Can a woman have two husbands in India?

Can a woman have two husbands in India?

30 Sec Answer: No, a woman in India is not legally allowed to have two husbands. This violates the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and polygamy is illegal in India under Section 494 of the Indian Penal Code.


India has an incredibly diverse population and many different beliefs and customs. In this article, we will explore the concept of polyandry, or having two husbands at once, in India. We will look at the laws surrounding this practice, as well as cultural and religious views on it. By the end of this article, readers should be able to understand why polyandry is illegal in India and gain a better understanding of its history.

History of Polyandry in India

Polyandry has been practiced in parts of India for centuries. The ancient Indian tradition of niyoga allows a widow to take on another husband if her first one dies without producing any children. Niyoga was also used when there were no suitable male heirs available to inherit property. However, these practices are no longer common in modern-day India due to various social and legal changes.

Cultural Attitudes Towards Polyandry

The practice of polyandry is seen as taboo by many Indians today, especially within Hindu communities where monogamy is traditionally preferred. This view is largely influenced by traditional gender roles that prioritize male authority within marriage and familial relationships. Additionally, since many women’s roles are already limited by patriarchal systems of power, they may find it difficult to fulfill their obligations to multiple husbands at once.

Religious Views on Polyandry

Most religions in India forbid the practice of polyandry due to its perceived immorality. In Hinduism specifically, multiple marriages are not considered ideal since they can cause disruption to family dynamics and lead to disharmony between relatives. Similarly, other major religions like Buddhism and Islam frown upon such unions since they go against accepted moral codes for how families should be structured and behave.

Legal Status of Polyandry

Under Indian law, polyandry is prohibited because it violates the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 which states that marriage must involve only one man and one woman. Additionally, polygamy (the practice of having more than one wife) is also outlawed in India under Section 494 of the Indian Penal Code. These laws serve as a deterrent against polyandrous marriages but are rarely enforced due to their outdated nature and lack of relevance in modern society.

Potential Benefits of Polyandry

Although polyandry may be frowned upon by some members of society, it does offer certain benefits that could be beneficial for those involved. For example, it provides more stability for women who would otherwise struggle financially if their first husband died or abandoned them suddenly. It also offers an opportunity for men who cannot produce children themselves to become fathers through a second husband’s childbearing capabilities. Finally, polyandrous marriages can help reduce economic strain on families by sharing resources between multiple households rather than relying solely on one partner’s income source.


In conclusion, polyandry remains illegal in India despite its potential benefits for those involved. This prohibition stems from both religious beliefs and current legal statutes that favor monogamous unions over polyamorous ones. Nevertheless, there are still cultures that accept polyamory or allow women to have multiple husbands under specific circumstances such as niyoga which was popularized centuries ago but is now less commonly practiced today due to changing attitudes towards gender roles and sexual orientation throughout India

Samantha Greenfield

Samantha Greenfield was born and raised in a small town in the rural countryside of Washington state. From a young age, she was drawn to the natural world and spent much of her time exploring the forests and fields around her home. As she grew older, she became increasingly interested in the intersection of nature, spirituality, and personal growth, and began to study Buddhism and mindfulness in depth. After completing her undergraduate degree in Environmental Science, Samantha decided to pursue a career in nature conservation and spent several years working with various non-profit organizations and government agencies on conservation projects around the world. Along the way, she discovered a passion for writing and began to document her adventures and insights in a series of personal blogs and articles. In recent years, Samantha has turned her focus to sharing her knowledge and experiences with a wider audience and has become a popular speaker and workshop leader on topics related to Buddhism, mindfulness, and personal growth. She is currently working on a book about the intersection of nature, spirituality, and mindfulness, and continues to be an active advocate for environmental conservation and sustainability.

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