Custom is one of the primary sources of Hindu Law…

Excerpts from Dr. Rajendra Prasad’s rebuttal to Nehru’s inclination to force Hindu Code Bills on Hindus…

The Hindu Law, as I understand it, gives the greatest latitude for changes to be introduced. Unlike the personal laws of any other community it recognises custom as one of the primary sources of law and it is well known that in course of time and according to the convenience, growth or progress of the Hindu community the law under the sanction of custom has been radically changed in different regions, sometimes in direct contravention of the texts of the shrutis and the smritis which are supposed or said to be the original sources of law by the Hindus.

We can watch and see almost from day to day how changes are taking place and if one casts even a cursory glance on what the Hindu society was even during our boyhood and compares it with what it is today, one cannot fail to be struck by the tremendous changes that have come about without any legislation and are legalized under the sanction of custom which is ever changing and ever growing.

I, therefore, do not see the necessity for hurried legislation to affect only the Hindu Society and no others although the latter may be enjoying or suffering from the effects of same or similar provisions in the personal law.

Dr. Rajendra Prasad,

In his Letter to Jawaharlal Nehru, 15/09/1951, New Delhi.

Pilgrimage to Freedom – Page 579.

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