A Content Analysis of the Hindu Marriage Act - 2017
Keywords:Hindu Women’s Forced Marriages; Hindu Customary Law; Legal Pluralism; Hindu Marriage Legislation; Legislative Business in Parliament
In 2017, the Parliament of the Pakistan unanimously passed a long-awaited legislation namely the Hindu Marriage Act, 2017. The legislation on the Hindu marriage was to serve the purpose of providing a legal status to the Hindu marriages. The Act is considered a landmark legislation dealing with the personal law of the Hindu community. Since the present legislation is a recent phenomenon, there exists no scholarly work analyzing the context and content of the Act, 2017.The present study intends to interpret the structure of and the themes lies in the text of the Act while employing primarily a qualitative content analysis methodology. The article gives two-fold explanation of the text of the Act, 2017; firstly, the text of the Act is heavily relied upon the text of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 of India; secondly, it is a manifestation of the post-colonial legal plurality and the Hindu customary laws. It is argued that the one, who wishes to understand the essence of context and content of the Act, needs to have an understanding of both the legal pluralism and the Hindu customary laws. The present study generates a debate on the correlation between the customary law and the state law.