‘Law, religion and marriage: Arya Samaj Marriage in Indian courts’ by Dr. Anuja Agarwal

Dr. Anuja Agarwal from Department of Sociology, University of Delhi presented his research entitled ‘Law, religion and marriage: Arya Samaj Marriage in Indian courts’ at the Sociological Research Colloquium.

When: Friday, 27th October 2017 at 3:00 p.m.

Where: Seminar Room (First Floor), Department of Sociology, University of Delhi 


This paper is a part of a larger project on marriage in Arya Samaj, a ‘brand of reinterpreted and modern Hinduism’ (Jones 1976) founded by Dayanand Saraswati in late 19th century. The paper will draw from one major section of this work which is concerned with the prominent role of the Arya Samaj in the solemnization of marriages in Indian society. Arya Samaj is well known as the provider of quick and easy marriage services, particularly for those lacking familial consent. But although the Arya Samaj has been a harbinger of transgressive unions for a while now, its role in conducting such marriages is also increasingly attracting judicial scrutiny. Setting the Arya Samaj marriage services in a broad legal historical context, in this paper I wish to highlight the limits and capacities of the ambiguous legal space occupied by marriage services offered by the institutions functioning in the name of Arya Samaj, which is evident in the restrictions and regulations it is increasingly encountering and adopting as well.

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