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India Centre Drops Proposal for Separate Sikh Marriage Act

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by Archived_Member16, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. Archived_Member16

    Archived_Member16
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    August 29, 2011

    Centre drops proposal for separate Sikh Marriage Act
    Aditi Tandon/TNS

    New Delhi, August 29

    The government has decided to drop the proposal for a separate law covering marriages solemnised within the Sikh community. Dealing a major blow to the aspirations of Sikhs, who have long been fighting for amendments to the existing anand Karaj (Marriage) Act of 1909 to convert it into a comprehensive legislation governing Sikh marriages, the Ministry of Law and Justice today said there was no justification for a separate law and it had decided to abandon the proposal for any such amendment.

    The ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in Punjab has been on the forefront of the demand for changes in the Anand Karaj Act and the party’s core committee on political affairs had last year called upon the Centre for expeditious enactment of the Anand Marriage Act for Sikhs along the lines of similar acts for other religions (covering Muslims, Christians, Parsis and Jews).

    Speaking to The Tribune today, Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, leader of the Akali Dal in the Rajya Sabha, said he was given to understand by former Law Minister Veerappa Moily that a draft Bill for Sikh Marriage Act was ready and would be sent for the Cabinet approval soon before being placed in the Parliament.

    “I am surprised at today’s decision of the government. We will take up the matter with the Prime Minister again,” Dhindsa said.

    It was on Dhindsa’s query about the status of the said law that Law Minister Salman Khursheed today informed the Parliament that after receiving several representations for amendment to the Anand Marriage Act, 1909 to provide for compulsory registration of Sikh marriages, the government had decided to drop the proposal.

    At present, marriages amongst the Sikhs, Hindus, Jains, Buddhists and other communities except Muslims, Christians, Parsis and Jews, are covered by the Hindu Marriage Act 1955. Section 8 of the Hindu Marriage Act provides for registration of Hindu marriages; Section 2 of the Act covers Sikh marriages.

    The government justified the rejection of Sikh demand saying such seclusion would invite similar demands from others. The Law Minister said in RS, “Since the scope of the Anand Marriage Act, 1909 is limited to marriage ceremonies amongst “anands”, the registration of all forms of Sikh marriages is not within its scope. Further, there may not be any justification for secluding Sikhs from the rest of the categories mentioned above as such a step would invite similar demands from other religious denominations covered under the Hindu Marriage Act. Also, seclusion of one community is against the directive principles contained in Article 44 of the Constitution which aims at bringing in a uniform civil code.”

    source: http://www.tribuneindia.com/2011/20110830/main6.htm
     
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  3. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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    Nothing like a democracy where minority religions are treated as though they don't exist except for the Hindus, Muslims and Christians.
    Congress is doing better than the British in getting minorities to speak against each other.

    I love my Indi(r)a yellingmunda :}--}: .

    Hum Hindustani - Chhodo Kal Ki Baatein Kal Ki [Part 1 & 2] - Mukesh - YouTube

    versus the following,

    Ae maalik tere bande hum - YouTube
    Jyot Se Jyot Jagate Chalo - Sant Gyaneshwar 1964 - YouTube

    Sat Sri Akal.
     
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  4. Archived_Member16

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    August 30, 2011

    AISSF asks Sikhs to say "No to Hindu Marriage Act"

    Punjab Newsline Network

    Tuesday, 30 August 2011

    CHANDIGARH: All India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF) accused the Government of India of usurping the identity of Sikhs by denying their demand for anand Marriage Act. The Government’s action of forcing Sikhs to register their marriages under Hindu Marriage Act is in violation of “equal rights” provided under Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution of India. AISSF announced that it will file a constitutional petition before the Supreme Court of India challenging the Government’s refusal to pass Anand Marriage Act. The petition will request the Supreme Court to order the Government of India to give equal rights to Sikhs under Article 14 & 15 of the Constitution by passing Anand Marriage Act.

    AISSF announced that it will also launch “Proud to be Sikh Campaign” to build public movement in support of Anand Marriage Act and Sikhs’ Right to Self Determination. Under “Proud to be Sikh” Federation will urge Sikh community to say “No to Hindu Marriage Act” by refusing to register their marriages under Hindu Marriage Act. The Federation announced to collect “one million signatures” in support of Anand Marriage Act.

