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Intercaste Marriage in Sikhism

Discussion in 'Love & Marriage' started by chipmunk, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. chipmunk

    chipmunk SPNer

    Dear All,

    I'm a Hindu.
    I love a sikh girl from Jat community.
    We understand eachother very well and like eachother.
    We both are working in US.

    But girl has fear that Jat girl can't marry a Hindu and there'll be problems. Like their family and relatives may not accept our marriage and there'll be disputes.

    I believe in one god and respect Sikhism.

    Is there a way I (Hindu) can become a Jat Sikh or Sikh?
    What're the devotions and things I've to do for this?
    I highly respect sikhism and it's philosophy.

    If I become a sikh , can I marry the girl ? Will the community and family approve our marriage and welcome us into the family?
  2. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār SPNer

    I was just wondering if you want to have a true marriage with full disclosure why don't you ask the girl you love these fundamental questions and then perhaps if there are differences you can both seek advice and comments from outsiders.

    Hindu-Sikh marriages have succeeded and also failed miserably where the partners ignore the wisdom of full disclosure to each family. If you plan to have good family relations between both families after marriage, start working on it before marriage. Issue(s) ignored only grow and don't go away.

    That is what I will do if I have a genuine desire to love and be loved, succeed and good interactions between both families.

    I also suggest you read other threads on the same topic and request spnadmin to possibly merge it with similar other thread.

    Otherwise it will start looking like a "Shaitani", "Chalaki", thread.japposatnamwaheguru:
    Sat Sri Akal.

    PS: I also suggest you read some of the Posts and topics started or participated in by Badshah as type of questions are quite similar. You may also request "spnadmin" ji to merge this with one of the common Inter-religion marriage threads. Also the title needs to be changed as Caste System does not belong to Sikhism as nothing is higher or lower than each other (versus Hinduism) though many people may be respectfully proud of their creed like Jats, Ramgarhias, etc.
    Bmandur, Tejwant Singh and spnadmin like this.
  3. spnadmin

    spnadmin SPNer

    Chipmunk ji, my comments are not by way of advice. I am providing a context for coping. You can convert to Sikhi, but only birth makes you a Jat.

    On the subject of inter-caste marriage.

    Caste has no place in Sikhism, in both Gurbani and in the Sikh Rehat. But as a practical matter it remains a reality. I think that is part of the reason for the consternation we are reading in your comments.

    Anyone can check a Sikh matrimonial site, and note advertisements for within caste marriages, especially among Jats, Ramgarhia (not a caste actually), Thakurs, etc.. These are quite obvious and overwhelm any advertisements that do not mention caste, by a ratio of more than 9 to 1. These ads are usually placed by parents or relatives of a young man or woman, and are one variation on the custom of arranged marriages which predominate among peoples of Indian origin, by 92 percent (rough estimate based on newspaper articles I have read).

    The question is persistent on this forum and on others.

    Many many Sikhs retain their surnames, in spite of being Singhs and Kaurs according to the Sikh Rehat Maryada. These names signify historical tribal membership and clan memberships. Most of them are tied to caste, though some may be found in more than one caste. And from a surname one can make a good guess as to who is a Jat, who is a Khatri, who is a Ramgharia, an even whose family came originally from West Punjab, now Pakistan, etc. There are Sikhs with well-known web identities who rant about this practice, but it continues.

    The practical problems that keep the practice of in-caste marriages ongoing can be explored. They are actually very interesting. The moral questions raised are very difficult, especially when honor-killings are the consequence of marrying outside of one's caste and/or one's religion. This problem is not exaggerated, because one death is one death too many. But we read about it monthly in news papers both in India and in the diaspora.

    Thanks for the suggestion re: moving the thread, which I will do if I can find the right place for it.

    Marriages between Sikhs and Hindus are not uncommon, but they raise another set of thorny issues, including the prohibition that a Sikh shall marry a Sikh, per the Sikh Rehat Maryada.

  4. [​IMG]
  5. spnadmin

    spnadmin SPNer

    Translation of the above sundesh 2007 from then Jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti

    Ik Ongkar Sri Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

    Sri Akal Takhat Sahib, Sri Amritsar

    Giani Joginder Singh, Jethadar

    Date: 16-8-2007

    Anand Sanskar"Marriage Ceremony"

    This is a message to all the Sikh Sangat that according to the Rehat Maryada only Sikh couples (male/female) can engage in the Anand Karaj Ceremony. If the couple or either one of them is not a Sikh, then they must embrace the Sikh faith.

    This includes that they must change their second name to Singh or Kaur in their official document (e.g. driving licence, identity card, passport) before the marriage.

    (Joginder Singh)Jathedar

    p/s This order of the Akal Takht Jathedar is well known and was widely discusssed in the panth when it was issued.
  6. spnadmin

    spnadmin SPNer

    Does anyone have an intuitive sense of how closely this is actually followed?
  7. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār SPNer

    I believe instead of the above being followed most times the second name is not emphasized (Singh/Kaur) as last Surnames like Mann, Gill, Grewal, Sodhi, Saini, etc., are used in the ceremony and registration.

