The American Sikh Council (ASC) is perplexed and astonished at the method used by the Indian legislature to delude the Sikhs of India in reference to the newly enacted “Anand Marriage Act” purportedly meant for any and all ‘Sikhs’ wanting to get married within the confines of India.
According to a major Indian newspaper ‘Tribune’ dated February 3, 2018:
Sikh marriages in Delhi will now be registered under the Anand Marriage Act instead of the Hindu Marriage Act as Lt Governor Anil Baijal today gave his approval to notify the rules in the national capital, an official said today. The official said after the Anand Marriage Act rules were notified in a day or two, Sikhs would not be required to get their weddings registered under the Hindu Marriage Act……..
Little do the vast majority of Sikhs know how the ‘Anand Marriage Act’ got enacted recently? The Sikhs as a Faith community till today are legally anchored, according to ‘Article 25 (b) of the Indian constitution and defined as Hindus. To date any Sikh who wants to get married in India and receive proof of marriage requires a marriage certificate issued by a government municipal or city office which states clearly, “Under the Hindu Marriage Act”. Unless and until the very basic foundational law in the Indian constitution is changed and corrected to accurately describe the Sikhs as an ‘independent world religion with their own personal laws’ all else will remain a farce.
Since the Indian government steadfastly adheres to Article 25 (b) which completely undermines the validity of anyone professing to be a Sikh according to their law, instead making ad hoc changes and simply changing and making up a name, such as the ‘Anand Marriage Act’ which remains directly under the Article 25 (b) it is a mockery to logic and common sense.
For example; if a Hindu wants to get married, they already have a law to issue them a marriage certificate. Under the same law the Hindus will have a second option to get married under the Anand Marriage Act. In fact if a Hindu wants to get married under the Anand Marriage Act there is nothing to stop them! It sound strange because, nowhere is the word Sikh mentioned anywhere in this ‘Anand Marriage Act. Has anyone wondered why the word ‘Sikh’ is missing from the new Act?
It is not as simple as it looks, because if a Sikh couple got married under the new Anand Marriage Act, many legal issues will still remain under the Hindu Marriage Act which further proves the monumental fraud on the Sikhs. The new Act cannot stand by itself unless and until the entire ‘personal law’ for the Sikhs is changed as there are several questions.
First is the condition relating to marriage being monogamous, age, mental status, etc; second is conjugal rights, separation rights, etc; third is jurisdiction and procedures; and fourth is relating to custody, maintenance, property rights, etc.
The choice is very straightforward! Either the Indian establishment enacts a secular law covering all religions and absolutely does not interfere in the religious aspect at all, or they have to completely delink the Sikhs from the Hindus and have completely separate personal laws since many other faiths in India have their own independent personal laws, like for Christians in 1872, for Parses in 1936, and for Muslims in 1939. All these three faiths have their own complete separate set of personal laws without diluting their independence or their religious protocol relating to marriage and associated issues.
Sikh Indian Politicians, religious leaders and many others seem to be infatuated and elated with this new ‘Anand Marriage Act’ when in fact they should be extremely concerned about being hoodwinked and defrauded into believing that there has been a great favor and accomplishment done on their behalf by the Indian (Hindu) establishment. There will be many who think that ‘something is better than nothing’!
The Sikhs have been deluded enough times that they do not need more legal confusion to obfuscate a clear and fundamentally sound law which lends to a legitimate demand of the Sikhs for more than 68 years.
Simply put unless and until Article 25 (b) is clearly amended all else is a fraud on the Sikh nation.