India�s Constitution does not give a definition of the term Hindu, but it does define to whom the �Hindu Law� applies. It has to do this because in spite of its pretence to secularism, the Indian Constitution allows Muslims, Christians and Parsis a separate Personal Law. In a way, this separate treatment of different communities merely continues the communal autonomy of castes and sects accepted in pre-modern Hindu states, but it exposes the credibility deficit of Indian secularism. At any rate, the situation is that Personal Law is divided on the basis of religion, and that one of the legal subsystems is called Hindu Law.
Constitution stipulates that �the reference to Hindus shall be construed as including a reference to persons professing the Sikh, Jain or Buddhist religion�.1 The Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 goes in greater detail to define this �legal Hindu�, by stipulating in Section 2 that the Act applies:�(a) to any person who is a Hindu by religion in any of its forms and developments, including a Virashaiva, a Lingayat or a follower of the Brahmo, Prarthana or Arya Samaj,�(b) to any person who is a Buddhist, Jain or Sikh by religion, and�(c) to any other person domiciled in the territories to which this Act extends who is not a Muslim, Christian, Parsi or Jew by religion�.2