Report No. 83
6.50. Recommendation for amending the Act of 1956, section 6.-
Taking up the fourth question, we are of the view that section 6 of the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956 should also be amended1 so as to allow the mother the custody of the minor, ordinarily till he or she completes the age of 12 years.2 We may state in brief our reasons for this view. The period upto the age of twelve represents the formative years in the life of a child. It is in these formative years that a child develops such qualities as patience, modesty, honesty, readiness to help and respect for others.
The education that the child receives in these years should be designed to make him or her a healthy individual of high intellectual and moral standard, capable of playing an active rote in the development of the State and society. Now, it cannot be disputed that it is the mother's influence which moulds the character and qualities of a child. Men are what their mothers make them; no fondest father's fondest care can fashion the child's heart or shape his life. It was Napoleon who said: "The future destiny of the child is always the work of the mother".
1. To be carried out under section 6, Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956.
2. See also para. 6.47, supra.