The right to marriage is a fundamental right given to both males and females
under Article 21 of the Constitution but its practical interpretation in an
Indian family is hard to find. Marriage is one of the universal social
institution.. The right to marriage is one of the personal rights because in
marriage it is essential to have a unique bond between the spouse and to have a
meeting of the minds of the two to live together.
President George W. Bush understands the necessity of marriage and has said, he
will support an amendment to the Constitution that defends marriage against the
threats from the cultural breakdown. Marriage must remain the standard for
family life in the society We cannot renew our country when, within a decade,
more than half of our children will be born into families where there is no
The purpose of marriage is to spiritually, emotionally and physically unite a
man and a women together, as husband and wife, in a covenantal relationship
between themselves and their Creator. Spiritually in the sense to get spiritual
benefit by performing religious duties.
Right to marriage:
Marriage is one of the sacred sacraments of everyone’s life. After the
establishment of a sociological society, marriage was accepted as a social
institution for creating a civilized and ideal society. Marriage is the
legitimate union of two persons and gives legal rights to them against each
other. It is a relationship where there are no contractual terms but only trust
and love bound together by the conditions of support of each other.
From the international perspective, the right to marriage is supported by the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UN) under Article 16.
Marriage, according to the Hindu Law, Marriage is a body for the performance of
religious duties. It is deemed as a holy union in Hindu Law. It is also
considered to be an union of flesh and flesh and blood and blood. It is a
religious sacrament and not a civil contract.
According to Hari Singh Gour:
“A marriage is an alliance between man and woman recognized by law. It is
sometimes defined as an act, ceremony or process by which relationship of
husband and wife is constituted. It is to be pointed out that the meaning of
marriage differs in different countries.”
Problems in India:
Indian peoples have more egos in relations rather than logic. In India, marriage
seems to be a contract between elders for the entire life of their younger ones.
In the major portion of the country till today the marriage of two persons is
held by the choice of elders. The couples are not even allowed to see each other
before the marriage. India is a secular country but when a boy or a girl wishes
to marry into another religion or wish to change their religion for marriage it
became a debate topic for the whole nation.
There are uncountable religious issues in every Indian family and instead of
respecting the love and understanding in relationships; here priority is given
to religion and castes firstly if it is qualified then secondly to horoscopes
and astrology if it is qualified then to the financial backgrounds.
So basically it is a contract between the two families. In between all the mess
of customs and religions the rights of couples who wants to get married are lost
in load, ego, and respect of family. Forced marriage and child marriage is
illegal in India and in order to protect the marriage rights there are different
statutes such as Hindu Marriage Act 1955, Special Marriage Act 1954, Dissolution
of Muslim Marriage Act 1939, etc. but in the view of choices of marriage, they
are just a legislative work without its execution.
Indian Judiciary in regard to Marriage Rights:
India is a free democratic country with a general perception that no parents
think worse for their children for a long time. Judiciary is silent in a matter
of personal beliefs, but in the recent judgment, the Supreme Court has
interpreted the rights of marriage as fundamental rights.
Supreme Court in its recent landmark judgment of Safin Jahan V/S Ashokan KM &
 set aside the judgement of Kerala High Court and allowed a Muslim
convert girl, to live with her husband Safin Jahan and stated that:
The father in his own stand and perception may feel that there has been an
enormous transgression of his right to protect the interest of his daughter but
his viewpoint and position cannot be allowed to curtail the fundamental rights
of her daughter, who out of her own violation married the appellant. The right
to marry a person of his/her owns choice is an integral part of Article 21 of
the Indian Constitution.
If someone is forced to marry and anyone makes an effort to marry anyone against
his / her will, then he/ she can make a complaint before the nearest police
station and can take help and protection from the officers. Women can also opt
for the National Commission for Women helpline for fast redressal.
The right to marry by own choice should be the fundamental right of every
individual because it is a relationship between two persons and they have to
maintain it for a lifetime so it is correct to choose partner by own choices and
there should be equal respect in between them. Forced marriage against the will
is an offence. Similarly, the conversion of religion for marriage is also a
fundamental and personal right of every individual irrespective of family
customs. And everyone is free to choose and worship any God or Goddess.
- (2018) 16 SCC 368, AIR 2018 SC 1933.