I feel, Inter-faith marriages, where no religious conversion is involved, can undo a lot of the damage that Communalism and Patriarchal disapproval of Choice Marriages do to the society. Do you agree? Then why is there such little information about the Special Marriage Act?
R. Nithya shared the link to her article – When Religious Identity Trumps Love in Building New Relationships
Before Zeba and Amit got into a romantic relationship, they had already been good friends for over a year; however, during that time, the idea of being in a romantic relationship with each other was always dismissed and cast aside as the religious divide seemed unbridgeable and the idea of ever being together as a married couple seemed an impossibility.
Since they were an inter-religious couple, they felt a court marriage was the way to go. So they consulted a lawyer to learn about court marriages. The lawyer, however, advised them against a court marriage by telling them that the process was long, complicated and fraught with bureaucratic hurdles. He instead suggested to opt for an easier route and get married at an Arya Samaj Mandir.
“If I had known then about the Special Marriage Act, or if the advocate had informed us about it, I would have married under that,” Zeba said.
The Special Marriage Act of 1954, unlike religious personal marriage laws, allows a person to marry without converting to his/her partner’s religion.
The Gujarat government has asked courts not to register marriages unless there’s parental consent in writing.[link]