Is cousin marriage legal in India? One of my maternal cousins is getting married to his paternal first cousin. Can my cousin be arrested? Is it even moral? The Hindu Marriage Act states it is illegal unless it is a regional custom. What defines that?




Nisha Devi

In Hindu customs not all first cousins or are allowed to married but only some.

Marriage between First cousins or cousins with same family name is strictly prohibited.

Marriage between father’s brother’s children or your mother’s sister’s children is strictly prohibited because indirectly they become your siblings.

You can marry your father’s sister’s children or your mother’s brother’s children.








Roshini Sasank Motamarry


Is second cousin marriage allowed in India?

India has many religions and within each religion multiple other divisions(caste, state etc). In hindu's both maternal and paternal side this scenario marriage is strictly prohibited by elders. But today's generation love, like is given more weightage. Not only 2nd cousin even 1st cousins are getting married. Within my family relations like brother sister(1st cousins), nephew and aunt-sis, nephew and great aunt(aunts distant aunt), uncle and neice are now husband and wife :).






Raja Ekka

As per Hindu Marriage Act ,

All kinds of first cousin marriage is illegal in India.

Same gotra marriage is legal too while it is not in some communities

Marriage between cross cousin is legal i.e. you marrying your second cousin or third cousin from your mother's side





As far as incest goes Marriage between blood relatives are prohibited both law and in community wise too i.e. marriage between brother and sister. Father and daughter, Mother and son. Obviously which is immoral when you look it from every angle of your view.

However in history there are some instance where incest marriage have had happen or incest relationship have looked away



Where in reality if you see we are all brother and sister born from a common ancestors Adam and Eve. Which at some point incest marriage would have happened. Cain and Abel son's of Adam must have married their own sisters.


In Egypt

King Tut's own parents were actually brother and sister

King Tut's own wife Ankhesenpaaten, was his half-sister as they shared the same father

Where in Bible, Lot didn't get married to his own two daughter but his daughter got him drunk and had sex with him which is phrased in bible as





'Our father is getting old, and there are no men in the whole world to marry us so that we can have children. 32 Come on, let’s get our father drunk, so that we can sleep with him and have children by him' (Genesis 19:31 - 32)

Don't know if there action were justifiable or not

“我们的父亲老了,全世界也没有男人愿意娶我们,让我们生儿育女。我们把父亲灌醉吧,我们就可以和他同寝,和他生子。”(创世记19:31 - 32)





Rhonda Mills

In southern India, especially in states of Telangana, Andhrapradesh, Tamilnadu, Kerala, this is a common practice. Regardless of what the law says, this is very common in those states. I have not see any serious legal action against such marraiges.





Manmath Athalye

Let's deal with the custom. Custom is something that's prevailing in a society based on some religious practice or logic over a long period of time. E. G. Wearing mangalsutra by wife post marriage.

So if it's prevailing in your part of the country for cousins to marry, it is legal. If not, then marriage would be void. Your cousin cannot be jailed for it, if such custom exsts.



Morally speaking, it does seem bit weird as in current scenario, we are in touch with our cousins and extended families, a lot more than earlier, with new modes of transport and communication. But think back to the ancient times when custom was evolving, when maternal home and matrimonial home were not in the same city and families hardly used to have any contact or communication save important events such as child birth, death or marriage. Some part of our country even had a custom, not to eat or drink in the house where daughter is married. So you can imagine for them, though related, it was as good as a strange or unrelated family due to lack of communication or acquaintance. Hence it evolved i guess.

But as customs evolve alongwith the society, this one may be abandoned and may be replaced by something new.







As far as I know two of my relatives married their cousin by elo and living happy life. So you can marry by means of elopement only. Society will never allow you to marry.





Sandli Kochhar

As a teenager i read that in Hindus (the religion i follow) one is not allowed to marry in close relations. An inquisitive me searched the Why of it and found out that our religion is extremely sensible when it comes to *many* things.

We are forbidden from marrying our first cousins because this helps to control any genetic disorder or malfunction which is prevalent in one family to be transmitted to next generation.



Primarily marriages are done so that the generations keep on blooming, so if one family has a history of tuberculosis for example and the marriage takes place between 1st cousins, the chances of tuberculosis in offspring would be high due to same genetic codification.

When it comes to India on whole-



In India weddings are governed by personal laws which means Hindus, Muslims, Christians etc., have their own laws wrt. Marriage etc.  Hindu personal law forbids marriage in certain relations.

As far as Indian constitution which governs India on a whole is concerned, it states only a fact that marriagable age of a a Girl is 18 years and not is 21 years and marriage before this age won't be considered legal. That is it.






Naiya Sharma

In India, marriage of cousions is considered a sin and for all the good reasons. We tie Rakhis (a pious thread a sister ties on her brother’s hand while praying for his long and healthy life) to all our cousins since birth - no matter they are our first or second cousin, from maternal or paternal side. Just like we call our real brothers “Bhaiya” or sisters “didi” all our cousions are also called the same way. So, even thinking about marrying them is a sin and considered immoral.


However, in some communities in India, this practice is still considered normal.

According to Indian law, marrying second time without divorcing your first spouse is illegal if you are not a Muslim. Also, there is no law in India against cousions marriage but people who do it are considered sinners by 90% of the communities.






Himansh Zadoo

Legally it is not allowed but if we look back at our scriptures, we do see instances of socially accepted unions between first cousins. A prime example is Arjun marrying Subhadra.

Even historically, Samrat Prithvi Raj Chawhan eloped with Samyogita. How were they related? Smyogita’s father Jai Chand was the first cousin of Prithvi Raj Chawhan. Yes! Prithvi Raj Chawhan’s and Jai Chand’s mothers were Sisters. They were both Born to Anant Pal Tomar (King of Delhi). So Prithvi Raj Chawhan did elope with his Cousin Jai Chand’s Daughter.

I believe what ever was done in the past was done. We should not do it going forward given the fact that modern Sciences have proved that such unions cause genetic defects in kids.







Ambika Vijay


Why in South India do people get married to an aunt's or uncle’s children?

South Indians practice, cross cousin marriages.

Cross cousin marriages are marriages between a

A man and his mother's brother's daughter, (matrilateral cross cousin).

A man and his Father’s sister’s daughter (Patrilineal cross cousin)






The main reason for these marriages is :

Since most South Indians like rest of India- practice arranged marriages ( though things are changing in cities) , they think :

“A known devil is better than an unknown angel “

Also, they want the familial property like ancestral houses and lands be undivided and stay within the family.

The custom of marrying cross cousins has its roots in ancient scriptures.









Shweta Bhatnagar

It all depends on how your family takes it.

If two of you are ok and they agree then I don't think that there should be a problem.



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