Marriage is “divine”, and has a meaning –“fulfillment of life”; therefore all of us agree that “marriages are made in heaven”. Marriage is an “interpersonal relationship” and defines as “a state of being united as husband and wife in a consensual and contractual relationship” recognized by law. Marriage is the very foundation of civilized society. Indian marriages whether it is Indo-Aryan speaking north, or Indo-Dravidian speaking south, are meant for making a family. Like in many countries marriage in India brings “social status” and “respect”. And as per the tradition and for religious reasons, marriage cannot be dissolved, until the death of one of the partner.
Stable marriage in India is a sign of happy marriage and at the same time commitment, compromise and understanding to preserve the tradition. Between arranged and love marriages, arranged marriages are thought be more stable due to traditional “combined family structure”. With variety of religious cultures and tradition, Indian marriages involve not just individuals but the society. In 21st century India, most of the marriages in urban, sub-urban and hyper-urban societies are love-cum-arranged marriages, which may be in the same caste-region-religion or sometimes different. In a traditional family system, the ‘bride’ is added to the ‘groom’s family’ as a new member, and along with other women in the family she masters the art of family management, child rising etc. The combined family system here is not just to keep up the tradition, but for unity, trust, emotion, and lot more. On the other hand it limits financial constraints since in a combined family there will be no burden on individual. In the present scenario, individuals are not constrained anymore by financial or social barriers, in view of the fact that both men and women are working and are getting bulk salaries.
In accordance with worldwide divorce, Indian divorce rate is also increasing manifold, as studied by some social groups it is because of incompatibility arising from intolerance, impatience, greed, lust and desire to dominate. Building a relationship needs utmost effort, but breaking needs a petty reason. Divorce seems to be an appealing way out from incompatible and unhappy marriage. The modern day divorce became fashion due to available alternate choices. But divorce is nothing but a negative change in life as stated by much analysis, where divorced people have shattered family system, low life expectancy, low standards of living, social isolation and the most important is “emotional distress”. Considering these reasons, divorce is painful, and post-divorce life is challenging. Probably many would think that if the first marriage fails, one can always go for another marriage, unfortunately as mentioned in earlier writings, divorce rate from the second marriages is 1.5 fold higher than the first one. In addition to this, separated or divorced couples are hardly believed for their honesty and sincerity. Whether it is man or a woman, second marriages in India are not so respected, and demands fortune.
Having said that the divorce in India is not a gregarious act, what prompts people for divorce is intriguing. Sociologists may say it is hyper-urban style and modernization that is instigating couples for divorce. The truth behind this is mainly anticipated independence- as individuals are seeking for individuality. In majority of the cases the new-independence is due to lack of adjustment in the core-family system and other subtle reasons, which includes being fancy about bossing on, financial freedom etc. In addition, it is not just the rising opportunities and choices, but the legal provisions available to women. Indian divorce shows a steady rise from ~1% in 1991 to ~15% in 2001 and ~20-25% in recent years. Segregation of human rights in the name of men and women with gender-biased laws, and with the implementation of spousal maintenance act, there is a sharp rise in divorce rate. The effect of divorce on individuals is rampant as mentioned earlier; especially men are most affected by divorce than women, because men are subjected to severe economic abuse in the name of maintenance besides social isolation. Women on the other hand are sympathized.
The root cause of Indian divorce is a Pandora box. Women supporters might argue that the awareness on women rights is increased, which are allowing women to come out of their inhibitions, speak of their problems, and seek for their rights. But women cells and counseling centers failed to maintain/rebuild stable family structure. Women folk cry that the society is male dominated; in fact it is other way around since unlike for women there are no men’s welfare schemes, men’s cells, and men’s counseling centers. If the society is male-dominated as is broadcasted, then why working women are in a position to freely demand alimony and maintenance from husband. Present India is making laws to protect women, but at the expense of men’s rights. Surprisingly, how come only in the last few years (may be a decade) all Indian men became so cruel and violent? Who’s creating panic in the society? Loud and wide are the public awareness programs for communal harmony, environment protection, nuclear and peace treaties etc, but none for family harmony. Men in modern India are “suffering in silence”. Men soon become extinct if this social evil prevails.
“Smoking is injurious to health” a statutory warning, it is purely individual’s decision whether to smoke or not. Tobacco may bring treasure- but spreading its effect. Similarly gender-biased laws may create vote bank(s) but at the expense of family system. If this menace continues, it could be expected that younger generation in particular will adopt a less traditional stance towards family values. In the cross roads of personality (self) and society (others), men became a subject and before he becomes an object for disposal with discrimination, awake !!!