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Aamir Khan And Kiran Rao’s Divorce: How Much Longer Before We Normalise Divorce?

A famous superstar and his wife decided to file for a divorce together. They revealed this news on the morning of July 3 via a joint statement and a video message on social media. The youths, oh sorry, not only youths, but many people of different generations made this news a big viral.

Obviously, this celebrity couple is known to each household of the country. So, the news that they were separated from each other was bound to get viral. People criticised them by saying: “What kind of an example do they leave for all?,” “One of them must be having an extra marital affair,” “See how shamelessly they are confessing it.”

Joint statement issued by Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao, as shared on social media.

As against these reactions, many criticised these critics and praised them for such imperturbable action. This group of people thinks that the two are liberal, loving and kind enough to take this mutual decision and still decide to stay as family.

There is another group of people that argues that it is easy for them as they are celebrities, but hard for the rest of us. Our analysis is related to this part of the whole discussion, though it has an obvious connection with the above two parts.


Still a big word for a typical Indian. Though our society has come a long way in social reformation, there is still a long way to go when it come to letting divorcees, particularly women, live peacefully. Our law and order has provided this option of separation or divorce to married couples when it becomes completely impossible or intolerable to stay in a relationship. Many studies have shown that it is quite unhealthy, both physically and mentally, to stay in a abusive and toxic relationship.

That being the reason, there are different laws for different religions as per their beliefs when it comes to getting separated — there is the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, for Hindu, Buddhist and Jain marriages, Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act, 1939, for Muslim marriages, the Indian Divorce Act, 1869, for Christian marriages, and for all inter-community marriages, there is the Special Marriage Act, 1956.

But the primary concern is that in spite of these legal remedies against abusive and toxic marital relationships, many people suffer their whole life from these very relationships because of a number of reasons — including lack of knowledge about such laws, lengthy and somewhat complex procedures of courts, and most importantly, due to the fear of losing social prestige as divorce is still considered an unfortunate event in anyone’s life in our Indian society.

Even if a woman takes this brave step , the society keeps talking about it around her, leaving no chance to make her life miserable. A still from  the movie Thappad. 

Taking all these above matters into concern, it is easy to predict or understand how awful it is for women in our patriarchal society to choose this path, even if this path is legally approved and defined. We all have certainly listened to or keenly experienced or seen our mothers, sisters, aunts and other women who, throughout their life, have experienced nothing but physical, mental or emotional abuse by representatives of patriarchy. But we rarely see any of them choosing the path of separation to make themselves free from all these. Why?

Do they enjoy serving everyone with that pale smile hiding all their pain inside? Have they never thought of separating from all these pressures and restarting a journey of their own choice?

Yes, they must have thought about it. Several times. I have seen and experienced from up close that at a certain point in life, marriages only become miserable for women. Deep in their conscience, they wish to get rid of it. It remains nothing but a responsibility for them. But they cannot even think of separation from this orthodox lifestyle that once forced itself on them and said, “After marriage, only the wife’s ashes can return from her husband’s home.”  Such stereotypes and beliefs of our society are so strong that women cannot even dream of being separated.

Even if a woman takes this brave step , the society keeps talking about it around her, leaving no chance to make her life miserable. The most powerful weapon they apply is attacking the character of the woman who sought divorce from her abusive marriage. And ironically, they are women themselves who make the living of their own daughters or sisters miserable as a result of utter jealousy, rage or insecurities.

Secondly, women waver from stepping forward for their happiness by eliminating the dark part of her life because of the lack of financial independence. Most women are financial dependent on their husband or family.

This being the supreme reason, it has become even more important to educate women and provide them with adequate employment opportunities, not because they should be inspired to seek divorce, but because they don’t deserve to die tolerating the sheer toxicity of a rotten relationship. And so, they must have the option to make a move for their own happiness, if required.

Divorce is not a crime, and staying connected when the broken pieces inside hurt so much is not justifiable either. Those who have broken marriages are as beautiful as those who are long-term marriages.

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Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

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The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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