Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Divorce: Reasons and Remedies

            Recently the Supreme Court showed its concern over the growing rate of divorce in Indian society. Earlier also the SC had passed such remarks.  Just few decades ago divorce was an unconceivable word in our society, but now it has become very common. Suddenly what happened that a rare phenomenon like divorce became business as usual? Although there are many reasons behind divorce like incompatibility of partners, pornography, technology, extra marital affair, domestic violence and quick life style. Apart from these changed status of women in our society and men’s inability to properly respond is also one important reason behind growing number divorce cases.

                 Before we discuss divorce we need to discuss little about marriage. Marriage is not just a license to be intimate with a person of opposite sex; it’s a journey of two people towards same destiny. If we consider marriage as a vehicle then man and woman are two of its wheels, when both the wheels are balanced life will run smoothly but when either of the two loses its rhythm the journey becomes difficult. As we know from the inception stage of marriage as a social custom, status of women was never equal to that of men. Even though in marriage man and woman enter into a contract to become life partners women are never given rights and privileges of a partner. Women have mostly remained slave, submissive, inferior and secondary to men whereas men have always remained dominant, aggressive and superior person. Except few aborigine communities most of the societies had been male dominated in the past. Rules of the game were always determined by men and women had to quietly follow those rules. Women were not allowed to ask questions, take objection or contribute in the making of norms.

               It was really weird that all rules were made by men but men themselves were not bound by any rules, like an autocrat men used to make rules but did not followed it. For instance mutual trust and loyalty are considered as two pivotal stone of successful marriage life, but men have never trusted women. Right from the cursed Ahilya and Sita’s Agnipariksha in ancient times to the chastity belts and witchcraft in medieval times men have always remained suspicious about women’s character. On the other hand men never remained loyal to their spouse, from polygamy to prostitution all the systems were invented to satisfy and justify men’s lust. Women’s condition was worse than that of animals, but still women never opposed this regime of atrocity, in fact most of the time she became a tool in the hands of men for the exploitation of other women.
          Why women never rebelled against men? Why they never demanded their rights? Because men very tactfully used religion and education as tools for domination. First of all education was highly patronized in the favor of men and that too men of upper caste only. Hence women were never able to learn about their legitimate rights as a human being. Secondly all the religions which were established by men imposed such customs, rituals and rules which pushed women toward mental slavery. Standards of ideal women were established in such a way that if she keeps washing the feet of men than she is good but if she behaves otherwise than she is bad.
           For millions of years women lived in such regime but the situation started changing during late 19th century when colonies of military superpowers like Britain and France started demanding independence. Although the population of Britain and France was small, because of their advancement in scientific and economic sector it was not possible to defeat them unless all types of classes and masses were united to fight against colonial powers. Because of this, for the first time people of ruling class felt the need to bring the downtrodden like women and Dalit's in the mainstream. Apart from this colonial education also proved to be a blessing in disguise. There were hundreds of defects in colonial education system but one major benefit of it was that it emphasized equality in education. Uniform dress code, common rules and treatment on the basis of merit created self confidence in those who were suppressed from the centuries. From this education system, early social reformers like Phule, Gandhi, Ambedkar and many others came out who fought to bring reforms in the social order.

           In spite of their efforts in the initial stage women’s education started off with a sluggish growth, but as time passed because of the continuous push from social reformers, women’s participation in the struggle for nation’s independence, emergence of new class of feminist men and women who were striving for achieving equal rights for women and after independence encouragement by elected governments  for women's education increased literacy rate among women. Women education on the one hand brought awareness among women about their legitimate rights and on the other hand also taught them how to fight for their rights. Now women have become confident about their status in the society, they are giving tough competition to men in every sector and because of education now more and more women are becoming independent financially. Now women have started demanding their rights, started asking questions and started taking objection on discriminating social norms.

            The real problem starts from here, as I said earlier in last 50 years women have changed with rocketing speed but there is no commensurate change in men’s mindset. I have seen in many families that husband and wife both work but still when they reach home husband immediately sits on sofa, switch on the TV and orders for a tea because he is tired, but he never thinks that his wife has also come from work and she is also tired. Not only this, in spite of giving equal contribution in the household expenses I have seen very few families where husband and wife both have equal share in property. How many men take interest in their children’s education or getting their homework done? The answer is very few of them do. Because of growing education women also  have become career oriented and she want support from men as much as men do from women, but men are reluctant to render help. Because of all these clashes occur and since modern women are not in a mood to tolerate anymore it finally culminates in a divorce.

           Divorce not only spoils life of the Husband and wife but it also leaves bad impact on children’s life. Hence if we really want to save the marriage and family system then men and women both need to understand. Men need to understand that time has changed and they can’t treat their wife in similar manner as their grandfather used to treat their grandmother. Wife is husband's life partner so treat her like one.


  1. Nice one. You have discussed all relevant points minutely. Good observations.

    In fact it is the level of adjustment and accommodation which decides failure or success of any relation. Two human brains can never function same way, always. With increasing socio-economic development, women have started demanding their rights. Where men could accept this change, the relation maintained.

    But, one more thing. Earlier many marriages were continued only because of fear of loosing social status. I am against such marriages. If under no circumstances the marriage is viable, let both the partners divorced and start a new life. Yes, small differences should be sorted out and should not be allowed to grow to such a level that marriage itself ends to a divorce.

  2. @ Navin. Absolutely agreed. Even after sufficient effort, it's not possible to survive the marriage than it's better to get separated. Unfortunately some magistrates put undue pressure on couples to reconcile in spite of knowing that in India common men approaches court only as a last resort. Divorce has evil effects on couple, children and society but incompatible and conflicting marriage has worse effects than divorce. In earlier times girl used to be taught that no matter whatever happen they should not leave their husband's house because it's a matter of parents honor. Hence girls used to tolerate domestic violence and inhuman treatment but could not utter a word against husband or in-laws. I don't advice women to sustain marriage in this way.

  3. What an indepth writing! Hope it benefits many.
    Try submitting your blog posts as well as links(which you like) to www.indli.com for more viewers.

  4. It is unfortunate that even the well educated, well informed male in collusion with their family treat the new comer woman in their family as a second grade never giving them the right place in their house and heart.
    Secondly, even in cases of love marriages, the couple fail to understand each other's family, their aspirations, nature and thereby fail to adjust in the changed atmosphere culminating in divorce.

  5. @S.R.Ayyangar, true even in love marriage major clashes occur(small disputes and minor clashes will be there in all the relations) because all love marriages are not love marriages, many of them are attraction marriages. many time it happens that girl or boy feel attraction for each other which they consider as love and get married, but after marriage their attraction vanishes and then they feel that they are not compatible to each other. Hence I believe that if you feel love at somebody then no hurry should be done. Give some time and test your love, if it is love than it will persist and if it is attraction than it will vanish.

  6. I feel divorce rates will increase alot in india as i see in most of the marriages the girls are going in for the Money, education of the boy, abroad living, high living standards of the boy, Alimony, etc... as long as these are the things of interest the divorce rates will keep on increase..its all crazy new world.Thank God for getting me into a good family for this birth.

  7. I didn't realize that divorce has been implemented in India. This is depressing news. However, I don't believe that marriage is losing its sanctity. Its us who are making the wrong decisions.

    long island divorce lawyer


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