure of the husband was prevalent.
Status of Women in Modern India
About a century back the status of women in India was almost the same as it was in the medieval age. was almost in the medieval age. Though it cannot be said that the exploitation of women in India has no parallel in any other country, yet it can be safely ascertained that the women had to face much cruelty and exploitation in modern India. Even now the birth of a daughter is.
not an occasion of happiness for many Hindu families. Ordinarily, the celebrations of the birth of a son are definitely more joyful than those of the birth of a daughter. The daughter are not given equal rights with the son in the matters of food, clothings, education etc. They are often married even without their consent. In the house of the husband, their status becomes even worse. The husband, the mother in law, the father-in-law and other members of the family consider the daughter-in-law as a servant of the family, whose only duty is to obey every one, to arise earliest and to sleep late, to eat whatever remains after others have eaten and not to complain anything about anyone. If the husband deserts her or remarries or dies untimely, the condition of the women becomes worst of all, for her family members believe that this calamity has fallen-because of her bad luck. The widow gets no share in the property of her husband, not is any.one prepared to marry her.
The principles of Hindu social organisation were formulated by · males, who kept the women without equal rights in the social life. For
centuries, the Hindu women tolerated all sorts of cruelties at the hands of males. Some male philosophers even called them as the doors of hell as if male was very much pure and great. The male made her a toy for the satisfaction of his desires and put the entire responsibility over her head. The widows were not permitted to marry and males of the household tried to enjoy with them secretly. She was helpless to oppose all this and when some bad consequence followed, the entire responsibility was put over the head of the widow and she was turned out of the house. The helpless, weak and young widow was forced to adopt the job of a prostitute. This is the story of thousands of prostitues in India. The woman was asked to live as a complete elibate alter the death of her husband. She was encouraged to die at the mineral pyre of her husband as if in an effort to meet him in the heavens. The male could marry several times and the woman had no right to speak against
Q. 2. What change do you notice in the status of woman in India? Explain the factors responsible for such a change.
Ans. – With the advent of women’s education in India and the influence of the Vest, together with the efforts of social reformers of contemporary India. before mentioned account of the low status of
women in Indian society has changed. The women rose against the cruelties of the male. They challenged the prescriptions of Hindu scriptures who gave them a lower status in social organization. The educated Indian women re-examined the principles of Hindu social Organisation. They found that they have been given an equal status in society by God. Hence they revolted wherever they were denied this equality. They understood the selfishness behind the principles of Sati, restriction of widow remarriage, child marriage, unmatched marriage, polygamy, denial of equal rights to women in property.
The challenge given by educated women in Hindu social, economic, political, religious and family organization is one of the greatest challenges that Hindu society has faced in modern times. The society was thus compelled to give equal rights to women in every field of life. The Indian women had not to fight a very long battle as it was in the case of her western sisters. With the achievement of freedom by India, she was given equal political rights. With the enactment of Hindu Code, she was allowed equal rights in matters of inheritance, adoption of the child, divorce and others.
The Demands of Modern Indian Women
Briefly, the following were the demands of Indian women in them modern times.
(1) Restriction on Child Marriage – In the case of child marriage the women had to face the cvil consequences in the form of loss of health, early old age, untimely widowhood and others. Therefore, modern women demanded restriction on child marriages.
(2) Opposition of Polygamy – The custom of polygamy very much lowered the status of women in the family. They never enjoyed marital bliss which is only possible in the case of monogamy. hey could not fully develop their personality. Therefore, the modern women categorically denied the right of polygamy to the male.
(3) Equality in Marital Rights – A long with the restriction of polygamy the women claimed equality in all marital rights. They wanted to live as true companion of the husband in every walk of life.
(4) Right to Divorce – In the medieval times when woman wa not give the right to divorce, she had to face all types of cruelties the hands of an important, a mad, or a cruel husband which made h the impossible. The modern women sought the right of divorce in sue
conditions, for she married for love and could not stay with the husband if she was denied of.