    According to Karnail Singh Peermohammad, Federation President, the Government’s decision regarding Anand Marriage Act is discrimination against Sikh community and an open attack on the Sikh identity. This decision to deny Anand Marriage Act is another step to dissolve separate religious identity of Sikh nation. As per Article 14 & 15 of the Constitution, the Government cannot deny Sikhs to have Anand Marriage Act as Muslim, Christians, Parsis and Jews already have their own marriage acts.

    On August 15, 1947 India gained independence for which thousands of Sikhs laid their lives. However for Sikhs, independence from British Empire resulted only in further usurping of their rights, extermination of separate status of Sikhism and eventually to an open genocide of Sikhs in India, added Peermohammad.

    According to Davinder Singh Sodhi, Secretary General of AISSF, the campaign “Proud to be Sikh” has been launched because Sikhism is a separate religion but the Government of India is constantly usurping the separate religious identity of Sikhs. Refusal to pass the Anand Marriage Act for Sikhs and forcing them to continue registering their marriages under Hindu Marriage Act shows the intentions of Indian Government towards Sikhs.

    Since present SGPC, DSGMC and SAD (Badal) have failed to achieve Anand Marriage Act for Sikh community and have betrayed the faith of the community, Federation which is contesting the SGPC elections independently, will take this issue to the Sikh community and will expose the ineffectiveness of present SGPC, DGSMC and SAD (Badal) leadership.

    Once given an opportunity to represent Sikhs at SGPC, Federation will vehemently take up the issue of Anand Marriage Act and will use all the resources, power and influence of SGPC for passage of Anand Marriage Act.

    source:
    http://www.punjabnewsline.com/content/aissf-asks-sikhs-say-no-hindu-marriage-act/33098
     
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  5. ac_marshall

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    I wonder how can the government dictate terms on one's marriage. For a Sikh, if anand Karaj is the prescribed wedding ceremony, let that be upheld and respected. For certification, let a Jathedar/Head Priest issue the religious certificate and let the appropriate registrar of the area register that wedding documenting the religious certificate, other relevant documents. I suppose the same should be the case with other faiths too. I don't understand the terms "Hindu Marriage Act", "Muslim Marriages Act", etc. The government should respect the choice of the people to marry in a way the leaders of their faiths (and subsects if any) prescribe and not impose it's ruling.
    swordfight
    I find it unacceptable for the Government to dictate how should one marry.
     
    #4 ac_marshall, Aug 30, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2011
  6. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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    ac_marshall ji I don't believe minorities recognize that they don't have equal rights in India. There has been lot of signs but people tend to ignore having busy lives. Things will continue to get worse for minorities.

    Sikhs in particular would be very vulnerable due to distinct appearance and a direct logical demolishers of Hindu mis-beliefs and Brahminic exploitation.

    Sat Sri Akal.
     
  7. Arvind

    Arvind
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    It is more of the belief that Sikhs were created as marshal arm of Hindus. So still, locals and government opine that sikhs can be engulfed in the Hindu super blanket. Probably Jain, Budhists or other minorities get included in this blanket too, not sure though.

    With the proposal of Sikh marriage act, it openly means - Sikhs have separate identity from Hindus. I totally agree with this. A sikh is a totally new baby :)

    Well, after reading my own writing, I didnt like my use of Sikh, Hindu and their distinction etc very much.

    Regards.
     
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  8. Archived_Member16

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    Stunning blow to Sikh Aspirations

    The Sikhs had long been fighting for amendments to the anand Karaj (Marriage) Act to convert it into a legislation governing their marriages. But the Centre’s decision to drop the proposal has dealt a blow to their aspirations. Perneet Singh takes an in-depth look into the issue

    Sikh leaders and scholars have reacted strongly to the Centre’s decision to drop the proposal for a Sikh Marriage Act, a major demand of the Sikhs since decades. Law Minister Salman Khursheed had yesterday informed Parliament that after receiving several representations for amendment to the Anand Marriage Act, 1909, the government had decided to drop the proposal. He was answering a query by Rajya Sabha member Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa (SAD).

    The Sikhs have been fighting for amendments in the Anand Karaj (Marriage) Act, 1909, passed by Viceroy and Governor-General on October 22, 1909. The Act reads: “This Act would be extended to the whole of British India.” While introducing the Anand Marriage Act, the British Government had made it clear that it was being introduced to remove doubts as to the validity of the marriage ceremony of the Sikhs called “Anand”. Post-Independence, the Anand Marriage Act, 1909, was extended to the new provinces and states merged under the the Merged States (Laws) Act, 1949, and to the Union Territories in 1950 and Manipur and Tripura in 1956. The Act was brought into force in Meghalaya on January 21, 1972. However, Sikh marriages are not registered under it till date. The Sikh marriages performed under Sikh rites are registered either under the Hindu Marriage Act or the Special Marriage Act.

