Is patriarchy still prevailing over the amended Hindu inheritance act of 2005?

Is patriarchy still prevailing over the amended Hindu inheritance act of 2005?


The amendment to the Hindu inheritance act in 2005 was a landmark judgement and had every intentions of expelling patriarchy from the society when it comes to inheriting the ancestral properties. Gender biased is something our ancestors have always been but this historical amendment should have brought new lights into the lives of girls who were denied inherence to their father's property. However, survey statistics still show otherwise. Not much has changed after the amendment act. Majority of women in India are still ignorant of their rights. Only the male successors get the inherent property and the girl is expected to have only that which her husband inherits from his father. Not much has changed after all. Are there loops in the amended act or are women ignorant of their rights?


1. Though the amendment that brought daughters at par with the sons in inheriting properties was quite a historical judgement, there was not much buzz about it unlike the other acts of the same year like RTI, Domestic Violence Act and NREGA. Many women who are not much exposed to the happenings in the law making of the country are ignorant of this amendment that gives them rights to stay protected from patriarchy of the society.

2. Government did its part well while promoting and ensuring implementation of RTI. The same was seen lacking when it came to spreading awareness about the amendment to Hindu inheritance act of 2005. Therefore, data suggests that there has been very little implementation of this act while distribution of property was concerned in low and middle class families. Male successors still seem to be benefiting all the rights to properties of ancestors.

3. Due to apprehensions of straining relations with brothers, girls usually do not claim their rights over the ancestral properties. These are loops which needs to be filled if gender biasness has to be eradicated.

4. Another loop in the amended law is regarding a childless widow dying without leaving behind a will. In these cases all the property goes to the husband's heirs. She would also be inheriting properties from her father and hence all the property should be equally distributed amongst man and the woman's heirs.

5. Section 19 of the Special Marriage Act is a loophole of its own kind. It states that any marriage performed under that law of a Hindu belonging to an undivided joint family shall be deemed to result in his "severance from such family". Those resorting to civil marriage to avoid ceremonies and to marry outside community would not be allowed to inherit the ancestral property. This is absolutely against the constitutional rights and must be amended. Inter-cast and inter-religion marriages are not supposed to be objected by Indian laws.

6. The law extends only to ancestral inherited properties and not to self acquired properties. These days since most of the properties are self acquired, daughters do not get their righteous share in their father's property which goes to the male counterparts of the family. This gender discriminating law has to be further amended to free it from these loopholes.


1. Women who are even aware of the amendment and their rights in the ancestral property do not claim their share for the fear of staining relations with the brothers. In more cases, the property is the one in which the brothers and his family resides and hence the girl does not initiate the claim for a partition. The law does not have as many loopholes as the persisting apprehensions and ignorance does.

2. The amendment has strengthened the position of women in the family who were denied rights to inherence prior to the amendment of 2005. This law has empowered daughters to be financially independent and symbolically at par with their male counterparts in the family. If their marriage breaks down or does not seem to be working, they can independently decide if they want to go for a divorce without having to strain about her financial condition.

3. Regarding self acquired property the father cannot be bound or restricted to leave the entire share for his sons and daughters. He has earned them through years of hard work and has absolute rights of gifting the same to whomsoever he wishes to. He might want to will his entire property to one of the daughters of between a daughter and a son, excluding some of his children from his will. Regarding self acquired property it would be wrong to enforce the same rule.


It is clear that the Hindu successors act has some loopholes that needs amendment if it is all about women empowerment and to ensure gender equality. The amendment of 2005 was indeed a good change from the old system which allowed inherence rights only to men but now it is time for a sequel to the amendment to ensure that those loopholes which were not considered earlier to be promote patriarchy should be filled in this light. Moreover, this time the government must not repeat the same mistake of not spreading awareness after the law has been amended once again. Women need to know that it is absolutely right and fair if they claim the inherent property of their fathers and forefathers. Patriarchy could be ruled out only when women begin respecting their rights and come out to claim them without apprehensions.
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  • RE: Is patriarchy still prevailing over the amended Hindu inheritance act of 2005? -Deepa Kaushik (06/18/15)
  • Removing the concept of Patriarchy is the main aim of amending Hindu Inheritance act of 2005. The amendments done were appreciable and good to acknowledge. the Act does covers the concern of Patriarchy, yet it doesn't cover the complete issue of inheritance of the property. The act just holds good for the inheritance of ancestral property, when it comes to the distribution amongst the legal heirs including females. Still, the act doesn't clarify the inheritance of the self-acquired property of father by their daughters.

    Despite the loopholes, the act is well amended in comparison to the earlier one and holds good for the females in case of ancestral property inheritance. What more was required at the very instance during the amendment was the awareness amongst the females especially from the rural and illiterate background, who could be cheated very easily.

    We cannot say that it is the soul negligence by the Government when it comes to ignorance regarding the issue. Every sensible citizen carries the duty of spreading awareness amongst the masses. And, it is not the ignorance alone that remains the reason for the patriarchy to prevail. The mentality of the society to suppress women emotionally and consider her to be the weaker section in the male dominant environment is another major concern of the patriarchy despite the inheritance act.

    Though we cannot blame everyone for being a part of the male dominant society, as we can see females enjoying their rights with the help of this Act in this same society. We can visualize males playing the role of their good friend, philosopher and guide in excising their rights. Still, we cannot overlook the segment who try to suppress women and follow the trend of patriarchy. It is high time and nothing is at the blaming status. All we need is courage and awareness among our females to utilize their rights.