Implementation Provision of Registration of Marriages of Sikhs Under “Anand Marriage Act” is Need of the Hour

Sikhs had been raising a grievance since long of being tagged with the Laws which forced the Sikhs to be governed by laws which were made for the majority community. Not only Sikhs, but Jains and Buddhists have also been forcefully governed by Laws made for the Hindu community. The intention of the framers of constitution may be any, but forcing the Hindu Laws upon these 3 minorities under Article 25 (Explanation II) has been a matter of great concern at least for the Sikhs.

It is more questionable when one of the Hindu Laws, i.e Hindu Marriage Act has been forced upon the Sikhs, whereas the other minority communities like Muslims, Christians and Parsi’s have been given the benefit of being governed by their own Matrimonial laws.

It came as a big achievement when in the event of a Supreme Court of India judgment, registration of marriages became compulsory. Sikhs who were being forced  to get their marriages registered under Hindu Marriage Act, worked hard to get an amendment in an already existing Act, known as Anand marriage Act 1909, which was passed by British governor generals legislative council , which for the first time recognized the marriage performed by Sikhs, through “Anand” popularly now known as “Anand Karaj”. The amendment was made by Central Government in 2012, by adding section 6 to the said Anand Marriage Act and making a provision for registration of marriages performed through Anand Karaj / Anand.

After the amendment by the Central Govt, the states had to make their own rules to facilitate registration of the marriages of the Sikhs under this Act. However on collecting of information under RTI Act by me it has come to light that except for Haryana state, which made the rules in 2014, no other state has as yet framed the rules. Resultantly the Sikhs are being forced by the circumstances to get their marriages registered under “Hindu Marriage Act” instead of “Anand Marriage Act”.

India as a nation is conglomerate of various religions and cultures and it is a must that the laws meet the aspirations of its citizens, so that its citizens can feel the glow of freedom to practice, profess and propagate their religion without coming into clash with each other and the envision of the framers of the constitution of Secular, Socialist Democratic nation can be achieved in its letter and spirit.