Who Is A Hindu As Per Hindu Law? 1

This article is important as most of us fail to answer this when asked about ‘Who is Hindu?’. 

Hindu is not defined anywhere but the Hindu Marriage Act makes it clear who is Hindu and to whom the Hindu Laws are applicable like Hindu Marriage Act 1955, Hindu Succession Act 1956, etc.

  • Section 2 of the Hindu Marriage Act states to whom this act applies and the same applies to the Hindu Succession Act, Hindu Adoption & Maintenance Act, and Hindu Guardianship Act.
  • Section 2 states the following important points about the term ‘Hindu‘:
    1. The act applies to any person who is Hindu by religion and includes Virashaiva, Lingayat, or a follower of Brahmo, Prartha, or Arya Samaj. [Section 2(1)(a)]
    2. To any person who is Buddhist Jaina or Sikh by religion; [section 2(1)(b)]
    3. Any person who is domiciled in the territory of India but is not a Muslim, Christian, Parsi, jew, etc, unless proved by him, that he is not governed by this Hindu law. [Section 2(1)(c)]
    4. Any child, legitimate or illegitimate, both of whose parents are Hindu, Buddhist, Jaina, or Sikh by Religion.
    5. Any child, legitimate or illegitimate any one of whose parents are Hindu, Buddhist, Jaina, Sikh by religion.
    6. Any person converted or reconverted into Hindu, Buddhist, Jain or Sikh.

Therefore, Hindu law includes Buddhists, Jaina, and Sikhs since all these religions have grown and flourished within the Indian sub-continent as compared to other religions that are not included under section 2(1)(b), namely, Muslim, Jew, Christian, or Parsi. These religions grew outside the Indian Subcontinent.

1 thought on “Who Is A Hindu As Per Hindu Law?

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