In Hindu law, the concept of ‘Stridhana’ refers to the property of a woman in which she has an absolute ownership over it. She can alienate such property too. ‘Stridhana’ as defined by sage Yajnavalkya, includes presents given to a woman by her father, mother or husband or brother or whatever is received before marriage or on the occasion of the second marriage of her husband.
Hindu law does not recognize the legal right of a concubine to claim maintenance. A concubine is a woman who cohabits with a man to whom she is not legally married. Simply put, we are talking about a mistress. A concubine is usually given an inferior position in the Indian society as compared to a legally wedded wife. In Hindu law, such a woman is termed as ‘Avarudha Stri.’ In earlier times, it was believed that such a woman should live in the family home of her paramour.
Hindu law prescribes acceptable sources of woman's property. Under Hindu law, a Hindu woman can acquire property through any of the prescribed sources.
We all know that Arundhati Roy won the Booker Prize in for the path breaking novel, God of Small Things. Decades before Arundhati stepped into the global limelight, Mary Roy, her mother, was perceived as a crusader who was ‘setting a bad example’ to Christian women in India. Simply put, a woman who did not fear to question laws.