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‘Self-respect’ marriages

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Source: IE

 Context: The Supreme Court of India recently ruled that “self-respect” marriages are valid under the Hindu Marriage Act

  • The court overruled a 2014 Madras High Court ruling that stated that marriages performed by advocates are invalid.
  • The court ruled that advocates can solemnize “self-respect” marriages in their personal capacity as friends or relatives of the couple. However, advocates should not solemnize these marriages in their professional capacity. The court also ruled that “self-respect” marriages do not need to be publicly declared or solemnized.


The Self-Respect Marriage Law, or Suyamariyathai, was legalized in 1968 by the state of Tamil Nadu. The law allows two Hindus to marry in the presence of friends or relatives without the need for a Brahmin priest or elaborate rituals. The law requires the consent of both parties, who must meet the minimum age requirement for marriage.

 The Self-Respect Marriage Law is considered an alternative to conventional marriages. It disregards Brahminical rituals, caste endogamy, religious restrictions, and gender norms.


The Self-Respect Movement was a social movement that began in 1925 in Tamil Nadu, India. The movement’s goal was to create a new society without caste, religion, or god. The movement’s founder, E.V. Ramaswamy Naicker, also known as Periyar, wanted to reject the Brahmanical religion and culture.

The Self-Respect Movement was also called the Dravidian Movement. The movement demanded equal rights for the backward castes, with a focus on women’s rights.