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Menski, Werner F (2019) 'Hindu Law in Modern Times: How Hindu Law Continues in Modern India.' In: Brekke, Torkel, (ed.), The Oxford History of Hinduism: Modern Hinduism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 244-260.

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Covering the colonial period and modern India, this examination of the complex relationship between law and religion focuses on the impacts of state legal regulation of Hindu law in India. A key question in this chapter is to what extent colonial and postcolonial legal interventions over time have turned ‘Hindu law’ into something far removed from the lived realities of India’s Hindu population. As many Hindus of various kinds in India continue to live by customary norms and ethics, rather than following modern state law, significant discrepancies between the formal law and the ‘living law’ of Hindus are manifest, forcing the law to adjust to society, rather than driving its development. This indicates that ‘the right law’ for India today is a culture-specific, deeply pluralist construct with Hindu elements, a hybrid entity continuously challenged to prove that it is a ‘good law’.

Item Type: Book Chapters
Keywords: constitution, dharma, Hindu law, Hindu marriage, personal law
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Law
ISBN: 9780198790839
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2021 08:30

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