    I will be very surprised to see too many that will follow with Singh or Kaur per se or add it before the wedding.

    People don't even want to take names of there spouses and that is the trend it seems for the future.

    None of the above condones not to follow the edict.

    Sat Sri Akal.
    spnadmin likes this.
  8. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Sawa lakh se EK larraoan SPNer

    This ADESH...( Advisory) from the Secretariat Akal Takhat merely REAFFIRMS what the Sikh Rehat Maryada of the Akal Tkahat/SGPC says right from 1930's..

    1. This advisory suffers the same fate as those that discourage the SGGS being brought to Marriage Palaces/5 Star Ballrooms/banquet Halls of Hotels etc that is any place that is NOT normally a GURDWARA/regular place fo SGGS Parkash.

    2. To split hairs. The "Anand Karaj" is the SIKH Marriage Ceremony - with no LEGAL basis whatsoever since the Anand Marriage ACT 1925 was never enforced even in India. ALL SIKH marriages are Registered under the HINDU MARRIAGE ACT (in India) and under the Various CIVIL MARRIAGE LAWS as may be prevalent in other countries. In the MALAYSIAN context a Marriage has to be Registered legally with the GOVT REGISTRAR BEFORE any "Gurdwara ceremony" takes place. It is ILLEGAL to have a Gurdwara ceremony without the Govt registration and the marriage is not recognised...for inheritance/children etc.
    So what was happening in the Malaysian Context was that.. SOCIETY only recognises the GURDWARA Marriage...baraats and millnnees, bhangras and jordmelas, the works...while the GOVT LAW only recognises the couple that swore in front of the Govt Registrar and obtained his Official Certificate. What began to complicate matters was when MULTI-RACIAL marriages begun to become common....the SIKH PARENTS of the Bride or Groom as may the case be..wanted SOCIETY to recognise/legitimise their child's marriage...and so wanted to have such a Ceremony in the GURDWARA ( for merely SOCIAL REASONS)..AND the PARTNER happened to be a Christian/Hindu and whats worse of a different RACE as well. And matters were further complicated when the "other partner" of the SIKH refused to be converted...some didnt even want to wear the turban etc...and the Parents began to BEND OVER BACKWARDS to accomodate such..by going around saying..its just a "ceremony"...the marriage is already legally registered anyway..all thsi is just a FORMALITY.blah blah. Such comments and behaviour began to RILE UP certain SRM enthusiasts..who saw this as disrespect of SGGS, Gurdwaras etc and RIGHTLY SO...and as is so Common among Sikhs..they soon became DIVIDED into two groups !! Some Gurdawra Comitees put their foot down...some Granthis put their foot down..and this became the REASON for some FREE LANCE "SIKH PARCHARAKS" who happened to have access to a SGGS copy..and a granthi willing to sell his mother for a few dollars...and ragi jatha of same standard...such MIXED "anand karajs" began to happen !! Next soem unscruplous Gurdwar comittees more interested in Goluck also announced such mixed amrriages can happen..BUT they cleverly came out with an "additional ceremony" to calm dissent...the 5 MINUTE INSTANT AMRIT CHHAK cum SINGH SAJO ceremony....a Quick reading of japji sahib 5 paurees over a spoon of water...and the Tamil Christian man would put on an instant turban and become a "SINGH" for the Lavan..!!! No one would be any wiser !!..even the borrowed turban would be returned back to the Gurdwara for use by the next SINGH !!

    3. THIS ADESH was the result of Complaints to Akal Takhat by those few opposed to such sham anand karajs ( not all were due to their love for Maryada/sggs satikaar - quite a few wanted to score Brownie points and beat the Pardhaan at his own game and becoem the enw pardhaans !!). The Akal Takhat..ever so hard of hearing to genuine Maryada Violations etc..was Quicker than Don Quioxte to go to Battle against this new Windmill..hence this ADESH. Of course NOTHING CHANGED.
    Bmandur and spnadmin like this.
  9. Marriage between a Hindu and non-Hindu under HMA not vaild: HC

    Fri Dec 31 2010 - New Delhi:

    The marriage between a Hindu and a non-Hindu solemnised as per the Hindu rites is neither valid nor the parties can claim any benefits under the Hindu Marriage Act (HMA), the Delhi High Court has ruled.

    The High Court also held that 'mere theoretical allegiance' to Hinduism would not make one a Hindu unless he or she had actually converted to the religion.

    "Mere fact that the parties had solemnised the marriage as per the Hindu rites and ceremonies would not attract the applicability of the Hindu Marriage Act as the mandate of the law is that marriage has to take place between two Hindus," said Justice Kailash Gambhir in a recent judgement.

    The court dismissed a petition filed by a woman, who sought divorce under the HMA, claiming that her marriage with a Christian had taken place at Arya Samaj temple as per Hindu rituals in 2007 and said the parties were required to be Hindu at the time of solemnisation of marriage.

