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Priyanka Bose Kanta


The Hindus constitute the largest minority group

in Bangladesh.

Given the fact that the Buddhist community also

follows the Hindu personal family laws, Hindu laws
have a major impact on the lives of a substantial
portion of the population of Bangladesh.

The Shastric Hindu Laws as applies in our country

is discriminatory towards women and no major
step has been taken to reform these laws.

Summary of the

Womens Right to property

Womens right in marriage
Womens right to adoption

Right to property

Hindu law as applies in Bangladesh excludes a large number

of women from inheritance.

Hinduism makes this in the interest of joint Hindu family

system or in order to prevent the breakdown of the joint
Hindu family system.

According to Hindu law as followed in Bangladesh daughters

are completely excluded from inheritance in presence of

Additionally traditional Hindu

ownership of female heirs.




Inheritance contd.

In Bangladesh Dayabhaga school of Hindu law

prevails in which rules of inheritance are guided
by the doctrine of spiritual benefit.

The doctrine implies the right of male heirs to

offer oblations to purify for conferring spiritual
benefit to his father and ancestors.

On the basis of this guiding principle there exists

a chronological list of heirs which also shows their
(heirs) priority in terms of succeeding an estate.

Inheritance contd.

Females succeeding as heirs whether to a

male or a female takes a limited estate
inherited by them.

They can only use and enjoy the income of

the property, but cant alienate such
property generally.

Male succeeding as heirs whether to a male

or female takes absolutely.

Inheritance contd.

Moreover, The female can neither be a full

owner nor can she be a fresh stock of

That means after the death of the female

heir, the property goes back to the original
owner from whom she inherited.

The succession then will take place among

the next kin of the original last full owner.

Inheritance contd.

In default of widow, daughter succeeds as an heir.

Daughter cant succeed unless all widows are dead.

The daughters right is based on the fact that

although she cannot offer oblation, her son can do.

So a daughter who has no son or likely to have no

son, she is excluded.

Under the Dayabhaga School, the

daughter is first entitled to succeed.


Inheritance contd.

If there are no maiden daughter, then the daughter

who has and the daughter who likely to have son
succeed together.

In no circumstances, can the daughters who are

either barren or widow without male issue, or mother
of a daughter can inherit property.

However a barren married daughter can stop

inheritance of his fathers property to reversionary by
creating son by adoption with the consent of her

Womens right in marriage

Hindu marriage is perceived to be everlasting,

continuing even after the death of the parties

The primary and sacramental object of it is to give

birth to a male issue, thus leading to discrimination
from the very beginning against the girl child.

A son is necessary to continue the family lineage

and participate in the Shraddha or funeral
ceremony in order to confer spiritual benefit on the
father and other ancestors.

right in marriage (contd.)

As Hindu marriage is considered an eternal, unbreakable

and indissoluble union, dissolution of marriage is not legally
permissible in Bangladesh whatever may be the cause.

Even though unlimited polygamy is allowed polyandry is

prohibited under Hindu law.

A Hindu woman, as a mother, is also discriminated during

her daughters marriage since mother is very low on the list
of approved guardians for marriage

and for a valid marriage a proper guardian must give in


right in marriage (contd.)

Enactment of laws to protect Hindu womens rights in Bangladesh is

being thwarted by conservatives.

Although Articles 19(1) and 19(2) and 28 of the Constitution provide

clear provisions that the state will ensure equal rights to all citizens
and remove social and economic disparities

no government came up with steps to reform Hindu laws for

protecting Hindu women's rights.

There was no provision for marriage registration in traditional Hindu

law but recently a new law titled the Hindu Marriage Registration
Act, 2012 has been enacted.
the Act has been passed keeping the provision of
registration optional.

Womens right to adoption

The aim of adoption under the Shastric Hindu law

that applies in Bangladesh is two-fold.

The first is religious, that is, to obtain a son able to take

part in the funeral ceremonies of the father
the second is secular, that is, to carry on the family name.

Under the Shastric Hindu law as applied in

Bangladesh, only a male can be adopted.

A Hindu male, single or married, enjoys

unrestricted rights in case of adoption,.

Adoption contd.

On the other hand, a Hindu woman can't adopt by

herself but only with the consent of her husband.
A wife cant adopt without the consent of her
husband if he is alive and able to give such consent.
A widow under the Dayabagha School may adopt if
her husband gives implied or express consent before
his death.
She has no right herself, she is deemed to act
merely as an agent, or representative of her
A wife can but no other female can adopt.