In the early nineteenth century serious situation arise the rights normally enjoyed by women were often withdrawn when she married. Indeed, a woman gave up so many civil and property rights under law upon crossing the doorstep that she was said to be entering a state of “civil death.” But this arose unhappy circumstance with partially because Indian law was based upon English common law. So Predicated on “precedent and fixed principles,” common law had dictated on subordinate position for women. Married women generally were not allowed to make contracts, devise wills, take part in other legal transactions, or control any wages they might earn. Besides one of the few legal advantages of marriage for a woman was that her husband was obligated to support her and be responsible for her debts.
So it is highly doubtful that these latter provisions outweighed the lack of other rights, particularly in the area women faced the most severe restriction, property rights under poor unpleasant law. Further the rights for which a revolution were denied women as they were to slaves, lunatics and idiots.
- CURRENT ISSUE
So with existing Indian laws don’t provide equal rights to women to inherit agricultural land. And even when there are that have progressive provisions in this regard, they are not effectively implemented, and women continue to be denied their rights.
Further under the current scenario of things, there is an overwhelming maze of laws that govern inheritance provisions.
Besides there are personal or religious laws enacted at the national level, there are also state revenue laws enacted by each state. As per the Indian Constitution, succession is part of the concurrent list, meaning both states and Centre can legislate on this aspect. But agricultural land is a state subject, which takes succession of agricultural land into the states domain.
Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Delhi have the most regressive inheritance provisions that explicitly prefer male descendants over females under law. Because when of these states, and even when a woman gets land, her rights are limited, which means she often loses the rights if she remarries or if she doesn’t cultivate land for a specific period.
So first and foremost, we need to recognise women as independent individuals, in other words of law as well as in spirit. Today, most land laws do not pass the test of gender equality. Further it is a need to review all land laws with a gender lens and identify areas where there is either overt or covert discrimination against women. The incongruences in inheritance provisions in state laws need to be addressed in states.
So as legal legitimacy must essentially be accompanied with efforts to establish the social legitimacy of women’s claims. So it concerted efforts are required to shift patriarchal (were men hold primary power) attitudes and gendered norms expressed by government officials, elected leaders and other thought leaders in the civic space under it.
So in today’s world, it conclude that land is one of the most significant productive assets, and inheritance is a central way to own it. So, further ownership of agricultural land strengthens a woman’s identity into an individual and gives her the strength necessary to exercise her agency.
Because the land specifically increases her visibility and recognition as a farmer, which essentially means enhanced inclusion in the entire land and value chain. It increases her access to technical knowledge, government schemes, institutional credit, farming inputs, and market linkages, and has the power to disrupt the cycle of poverty and exclusion under it
So in addition, many argue that because daughters move to other villages after marriage, allowing them to inherit their parents land will lead to fragmentation of agricultural lands. But such concerns are not raised in the case of sons who migrate to urban areas or to other countries. Because of these double standards emerge from patriarchy. So the people responsible for making and implementing these laws often carry these biases with law.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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