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Hindu Law in its Sources (Set of 2 Volumes)

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Item Code: UAS652
Author: Ganganatha Jha
Publisher: Bharatiya Vidya Prakashan, Delhi
Language: English & Sanskrit
Edition: 2022
ISBN: 9788121703246
Pages: 1290
Other Details 9.50 X 6.50 inch
Weight 2.08 kg
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Book Description

A few lines will suffice to explain the contingency of this work have been undertaken by one who has had absolutely no training as a lawyer. My old lamented friend B. Govinda Dasa held strongly the opinion-which be succeeded in instilling into my mind also-that in view of the declared policy of the British Government that the personal law of the Hindus should as far as possible be administered in accordance with their own ancient laws, it is essential that these latter should be codified and made available and understandable by our judges and lawyers. To this end I moved a resolution in the Council of State in 1920. The Government of India received this proposal with due sympathy and under took to ascertain the opinion of the more important persons and institutions in the country. After the lapse of an year I was told that the view generally expressed had been that the task of codifying the entire personal law of the Hindus was too stupendous to be undertaken and that the best course was to do the work piecemeal. I had to leave things at that. We have seen during all these ten years the trend of legislation in connection with Hindu Law on piecemeal lines. The Personal Law of the Hindus is so complicated and inter related in its various factors that piecemeal legislation is bound to be a failure and to create greater confusion than there exists already. Even a few of the recent legislative acts and proposals suffice to give us at least one example of this confusion. There is a proposal (I do not know if it has become law yet) that in the middle of the list of inheritors of property as provided by the Hindu Law-books one or two additions should be made. This proposal lases sight of the basic fact underlying the whole fabric of our Laws of Inheritance. So far as I have been able to understand these laws the order of precedence among inheritors is strictly in accordance with the liability to offer the Shraddha. If that be so, will it be right and fair to interpolate now names into the list while the legislature cannot, I suppose, interfere with the liability to perform the Shraddha? This is only one example that comes to my mind. If things go on in the same way I am sure several more confusing elements will be introduced, All this however is not my look-out. I still think that some useful purpose would be served by presenting before unbiased people an exact account of what is contained in all the available law-books of the Hindus.

This is what I have attempted to do in this work. I have drawn upon all the available authorities from the Vedas down to the latest digest-writers. I have let them speak for themselves. I do not think I have consciously added a single line of my own comment, because it has been my experience during my studies that people who begin to add their own comments become prone to fasten on the originals their own pre-conceived notions; so that by the time that the work is completed the reader gets an idea, not of the original, but of what the writer of the book thinks should have been the content of the original. This is not my intention. My intention is to present before the reader exactly what the old writers have said. The one defect of my work therefore which will be manifest is that it is crude and undigested. All that I can say in defence in that it is intentionally so, because almost every branch of our ancient literature, specially Philosophy and Law, has suffered by the process of digesting and 1 have therefore studiously avoided it. It will be seen that I have not tried to slur over or conceal anything, not even those things that may be considered by the wiser present-day Hindu to be a blot on his glorious culture. It is for the reader to judge if I have succeeded in giving him a true and intelligible account of the content of our law-books, The first four chapters deal with Procedure and Evidence. The interest of readers in these subjects will be purely academicals, or, at best, historic). It has therefore not been thought necessary to add the original Sanskrit texts. Chapter V and the rest deal with the Laws relating to Debt and the other titles of law, incorporating the whole of our Civil and Criminal Law. As portions of these may still have some bearing on the practical administration of law in this country, it was considered advisable,-particularly at the instance of my friend and neighbour Pandit Narmadeshwar Prasad Upadhyaya of the High Court Bar-to add the original Sanskrit texts.

The present volume deals with Seventeen out of the Eighteen Heads of Dispute under which Hindu Law has been classified; the eighteenth Head of 'Inheritance' will be dealt with in the second volume which is ready and in the Press.

Book's Contents and Sample Pages

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