    Anand Marriage Act, 1909

    The Act’s salient features are:

    All marriages which may be or may have been duly solemnised according to the Sikh marriage ceremony called “Anand” shall be deemed to have been with effect from the date of the solemnisation of each respectively, good and valid in law; nothing in this Act shall apply to: (a) any marriage between persons not professing the Sikh religion, or (b) any marriage which has been judicially declared null and void

    Nothing in this Act shall affect the validity of any marriage duly solemnised according to any other marriage ceremony customary among the Sikhs.

    Nothing in this Act shall be deemed to validate any marriage between persons related to each other in any degree of consanguinity or affinity which would, according to the customary law of the Sikhs, render a marriage between them illegal.

    HINDU MARRIAGE ACT, 1955

    The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, extends to the whole of India, except Jammu and Kashmir, and applies also to Hindus domiciled in the territories to which this Act extends who are outside the said territories. This Act applies to:

    Any person who is a Hindu by religion in any of its forms, including a Virashaiva, a Lingayat or a follower of the Brahmo, Prarthana or Arya Samaj

    Any person who is a Buddhist, Jain or Sikh by religion; Any other person domiciled in the territories to which this Act extends who is not a Muslim, Christian, Parsi or Jew by religion, unless it is proved that any such person would not have been governed by the Hindu law or by any custom or usage as part of that law in respect of any of the matters dealt with herein if this Act had not been passed. The Act also states that the expression “Hindu” in any portion of this Act shall be construed to include a person who, though not a Hindu by religion, is, nevertheless, a person to whom this Act applies by virtue of the provisions contained in this section. As a result, the Anand Marriage Act 1909, which was the only piece of legislation applicable exclusively to Sikhs, has become redundant.

    DIFFERENT CUSTOMS

    So far, there is no provision for the registration of a marriage under the Anand Marriage Act, despite the fact that it has been on the statute books since 1909. As such, the Sikhs have to get their marriages registered either under the Hindu Marriage Act or the Special Marriage Act. This is the reason why Sikhs have had reservations on getting their marriages registered under the Hindu Marriage Act. The Sikhs contend that they are a separate religion with a different set of customs and there are several differences in the way marriage ceremonies are solemnised by followers of the two religions.

    Guru Granth Sahib strictly prohibits idol or element worship, but in the Hindu marriage ceremony, the worship of nine constellations of stars is necessary and the Agni (fire) is a witness to the holy union. In case of the Sikhs, Sri Guru Granth Sahib is the witness.

    A Sikh couple walks around the Holy Granth to the recitation of four hymns, known as "lawaan". A Hindu couple takes seven “pheras” around the Agni.

    POST-INDEPENDENCE SCENARIO

    Sikh scholars feel that the process of distinct laws for the Sikhs was undone by the policy adopted under Explanation II to Article 25 (2) of the Indian Constitution.This provision ensured that the Sikhs were included in the definition of Hindu. As a result, Sikhs come under the Hindu Marriage Act 1955, the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956, the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956, and the Hindu Succession Act, 1956.

    AN EVENTFUL YEAR

    The year 2008 turned out to be a momentous year for the Anand Marriage Act, 1909, with the Punjab Assembly passing the Punjab Compulsory Registration of Marriages Bill:2008 on March 12, 2008, paving the way for registration of marriages under the Anand Marriage Act: 1909. The Pakistan Govt, too, passed the draft of the Anand Marriage Act on January 23, 2008, to allow Sikhs to register marriages under a separate marriage Act.

    WHAT IS ANAND KARAJ

    Anand Karaj was introduced by third Sikh guru, Guru Amar Das. The four “lawaan” (hymns recited during the marriage ceremony) were composed by his successor Guru Ram Das

    The Anand Karaj is governed by the Sikh “rehat maryada” (Sikh code of conduct) determined by the SGPC, according to which only those who follow the Sikh religion may marry under the ceremony

    It also states that child marriage is invalid and that no account should be taken of the prospective spouse’s caste

    The Anand Karaj usually takes place in a gurdwara, though it may also be conducted at the residence of bride or groom or any other place where Guru Granth Sahib has been installed

    However, it must be ensured that the Holy Granth is installed following the proper procedure

    According to an edict by Akal Takht, Anand Karaj is to take place only in a gurdwara and Guru Granth Sahib cannot be taken to a marriage hall for the purpose