(5) Restriction on Dowry – In the present times the daughters remain burden on the parents because of the custom of dowry in Hindu society. Their status is very much lower than that of he sons and their parents has to suffer much humiliations at the hand of their in-laws. Many fathers to earn money through illegal means to get a suitable match for the daughter and to give sufficient dowry. Those who fail to do this, sometimes die with the desire sufficient to marry off their daughter. If the dowry is less the expected, the daughter-in-law to suffer at the hands of her in-laws. The evil of dowry has led to the suicide of many a Hindu maiden and may others’ life unbearable. Therefore, the Hindu women have raised a voids against this evil custom. In the present times, however, nothing concrete has been done to meet this demand.
Demands Regarding Property-As the women were not given any right in ancestral property, their condition was always of dependence on the male. They depended either on father or on husband or on son. Therefore in the modern times they have demanded an equal right of property with males.
Q. 3. Describe the factors that have improved the status of Hindu women in Indian society. Discuss the consequences of education in the connection.
Ans. Factors to Improve the Status of Hindu Women
The following measures in modern times have led to the improvement of the status of Hindu women in society
(1) Education – In 1857 when Khurshedji, a Parasi gentleman sought the permission of the syndicate of Bombay University for her daughter to appear in Matriculation Examination, the Syndicate categorically refused. Similarly, Miss Chandramukhi Bose was not allowed to appear in the B.A. Examination of Calcutta University. In 1877, however, with the efforts of the Vice-Chancellor Hobhouse. women were allowed to appear in the examinations conducted by Calcutta University. It was only in 1882 that two women for the first time received the B.A. degree of Calcutta University. After it there was such a strong wave of women education in India that now it cannot be said that Indian women are anywhere lagging behind men in this respect.
(2) Movements of Social Reforms – Many movements of social rcíorm in contemporary India did a magnificent work in raising the
status of women in society. By the efforts of Raja Ram Mohan Roy Pandit Ramabai, Mrs. Ranadey, Keshab Chandra Sen, Swami-Dayanand and Mrs. Anni Bescnt, much was done in the direction of restriction of child marriages, permission of widow remarriage and finishing of the customs of Devadasi and Sati. In 19171 the Women’s Indian Association was established to carry out reforms in the condition of Indian women.
In 1929 the different institutions for the uplift of Indian women jointly · constituted All India Women’s Conference. Later on was established Indian Council of Women, which has done important work in the direction of social reform among Indian women.
(3) Political Awakening – In 1930, Indian women participated in the. Non Co-operation Movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi. In 1932 they there given right to vole in provincial and central elections. In 1939 they were given right to be elected to Provincial and Central Legislatures. Since then women have increasingly participated in Indian political life, elected to Legislatures and performed duties of a Minister or Governor and then even of Prime Minister, in the case of Indira Gandhi.
(4) Social Legislations – Aster India became independent, several social legislations were enacted to improve the condition of Indian women. The Hindu Married Women’s Rights to Separate Residence Act, 1946 gave her a right to life separately from the husband under certain circumstances. The Hindu Marriage Act 195 classified Hindu marriages, determined the age for marriage, provided for monogamy and guardianship for the mother and permitted divorce under certain circumstances. The Hindu Succession Act of 1956 prescribed for equal rights of the daughter in the property of the father. The Hindu. Adoption and Maintenance Act 1956 permitted Hindu women to adopt a son or daughter and to claim maintenance from the husband under certain circumstances. The Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act 1956 provided for the guardianship of the mother over the daughter throughout her life and in the case of the son for first five years. These social legislations have considerably improved the status of women in Hindu society and granted most of their demands.
The above-mentioned measures have led to an around improvement in the status of women in Hindu society. Attempts are being made to abolish the custom of dowry from Hindu society. Women
are receiving higher education in large numbers and participation in
almost every field of life. In Indian Parliament, there are abut a dozen of lady members. In State Legislatures, their number aggregates over 100. They have reached the high offices of Chief Minister, State Governor and even Prime Minister. Many of them are well known politicians of all India level. Others are getting fame in literary fields. In the fields of sports, Indian women have excelled. They are now entering even the departments of engineering, police, and military. The day is not far when they will achieve an absolutely equal status with males in Indian
society. Consequences of Women Education
The above discussion of the rise of the status of Indian women makes it clear that education has played a very important part in women’s regeneration. From the sociological point of view, women’s education results into the following consequences –
(1) Late Marriages – As higher education requires many years the educated women marriages has absolute disappeared due to women’s cducation.