    "It is imperative to prove that both the parties were Hindus at the time of the solemnisation of marriage," the court said.

    The court rejected the woman's claim that her husband had converted to Hinduism as she failed to furnish any evidence to substantiate her claim.
    "...A mere theoretical allegiance to the Hindu faith by a person born in another faith does not convert him into a Hindu, nor is a bare declaration that he is a Hindu sufficient to convert him to Hinduism.

    "The conversion from one religion to another religion is a very major decision in one's life and for proving such a conversion, it is incumbent upon the appellant to place on record complete facts and documentary material, if any, to satisfy the court that based on such facts and supporting material, the appellant had undergone change of religion."

    The ruling came on a petition filed by Sangeeta, who challenged the family court's March 2010 order dismissing her divorce petition on the ground that her husband Preston Gomes is a Christian and there was no evidence to prove that he converted to Hinduism.

    source: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/hypocrisy/731654/
  10. spnadmin

    spnadmin SPNer

    I am now a bit confused myself. I need clarification.

    It is certain that for Anand Karaj, a Sikh must marry a Sikh. If one party is not a Sikh he/she must convert to Sikhism. This is explained in the communique from former Jathedar Joginder Singh.

    The Hindu Marriage Act does not grant independent legitimacy to the Sikh Marriage ceremony.

    However, when we are looking at a civil marriage, under the Hindu Marriage Act, is it not the case that Sikhs are considered "Hindus?" Therefore, only Christians, Muslims, or members of other groups not counted by the Indian constitution as Hindus, would have to convert to the Hindu faith for a civil marriage to be recognized by the court?

    I am not sure that a Sikh must convert to the Hindu faith in order to have a valid civil marriage under the Marriage Act. Whereas, a Christian would have to convert - as depicted in the above news article.

    Please explain. chipmunk ji has asked about a Sikh/Hindu union.
  11. NOTE: One may need a "legal opinion", if still confused by the following:

    Legal definition of “Hindu”

    3.1. Hindu law

    India’s Constitution does not give a definition of the term Hindu, but it does define to whom the “Hindu Law” applies. It has to do this because in spite of its pretence to secularism, the Indian Constitution allows Muslims, Christians and Parsis a separate Personal Law. In a way, this separate treatment of different communities merely continues the communal autonomy of castes and sects accepted in pre-modern Hindu states, but it exposes the credibility deficit of Indian secularism. At any rate, the situation is that Personal Law is divided on the basis of religion, and that one of the legal subsystems is called Hindu Law.

    Article 25 (2)(b) of the Constitution stipulates that “the reference to Hindus shall be construed as including a reference to persons professing the Sikh, Jain or Buddhist religion”.1 The Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 goes in greater detail to define this “legal Hindu”, by stipulating in Section 2 that the Act applies:

    “(a) to any person who is a Hindu by religion in any of its forms and developments, including a Virashaiva, a Lingayat or a follower of the Brahmo, Prarthana or Arya Samaj,

    “(b) to any person who is a Buddhist, Jain or Sikh by religion, and

    “(c) to any other person domiciled in the territories to which this Act extends who is not a Muslim, Christian, Parsi or Jew by religion”.2

    This definition of the “legal Hindu”, though explicitly not equating him with the “Hindu by religion”, is exactly coterminous with the original Islamic use of the term Hindu: all Indian Pagans are legally Hindus. The Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs are explicitly included in the “Hindus by law” but separated from the “Hindus by religion”: at this point, the law follows the usage established by Western scholars, contrary to the original usage.

    Note that the changes in Hindu Law imposed by an Act of Parliament (on top of the very existence of separate Hindu and Muslim Law regimes) constitute a further measure of communal inequality. The secular government would not dare to touch the other religion-based law systems, as has repeatedly been shown in the past decades regarding items of Christian and Muslim Personal Law. An interference in Hindu Law by a national legislative body only makes sense in an avowedly Hindu state; in a sense, therefore, the Hindu Marriage Act constitutes an admission by Jawaharlal Nehru that ultimately India is a Hindu state.

    spnadmin likes this.
  12. spnadmin

    spnadmin SPNer

    So that means that my earlier inference was correct. Under Indian Law a Sikh is counted as a Hindu. Therefore a civil marriage between a Hindu and a Sikh would not require conversion by either partner.

    So we can now narrow the problem down to the religious considerations and social/family concerns in a Sikh/Hindu match.

    Thank you
  13. Jeremiah

    Jeremiah SPNer

    Certainly there will be resistance against your marriage in Sikh community. But when you turn into Sikh they will welcome you. Now it depends on your girl friend how far she goes with you?

    Upland Personal training
  14. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Sawa lakh se EK larraoan SPNer

    imho..the "welcome" part applies to ALL..Muslims included...only difference being among Muslims the conversion is compulsory or no dice. Others..Hindus, Sikhs are a bit more accomodating. Everyoen likes ones own type..
    spnadmin likes this.

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