    Long PENDING DEMAND

    There is no provision for registration of marriage under the Anand Marriage Act, despite the fact that it has been on the statute books since 1909. This legislation applicable exclusively to the Sikhs has, thus, become redundant

    As such, the Sikhs have to get their marriages registered either under the Hindu Marriage Act or the Special Marriage Act

    The Sikhs contend that theirs is a separate religion with a different set of customs

    The voices


    “The government should not resort to dilly-dallying but implement the Act immediately. It has already been implemented in Pakistan and even the British regime had recognised the fact that Sikhism is a separate religion. Sikh lawyers should come forward to find a way out”

    — Akal Takht chief Giani Gurbachan Singh

    “The statement by the Law Minister in support of the move to drop the proposal is misleading. We are simply seeking an amendment to pave the way for adding a clause. What we are demanding was passed by the Standing Committee unanimously in December 2007 and the government had assured both the Houses that it would be passed”

    — Rajya Sabha MP Tarlochan Singh

    “We are deliberately being discriminated against. It is sheer injustice with us. We will consult legal experts and decide our future course of action

    — SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar

    “Anand Karaj is totally different from the marriage rituals of the Hindus and it should be brought under the Sikh Marriage Act. It is high time that the SGPC and the SAD fights for the cause”

    — Former GNDU VC SP Singh

    “This issue is related to the turban issue and other problems the Sikh abroad face. Right thinking men,Sikh or non-Sikh, should appreciate that it is a necessity now. I will impress upon the government to review the decision”

    — Noted lawyer HS Phoolka

    “The move is aimed at denying us a separate identity. The Law Minister’s argument justifying the government step does not hold water. We want to tell the minister, who is talking of Article 44, that whenever the Muslims and Christians accept a uniform civil code, we too will accept the same”

    — Former SGPC secy MS Calcutta

    “The Centre cannot drop the proposal. I have learnt that it will soon be placed before the Cabinet. If there is a hindrance, Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal should call a special session of the Assembly and pave the way for registration of all the marriages performed as per the Sikh code of conduct under the Act”

    — DSGMC chief PS Sarna

    “Sikhism is a separate religion. It is a matter of regret that the birth, marriage, adoption, death of a Sikh is in accordance with the laws of another religion. Explanation II of Article 25 (2) (b) of the Constitution continues to classify Sikhs as Hindus”

    — Dal Khalsa leader Kanwar Pal Singh

    “The Congress-led UPA Government at the Centre has adopted an "anti-Sikh" posture by "deliberately" rejecting the proposal of the separate 'Sikh Marriage Act' for solemnising the marriages of the community. The Sikh community in general and the SAD in particular had been impressing upon the Centre for expeditious enactment of the 'Anand Karaj Act' for Sikhs on the pattern of similar acts covering the Muslims, Christians, Parsis and Jews. The decision came despite an assurance to various SAD MPs by ex-Law Minister Veerappa Moily that the draft bill for the Act was ready and would be sent for Cabinet approval soon. before being placed in Parliament.

    — Chief Minister Parkash S Badal



    Union Govt ignored House panel advice
    Aditi Tandon/TNS

    New Delhi, August 30
    In dropping the proposal for an amendment to the Anand Marriage Act of 1909 to provide for compulsory registration of Sikh marriages, the Centre has disregarded a unanimous recommendation the Parliamentary Standing Committee had made in 2007.

    A day after the Law Minister justified abandoning the amendment on the grounds that it would breed similar demands from other communities and was against the principles of the uniform civil code, The Tribune has learnt that the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice (which is now considering the Lokpal Bill) had, on December 4, 2007, considered the issue and unanimously asked the Congress-led UPA government to come forward with a simple amendment to the Anand Karaj Act to allow Sikh marriages to be registered therein. Besides, two former law ministers - HR Bhardwaj and M Veerappa Moily - gave assurances in the RS to bring about the said amendment.

    The Parliamentary Committee chaired by Congressman EM Sudershan Natchiappan, in its meeting held in December 2007, even impressed upon the then Law Secretary KN Chaturvedi of the necessity of the move in the wake of the Supreme Court’s 2006 judgment, directing all states and UTs to make registration of marriages mandatory.

    The meeting was held to take a view on the matter after 12 Sikh MPs cutting across party lines — including the then Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker Charanjit Atwal of the Akali Dal. He gave a letter to the house panel chief, seeking the amendment to prevent NRI grooms from leaving their wives in the lurch.