(2) Development of Personality – The purpose of education is as all-round development of the personality of the education. Thus the spread of education among women in India has given them chances to improve their personality, to think independently, to choose their careers and their companions of life.
(3) The Sentiment of Self Regard – Education creates a sentiment of son regard in the educated person. The educated women, therefore, cannot helplessly tolerate any high-handedness. They, on the other hand, claim cqual rights with the male and revolt against all types of atrocities. This women’s education has finished ihe domination of male in Hindu family and given equal rights to the female. ,
(4) Complexity of the Problem of Marriage – The provision of higher education for women, however, leads to the complexity of the problem of her marriage. The educated women is not prepared to marry a person which does not catch her imagination. Therefore, it is a difficult job for the parents to get a suitable match for her. This, on the one hand, results in very late marriages and, on the other hand, some women prefer to remain unmarried throughout their life.
(5) Economic Freedom – The higher education of women creates a tendency to seek economic freedom. They complete with males in all trucs of jobs and professions. Most of them do not want to depend
economically on the father or husband. In western countries, women’s education has very mụch improved the number of working women.
(6) Increase in Divorce – The educated women do not marry for economic security but for love and marital bliss and if this is not forthcoming, they tend to divorce the husband because they have not to think about meeting the economic needs. This tendency has led to an increase in the rate of divorce.
(7) Small Families – The educated women do not want to increase the family beyond certain limit because, on the one hand, this reduces their health and, on the other hand, it restricts the chances of enjoying life. The uneducated women do not know techniques of family planning, nor can they understand its importance. The educated wives can easily understand the techniques of birth control.
Q. 4. Discuss status of women in Indian tribal society.
Ans. Status of Woman in Tribal Society : In every society the status of woman is in accordance to her function in social organisation. As social functions change so do social status. If the socio-economic functions of woman are higher and more valuable in a tribe her status is naturally higher. On the other hand, if her economic functions are not very important she does not enjoy a high social status. For example, among Todas, the functions connected with dairy farming are the most important but women are not allowed to do important jobs in dairy farming, with the result that their status is considerably lower. But on the other hand, women get a lot of love and affection which compensates in their social status and raises it.
Social function, however, is not the sole factor determining social status. For example, in Andman Island women work side by side with men in social and religious functions. Hence they have to work with men also along with their own functions. This makes their social status even worse than that of Toda women. Among Kadar people, the division of labour among women is more scientific and exclusive. Thus the status of both men and women is equally satisfactory and comfortable.
The above examples are from patriarchal societies. The status of women in patriarchal societies is determined by the restrictions attached to
their functions. The restrictions may be preventive or productive. example, the women in Toda tribe are prevented from working in dairies
as they are considered impure. This lessens their social status. But in all the patriarchal tribes the status of women is not lower to
that of men. Among Gond people the women enjoy equal freedom with men. For example, they are free in choice of mate, pre-marital relationship and divorce. But in other fields they work like labourers employed by men and most of the men evaluate their importance as labourers. Therefore, there are few bachelors among Gonds. Tharu tribe again, is patriarchal but their women dominate their men. Tharu women are beautiful and unrestrained in sex relationships. She is known to possess magical powers. In Khasi tribe there is the custom of sraternal polyandry. This naturally leads to much physical and psychological pressure upon women, but this is relieved through a strange custom. According to it though the woman has no freedom in the houses of the husband, she enjoys all freedom in paternal home and since she often visits her parents, she gets simple opportunities to relieve her
Generally, it is believed that the status of women in matriarchal tribes is higher than that of patriarchal tribes, but a survey of Indian matriarchal tribes shows that it is not so. In India among Khasi one finds matriarchal residence and matrilineal traditions. They trace their lineage from some princess. In their mythology the creator is female. The lineage is traced through the mother. The daughter inherits the property of the mother. Man’s earning belongs to the mother’s family before marriage and to her wife’s family after marriage. Most of the religious ceremonies are performed by women. Diseases, death and security are mostly connected with goddesses. Women work as priests on religious occasions. They are leaders in social and religious fields. In Khirim kingdom a woman is the highest priest and administrator, ‘In spite of so much power of women one sinds few causes of misbehaviour to men. On the other hand, they are highly respected and exercise wide powers after marriages. Khasi woman considers – her husband as her master. Divorce is possible only by mutual consent and the non-consenting partner gets compensation. Just as the wives are free, the husbands are also free in so many matters. Thus it is clear that the matriarchal social organisation itself is not the sufficient cause to the lower status of men. It may be definitely higher in patriarchal societies and patrilineal residence.
