Sankaracharya, one of the greatest Hindu monks during the eighth century, at the time of his great effort to generate resurrection of Hindu religion from the entry and ramifications of Buddhism and Islam engaged himself whole heartedly. He stressed and opined on giving equal status to women in the society.
With the continued invasion by the Muslims in the eleventh century led by Mohmmad Ghazni, India experienced the breakdown and deterioration of existing social institutions. The traditional practices, ethics, morality and choices under went through the attack of islamic political and cultural inroads in to those pre existing Indian social structures.
Besides the other issues, insecurity in social life and economic depression influenced badly with a bittering effect on the minds and practices of the existing social institutions at that time. As a result, especially the women bore the brunt of the transition from the Hindu to Buddhist and to islamic frame of society in that period.
However, in some exceptional references, the Bhakti and the sufi movements with their moderate views and liberal approach opened the gate of religious freedom to women from the domination of male counterparts in the family and the society.
The women in India at that time were fully dependent on the male members of their families in the matter of earning and maintenance. The right to property and inheritance were not clearly earmarked. Though, it was the time when the two principal schools of the Hindu Law of Inheritance namely the Mitakshara and the Dayabhaga introduced.
Vijnaneswara, the propouder of the Mitakashara system on the Yajnavalkya smriti supported the right of a widow to be entitled to inheritance to the entire estate of her husband in the absence of a male child. However, Vijnaneswara approved of the women’s right only when her husband was separated from and not united with his coparceners. Under the Dayabhaga school propounded by Jimutvahana, a woman was allowed to inherit the property of a male relation notwithstanding the status of separation or jointness of women with the coparceners in the family property.
The Dayabhaga does not give the sons a right to their father’s ancestral property until after his death in a way different from Mitakshara, which gives the sons the right to ancestral property upon their birth.
The Law of Inheritance and Successions in India was established in the Hindu Succession Act of 1956 which was later amended in 2005.নতুন পৃথিবী।