Reasons for rise in Divorce in India

PATNA: It is said marriages are made in heaven. But perhaps broken on earth. At the rate the ancient institution is crumbling, couples are thinking twice before tying the holy knot. And, interestingly, love marriages are more at risk than arranged ones. According to records, 50 per cent of love unions crack, while only 30 per cent arranged marriages end up in divorce courts.

“Even a small issue can result in a break-up these days,” said a lawyer, adding, “most women are working and if they are not treated as equals by their husbands, there’s bound to be resentment and later a rift. Adultery and extra-marital affairs are other reasons of discord among couples.”

According to a marriage counsellor, lack of faith, trust, suspicion, impotency and understanding are also taking a toll on marriages. Even ego clashes, especially if the wife is better placed, creates tension between couples.

According to Arvind Tiwari, a lawyer in a family court, women are now not thinking twice before taking up matters to the court. “They know they can demand alimony (one-third of the husband’s property) and then lead a normal, peaceful life.”

In 2009, 1,36,000 marriages were solemnised in Delhi. Out of this figure, 10,000 ended up in divorce courts!

Many are of the opinion that certain sections of the law in favour of women, are being misused. For instance, cases registered under sec 498A IPC dealing with cruelty and torture in a marriage, have become a tool to harass husbands and their family members.

“The lawyers hardly try to help. They make things worse,” felt Ajit Kumar, a Patna high court lawyer.

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But ever since the Domestic Violence Act, 2008, came into vogue, cases under 498 A have gone down in number.

According to him, 80 per cent of the “arranged” marriages have a chance of survival even after a rocking dispute. But in love marriages, there’s very little chance of reconciliation. “In a social set up like ours only 10 per cent go for re-marriages and only 5 per cent of the cases get settled through mutual consent. The rest of the cases go for protracted contests, mostly over alimony,” said Kumar.

Narrating his traumatic experience, a former scientist of the Department of Atomic Energy, Deepak (name changed) said, “No one is a winner after a divorce. The legal advice for both sides further fuels tension. In my case, my former wife could not handle her ambition and home. She never joined me in my place of posting for seven long years. Even after our divorce in 2000, she continued to harass my family in different ways.” He was forced to remarry to overcome the trauma and feels because of him his son and wife are suffering.

Eminent sociologist Hetukar Jha feels divorce can create psychological and social problems. “The very word divorcee itself is humiliating and agonising. The loneliness caused after the break up can be killing,” he said. According to Jha, the basic problem in today’s world is that everybody talks of rights but no one talks about duties.

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