Another example of matriarchal society is found among Garo people. In it children are members of mother’s family. Garo people consider themselves as descendants of some woman. Lineage is carried
on from the mother. The daughter inherits the property of the mother. Ho one can transfer his property to his son though he may use the property of his wife. The proposal of marriage is made from the bride’s side but the male may marry several women. However, more than three wives are exceptional: No party has to pay the price of the bride or the groom. Widows are not allowed to remarry for a sufficiently long period. This is in order that the minor may get time to become major and the property of the family may remain in the family. Thus the women have to pay the price of their higher status through mental strain. The widow has to marry the nephew of her dead husband. If she fails to do this she has to pay compensation to him. In Garo tribe there is no prostitution though instances of adultery are not common. Adulturous males are given death sentence though adulturous females are given minor punishment. But if she is guilty to adultery again and again she is also given capital punishment. Divorce is possible on the basis of adultery. Divorce is also possible if the woman refuses to work.
The above discussion about the status of woman in patriarchal and matriarchal societies shows that nowhere the status of woman is – compulsorily low or high. However, as a general rule, in comparison
to patriarchal societies, there is no custom of matrilocal residence in all the matriarchal societies. For example, in Khasi matriarchal society the male establishes separate residence with his wife after marriage. On the other hand, even in some patriarchal societies some son-in-laws settle in the house of their father-in-laws. As a general rule the more restrictions on women, the lower is their status in society. But in this respect also there is no dearth of exceptions.
In many patriarchal societies also one finds a lot of difference women. For example, the Nagas of Assam are patriarchal but among the status of women in Seema Nagas is higher than but among Ao and Angami Nagas. The Seema woman has a voice in deciding her mate. She enjoys a higher status in the house of her
husband. In some societies where women have economic rights
Equal to male’s rights ,their status is not necessarily higher since sometimes they have to share male’s activities in addition to female burden. In Fact, rights alone do not determine the status of women . It also depends upon the the male’s behaivour towards them . Besides this, they have also importance as mothers . Hence in many societies barren women are very much neglected. Tribes which have been influenced by Hindu
scriptures have a status of women lower than those which did not have
In order to evaluate the status of women in tribal society, one will have to take under consideration her economic and political status besides her social status. The status of woman is known from her status in the family, the rights and duties of husband and wife, premarital rights and duties of a daughter etc. If exceptions are left aside, the status of women in tribal societies is generally not lower than that of the male. The rights of son and daughter are generally the same and both enjoy freedom of movement. Among the tribes where there are dormitories, boys and girls both live in dormitories and though their functions may be somewhat different there is hardly any difference in their status. The tribal woman has generally a free choice in selection of mate. Similarly, the rules of divorce are similar for both the male and female. Due to the custom of couvade the male also has to suffer during the period of female’s pregnancy. Concerning freedom about sexual relationship there is ‘no distinction among male and female..
Alongwith the social status, the economic status of the tribal woman is also not lower than that of the male. In productive activities, agriculture, animal husbandry etc. male and female work together. Generally the male’s work is harder than that of female’s. In hunting tribes the males go out for hunting while the females perform domestic jobs. All the work is done by mutual cooperation and if there is no love or cooperation, marital relationships are dissolved. Thus the tribal woman has no occasion to suffer and face torture within the four walls of her home living as a slave of her husband like her so many civilized sisters. Her status here is certainly better.
So far as political rights are concerned, the tribal woman’s status is not lower though her rights are less than that of male’s in political sphere. The tribal chief has so many rights but then he has also the burden of the protection of the tribe. If he fails to carry out this burden he cannot hold the high office of the chief. In fact political power among trials is gained by physical strength and the power of arms. Therefore, naturally males enjoy better political rights. But there are some tribal societies in which political power lies in the hands of women, la brief, the status of women in tribal societies is no less than that of men.
