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Broken Marriages: How Right Are The East And West In Their Diverse Conducts?

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By Srishti Chauhan:

India, since ancient times, has been a country thriving on traditions and customs. All of us, since birth, are introduced to some values and ways of life that are very unique to the Indian system. Since times immemorial, there are certain precincts that we follow- some of which are so intrinsic to our being that we don’t even think of them as confines.

Think about it- how often do you see a youngster who is otherwise a chain smoker; take a fag in front of his parents? Highly improbably, isn’t it?

As westernization creeps in, the values and restrictions are somewhat left behind and we look at life in a newer and less limiting manner. Not much long ago, in the 1990s, the divorce rates in India were as low as 7 failed marriages per 1000 marriages. As we stepped into the new millennium, the exposure that the developed parts of the economy gets has increased manifold.

Earlier a marriage, however tormenting, would go on for years and years and commonly till the end of a lifetime- all because of the multiple pressures that a person faces. The society, the legal system, parental and peer pressure and extensive moral policing by one and all could make a person continue the marriage even if the best way to define the relationship would be to call it a ‘farce’.

With the formation of a new structure, influenced strongly by the western value system, the moral policing by near-random strangers who hardly mean a thing in a person’s life has decremented largely. As women grow more and more sovereign, the need to rely on a man to earn the bread for the family has also nearly ceased to exist. With this new found freedom, women no longer have to spend eons thinking about the consequences of a broken marriage.

Still, the divorce rates in India post the beginning of the new millennium are as low as 11 failed marriages per 1000 marriages. I do not wish to put forward the theory that a failed marriage accounts for greater freedom of thought and action in the country. Certainly, not! However, we all know a couple who are quite unhappy with one another and still choose to stay together- mainly because of the reasons mentioned above. What the society will say or the shock their aged parents might receive or the desire to bring up their children in a normal family- all these and more make people rather reluctant to break matrimony.

There are two sides to the same coin. One school of thought might say that repeated broken marriages, which are seldom uncommon in the west, leave a deep impact on the subconscious. People tend to make this a habit by convincing themselves that they can’t find the perfect someone they would want to spend the rest of their lives with. It is said that recurring broken relationships cause a person to become cynical about the whole idea of being in a liaison.

Conversely, another school of thought regards this as a liberty to the individual that should be granted. A person should be able to move in and out of as many relationships as they desire in their search for the ‘perfect match’.

Both of these schools of thought are acceptable in their approach. As they say, too much of anything is dire. It is important for people to realize the importance of marriage, like they do in India and also realize the significance of personal happiness and freedom- like they do in the west. A combination of these two in the right proportions makes an ideal.

However, one thing that our elders have said, whose significance remains intact, is that every relationships- ranging from that of a mother-child to that of a husband-wife, requires certain amount of patience, adjustment and the will to make it work. Without these, every relationship is a failed one and every bond a charade.

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  1. Elizabeth

    I agree with the author of this article in many points but need to criticize his/her approach to the notion of marriage. The author defines the instution of “marriage” as something natural and something which is good and worth being valued. But he/she seems to forget that marriage is made by is not in the nature of human beings to get married. To get involved in relationships (for many years) is in the nature of human, to reproduce and then after the child has grown a bit (mostly about 3-5years) traditionally the partners would go separate ways (some stay together). That’s how it was in the past, before society created marriage. When marriage is an institution created by society it is not in the nature of man, i think that is also one reason for divorce. People change in the course of time and when people change their needs change, their convictions change, their attitude changes, their aims and ambitions change and maybe their love for their partner changes. And that’s why sometimes people decide to begin another life (ending in divorce).

  2. bharathi

    hey.. divorcing is actually accepted.. if u are under the shackles of a torturing husband or in-laws this is right.. i have came across cases who divorce for the sake of palimony. that is ruthless.
    the tradition of marriage on one hand and inc divorce rates on other.. it seems sickening though.
    westerners are inspired by our culture and marital lives..while our generation is trying the route as theirs…
    a nice topic chosen 🙂

  3. Pallavi Maheshwari

    I think the contrast brought between the 2 schools is very convincing..

  4. Pratapkaul

    The pros and cons to this discussion are endless. You’ve explained some precincts well

  5. Srishti Chauhan

    I agree that the institution of marriage is as made by society. The whole idea I was trying to address here was that marriages do happen- but how right or, conversely, how wrong are divorces? Secondly, I also want to point out that a low rate of divorces in India may not be a good thing. There are so many people who are afraid to divorce their partners just because of social pressure.

    But, I like your idea of not considering marriage as something that absolutely must happen! 🙂

  6. Ankul Barar

    Great topic you have written on.. Divorces are totally acceptable.. we are in a grown up society now.. this article was equally effective.. Do it read it..

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