    Former Rajya Sabha MP Tarlochan Singh, who was member of the said committee, today confirmed to TNS that the panel’s report was extremely positive and favoured the long-standing demand of Sikhs. Singh today even shot off a letter to Law Minister Salman Khursheed, who is also the Minority Affairs Minister. The letter states, “The Sikh minority has been shocked by this unrealistic approach of your ministry. You are also Minister for Minority Affairs where you are supposed to protect the rights of minorities. For long, there is a feeling that the government is showing different treatment to various minority communities,” Singh wrote.



    Mata Ludiki performed first Anand Karaj for her son
    Amarjit Thind
    Tribune News Service

    Jalandhar, August 30
    The famous Chhawale Sants, Sunder Singh and Pritam Singh, from the Doaba region had taken it upon themselves to get the marriages of their congregation solemnised as per the Anand Karaj enshrined in the rehat/maryada decided by the SGPC after the 'Mini Parliamant' of the Sikhs was founded.

    From the frontier regions of Peshawar till the hill tracts of Paonta Sahib, the duo carried the granth wherever their followers or their kith and kin were to be married over ninety years ago. Though the act was yet to be implemented, the Sikhs had been following this maryada at the time of marriage since long. Prof Harbans Singh Bolina, former SGPC honorary education secretary who is the coordinator of the Centre for Guru Granth Sahib Studies, Lyallpur Khalsa College, here, said the first ever Anand Karaj was performed by Mata Ludiki for her son Dayal Singh, who later on went to found the Nirankari Mission. She was a known social worker of the region and is said to have only brought the granth as her trousseau, he revealed.

    "The new committee that takes over on November 22 should raise the issue and take it to its logical conclusion," he said.

    On the other hand, the All-India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF) has termed dropping the 'Anand Marriage Act-1909' proposal by the Centre as a "discriminatory" act. The AISSF has decided to file a constitutional petition before the Supreme Court challenging the Home Ministry decision. Federation chief Karnail Singh Peermohammad said the Centre's decision of asking Sikhs to register their marriages under the Hindu Marriage Act was in violation of 'equal rights' provided under Article 14 & 15 of the Constitution. "The SAD (Badal), SGPC and DSGMC have betrayed the Sikh community by doing nothing to get the act implemented for decades. We will take the issue to the Sikh Community and would expose the ineffectiveness of these organizations," Peermohammad said.

    At present, the Muslims, Christians, Parsis and Jews have their own marriage acts, he pointed out.

    source: http://www.tribuneindia.com/2011/20110831/punjab.htm
     
  9. ac_marshall

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    The term minority that the Government understands does not include Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists as the number does not constitute a sizable vote bank i.e. less than 10% of the population all put together. For the government, it is like a Return of Investment. Reservations have been implemented benefiting sizable vote bank communities. The votes of these communities would be assured as they constitute a sizable vote bank i.e. approximately above 25%. Sikhs are real minority and the ruling parties don't see a sizable vote bank from Sikhs outside Punjab. Moreover, with the inclusion of certain original castes of Sikh, Buddhist, Muslim and Christian converts under the Reservation also would assure a sizable vote bank though casteism is abolished in these faiths.
     
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  10. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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    ac_marshall ji so you are saying Sikhs are shafted in India for one reason or another! I agree.

    I say, only the timing and pace of how bad it gets is left to be determined.

    Sat Sri Akal.
     
  11. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    is the timing of this announcement by the Centre as per ita agenda to ensure a Badal win in SGPC ?? This provides extra ammunition for Badal Makkar to scream..Panth Khatreh vich..Congress ikhsan dee dushman..?? and thus win sikh sympathy votes ??
     
  12. ac_marshall

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    Ambarsariaji, I'm saying that the term minority itself in India is a flawed concept as the real minorities who constitute less than 3% of population are never given their rights and are made to accept that they are sects of the large Hindu (as defined by Banaras based Brahmnical Institutions) society. This is unfair to all such communities and their identities will be at stake forever.

    Going by Government's flawed logic, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists belong to Hindu Society as they are not Muslims or Christians. With the same reasoning there shouldn't be two distinct acts governing Christian and Muslim Marriages as they both originated from Abraham. There should have just been a single act. If Christianity and Islam can be considered different from Judaism, why can't Sikhism, Jainism and Buddhism be considered distinct religions and not parts of Brahmnical Hinduism? The reason is well known. swordfight
     
  13. Ambarsaria

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    Sat Sri Akal.
     

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