Q. 5. Mention the legislative measures providing support to Hindu women in seeking divorce.
Divorce Before the passing of Hindu marriage Act of 1955 the Hindu woman could not divorce her husband even though he made hell of her life. The Hindu marriage Act has divided Hindu marriages into valid, void” and voidable. The age limit in case of boys and girls has been fixed at 21 and 18 respectively. The Act has prescribed monogamy and declared polygamy to be illegal. It has accepted the mother as the guardian of the children along with the father. But its more important prescription is with regard to divorce. It permits divorce in the cases of adultery, change of religion, suffering from some incurable diseases not contracted from the other spouse, renunciation of the world, not traceable for more than seven years, absence of co-habitation for two years after the decree of judicial separation and not following the decree for the restitution of conjugal rights. The wife can divorce the husband if her another wife is alive or if he has been found guilty of rape, sodomy or bestiality. The application for divorce can be filed after three years of marriage. In the mean-while judicial separation is allowed on the following conditions :
1. Desertion of the Applicant by another party two years before the date of application.
2. Cruel behaviour. i 3. Suffering of another party from leprosy or any other infectious disease, for one year before the date of application but the diseases should not have been contracted from the applicant.
4. Madness of the party for two years before the date of application,
5. Co-habitation of either person with some man and woman other then the husband and the wife. the After the court gives permission to divorce the man and woman
h cannot marry for one year.
Q.6. Review briefly the Hindu Code legislative measures that have changed the status of Hindu women.
The Indian Parliament have passed the following Acts for reform of Hindu marriage family and the status of women in Hindu society : Hindu married women’s rights to separated residence and maintenance
Act Hindu marriage Act, Hindu succession Act, Hindu Adoption and
maintenance Act, and Hindu Minority and guardianship Act. These Acts are collectively known as Hindu Code.
1. Hindu married women’s rights to separate residence and maintenance Act 1946. By this Act the Hindu married women can claim maintenance while residing separate from the husband on the following conditions. 1. If the husband is suffering from some loath-some disease which has not been contracted from the wife. 2. If the husband behaves so cruelly towards the wife that her residing with the husband is undesirable or dangerous, 3. If the husband deserts her without her wish. 4. If the husband marries again. 5. If the husband adopts another religion. 6. If the husband keeps some concubine. 7. Other justifiable causes. But the wise cannot demand maintenance from the husband if she is guilty of adultery or conversion to another religion.
2. Hindu Marriage Act 1955. This Act applies to all the members of Hindu society. It has made the following important changes in the institution of Hindu marriage.
(a) Classification of Hindu marriage. According to this Act Hindu marriage can be divided into three classes-void, voidable and valid. . (b) Determination of the age for marriages. By the provisions of this Act the maintain age limit for the boys and girls has been fixed at 18 and 15 years respectively.
(c) Provision for monogamy. According to this Act a Hindu male of female can enter into matrimony only if no spouse of either is alive at the time of marriage. Thus the section 5 and clause 1 of the Act provides for monogamy in Hindu society..
(d) Provision for the guardianship of the mother. According to this Act the mother will be considered the legal guardian of the minor son or daughter after the father.
(e) Provision for divorce. As has been already pointed out in the discussion of the problem of divorce in Hindu society, the Hindu marriage Act provides for divorce by wife or husband under cartain specific circumstances.
3. Hindu succession Act 1956. According to this Act the daughter is also given equal right of inheritance in the property of the father, alongwith the son. The women have a right to the use, sale, and mortgage of the property received through inheritance. P o
4. Hindu adoption and maintenance in Act 1956. According to this Act the husband has to take the consent of the wife while adopting
a son or daughter. The issueless widow also got rights of adoption. The following conditions should be satisfied to make adoption legal :
1. After the death of husband every sound minded adult widow has a right to adopt a son or give her son to another for adoption.
2. Every healthy minded male will have right to adopt a son but this will require the consent of his wife,
3. The unmarried adult woman will also have the right of adoption.
4. The adopted person will be less then 15 years in age and normally unmarried unless there is a custom of child marriage in his or her caste..
