Inter-Caste and Inter-Religion Arya Samaj Marriage in India
Right from the ancient society to the present one, ‘Marriage’ concept in India is regarded as a highly sacred institution which involves the meeting of the two minds and souls for material as well as psychological satisfaction. Though, in traditional times, inter-caste and inter-religious marriages used to be prohibited in many sections of societies but, with the passage of time various changes have been observed.
Now, with an increase in modernization, democratization, Westernization, and development, the majority of the people have taken a back seat from the traditional ‘ill social practices.’ And, to help them in detouring more from the above said, multiple legislation for instance ‘The Special Marriage Act, 1954’ has been enacted by the Parliament of India to provide scope for marrying outside the caste and religion.
Therefore, people of all caste, creed or religion are now opting for Arya Samaj marriages instead of going for traditional Hindu weddings! Arya Samaj Marriage which is governed by the ‘Hindu Marriage Act of 1957’along with the provision of ‘Special Marriage Act of 1954 and Arya Samaj Marriage Validation Act of 1937’ in India; is considered an opportunity for the people of India and all Indian nationals in foreign countries, to curbs the unfair or prejudicial treatment i.e., the concept of ‘Discrimination’ by marrying to whomever they want irrespective of considering the toxic factors like ‘Caste, Creed, Race, Religion or Standard.’
To be precise, Arya Samaj Marriages is a step towards reforming the Indian society from social evils like untouchability, dowry system, child marriages, and prejudice in marriages based on caste and religion.
Not only that; another reason for the preference of Arya Samaj wedding among couples is that the marriage is done in a simple and least expensive way, unlike the big fat traditional Hindu wedding! Arya Samaj Marriages can be completed only with the bride, groom, and three-eye witnesses within 2-4 hours.
However, in order to solemnize marriage as per the ‘Arya Samaj’ and ‘Arya Samaj Rituals’ the couple needs to first consider ‘Arya Samaj Marriage Eligibility Criterion.’ According to it— the couple must meet the legal marriage age (i.e., 18 years for a girl and 21years for a boy); neither from the couple have a living spouse at the time of marriage; and couples of all religion like Buddhism, Sikhs, Jains, Arya Samaj, and Hindu are eligible but, rest who belongs to non-Hindu religions like Muslims, Christians, Parsis, or Jews must agree to convert themselves into Arya Samaj before the marriage.
As soon as the couple found themselves eligible for the Aya Samaj Marriage, they can arrange the following documents for the solemnization of Arya Samaj Marriage:
- The Marriage invitation card
- Age proof of the bride and groom.
- Address Proof of the bride and groom
- Passport size photographs (around 7) of both the bride and groom
- Three eye-witnesses along with their identity proof, address proof, and also each with having one-one passport size photographs.
- Separate Affidavits from both the bride and groom for confirming—
- The Citizenship,
- Marital Status,
- Nationality &
- Affirmation that they both are not connected to each other within any prohibited relationship.
- A copy of Death Certificate in case if the bride or the groom is widow/widower resp. &
- A copy of Divorce decree in case if either the bride or the groom is divorced.
After that, in the following below-mentioned steps of the procedure, an Arya Samaj Marriage is solemnized in India:
- Step 1: Arrange all the above-listed documents.
- Step 2: Book an appointment in the nearby Arya Samaj Temple like the Arya Samaj Marriage Mandir Delhi.
- Step 3: Receive the appointment letter from the same Arya Samaj Temple.
- Step 4: Visit the same Arya Samaj Temple for the Solemnization of marriage while following these rituals (based on Vedic culture and tradition) —
- Yagna/ Havan
- Four ‘Phere’ of the Holy Fire
- Saptapadi (The bride and groom needs to take together the seven steps signifying health, love, wealth, good luck, strength, food, and offspring)
- Sindoor Daan
- Step 5: Collect the Arya Samaj Marriage certificate from the same Arya Samaj Mandir where the marriage was solemnized.
However, that’s not it! The couple further needs to go through the below-mentioned ‘Marriage Registration Process’ to get the ‘Marriage Certificate of the Government of India’ which is necessary to provide legal status to the Arya Samaj marriage in the eyes of the law.
- For Arya Samaj Wedding registration at the office of the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM), first and foremost, the couple needs to download the marriage registration form from the ‘State Stamps and Registration’ website.
- Then, have to fill the form with all the necessary details of the bride, groom, and eye-witnesses.
- After that, sign it and submit the form in the office of the Registrar of Marriage along with the fees and these documents: Arya Samaj Mandir Marriage Certificate; One Marriage Photograph; 10th Class Certificate; ID Proofs of the bride, groom, and eyewitnesses; and around 4 passport size photographs of the bride and the groom. That’s it!