Most of the Sikhs have asked me how will Sikh community benefit with this Act. Let me tell you all in detail –
First of all, the demand for Anand Marriage Act was made way back in 1909. The demand for Anand Marriage Act was first made when it was realized that the certificate of Marriage to Sikhs is issued under Hindu Marriage Act which created conflict in legal procedures for Sikhs citing Sikhism as their religion.
Sikh marriage ceremonies are known as ‘Anand Karaj’ and so it was felt that the Marriage certificate should specify Anand Karaj.
The demand for the Act was raised by Akali Dal only. Veteran Akali leader Sundar Singh Majithia Ji was the one who stressed upon the need of a law to regulate Sikh marriages.
Not many people are aware that a long battle had to be fought for enacting the Act and its implementation.
Sikhs going abroad were facing difficulties showing their marriage certificate under Hindu Marriage Act while quoting their religion as Sikh. So, once again, this forgotten Act was brought on table. This Act has been cleared since 2012 by the then President, Smt. Pratibha Devi Singh Patil Ji. All the states of India were asked to implement it individually whereby Anand Marriage Act certificate was to be issued to Sikh couples getting married. No such problem will arise once they get their marriage registered under Anand Marriage Act.
However, not all states took the initiative of implementing the act. In Punjab, Shiromani Akali Dal & BJP government implemented it. Shiromani Akali Dal President S. Sukhbir Singh Badal entrusted the responsibility of getting Anand Marriage Act implemented to Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee all across India.
In sync with Badal Sahab’s vision, I have been following up with the Chief Ministers and Chief Secretaries of different states for implementation of the act. I even met Chief Ministers, Lieutenant Governors and Chief Secretaries of different states in this regard.
Anand Marriage Act has been a long standing demand of the Sikh community. Punjab, Haryana, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh and Meghalaya are the five states of India where the Act has been implemented while Delhi, Bihar, Assam, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, UP and Uttarakhand are completing the process to implement it soon. I am making all efforts and extending maximum support to get it implemented in the remaining states. We are providing document and procedural support to the states whenever they ask us, in context of understanding Anand Karaj and Anand Marriage Act.
With the implementation of Anand Marriage Act in many states, more than a century-old demand of the Sikhs has been fulfilled.
I now request every Sikh young men and women to ask for their Anand Marriage Certificate from the Marriage Registrar of their state or concerned SDM who are duty-bound to issue Anand Marriage Certificate under registration of Anand Marriage Act, 2012. Any refusal to issue the certificate, knowingly or unknowingly, amounts to violation of law.