5. The daughter can also be adopted and given for adoption. There may be certain undesirable consequences of the adoption of a girl by widower and boy by a widow. Therefore, it has been specified that the widower or bachelor should be at least 21 years old than the girl. Similarly, the widow or the unmarried women should be at least 21 years older then the son. Again, the age of the boy or girl at the time of his or her adoption should be less than 15 years.
The Hindu adoption and maintenance Act provides for the maintenance of the adopted son or daughter, the deserted wife and widow, the disabled old man or woman and the helpless persons. In this connection the following important provisions have been made : 1. The Hindu wife will have the’right of maintenance during the life time of her husband. The wife deserted by the husband or living separate from him by her own wish will have a right of maintenance under certain specific circumstances. If the husband keeps a concubine, changes his religion, behaves cruelly, suffers from loathsome disease, the wife will have a right of maintenance though living separate from the husband. 2. The widowed daughter-in-law and the grand daughter-in-law will also have right to maintenance by the father. 3. The minor children, even if they may be illegitimate will have right to claim maintenance from the parents during the term of their minority.
5. Hindu minority and guardianship Act 1956. This Act prescribes for the following provisions in connections with guardianship : 1. The child will remain under the guardianship of the mother upto the age of five years. It is only after it that the father will be considered the legal guardian. After the death of the father the mother will again have is right of guardianship. 2. In the case of unmarried daughter and the
illegitimate son the mother will have the right of guardianship and it
is only after her death that the father will get this right. The right of the guardianship of the married daughter will vest with her husband. 3. The legal guardian will have a right to do all such things which he considered to be necessary for the good of the minor child. But he cannot do anything contrary to his other interests. He will not have any right to spend, sell, mortgage or gift any portion of the property of the minor person under his guardianship. For the purposes of this Act the child below the age of 18 will be considered a minor and under the guardian. Effects of Hindu Code on the status of Hindu women
The above mentioned Acts under Hindu code have widely influenced the status of women in Hindu society. The following are important points in this connection :
1. Equal right to male and female. The Hindu code provides for equal rights to the Hindu male and female in almost every field of life. With it the females have secured equal rights with the male concerning inheritance of property, adoption of son and daughter, remarrying after the death of husband, divorcing the husband in certain circumstances and marrying again. Thus the code has finished the exploitation of women in Hindu society. They have been given all human rights and thus do not depend on males’ mercy.
2. End of male’s domination in family. The Hindu code have ended the male’s domination in Hindu family. Now, the husband cannot adopt a son or daughter without the consent of the wife. In the case of the daughter the mother is the life long guardian. The husband cannot misbehave with the wife because if he does so she can not only get divorce from him but also claim for maintenance unless she remarries. The daughter and the widow have right of inheritance of property. The father and mother have equal rights of guardianship of the children.
3. Abolition of polygamy. Before the passing of Hindu marriage Act the evil off polygamy was widely prevalent in Hindu society. The Hindu marriage Act has put an end to it. Now the husband can not keep a concubine or marry another women in the life time of his wife. Thus the Hindu marriage Act has established monogamy in Hindu society.
4. Restriction of child marriages. The new social legislations have Stirninated the evil of the child marriage from Hindu society. The age
of legal marriage has been fixed at 18 and 15 for the boys and girls respectively.
5. Increase in the unstability of family. With the provision for judicial separation and divorce the Hindu code has made Hindu family unstable. It has given a blow to the joint family. The number of divorces has increased. The ‘marital relations have, however, improved because the wife and husband both take care to behave properly so that a condition of judicial separation may not arise. This has led to progress in the status of Hindu women.
6. Women’s rights of inheritance. The Hindu code has given economically equality to Hindu women by providing for their right of inheritance in the property of husband and father.
7. Equal rights of guardianship. The Hindu Code has provided for equal rights of guardianship of children both wife and husband. It has thus established equality in this connection.
8. Life insurance of the old and disabled. By providing for the maintenance of the old, disabled, widows and orphans the Hindu code has established social security in this respect. It is like a life insurance of these persons.
The above discussion of the influences of Hindu code makes it quite clear that it has improved the status of women in Hindu society. It has met their age old demands of inheritance, adoption, maintenance, guardianship, separate residence and divorce. It has placed them on equal footing with the males. Though here and there it may cause the breaking of a family but indirectly it has made marriage and family stronger by placing them on a sound footing.