Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Till life do us apart by Pramod Nawalkar

My respect for Pramod Nawalkar has gone up after reading this wonderful article on Mid day. He was one of the early pillars of Shiv Sena when the orgainzation was struggling to find roots in Mumbai. Annual marathi magazine of 'Brahmanti' became popular with his lucid and entertaining articles in criminal world of Mumbai. I dont know why he was relegated to just a minister when Shiv Sena came to power. I am reproduing his article :

Quote

If I ask you if divorces in Mumbai outnumber marriages, you will laugh at me. But if the trend continues, divorces will outnumber marriages in five years or so. Around a decade ago, divorce was taboo.

But not any more. Definitions of character have changed. Even a divorce has become fashionable.Though the number of courts handling divorce cases has increased five times, Mumbai has over 8,000 cases pending and there are more everyday.There are thousands of others who did not go to family courts but decide to separate with mutual consent.

I will have to write another book if I were to narrate their reasons. A small instance will do. A husband threw his wife out because she did not pay him interest for 18 months on the Rs one lakh she had borrowed from him.

Why does this happen? Because marriage is now confined to the dictionary. The new generation does not want to get tied down for life legally and morally. No wonder cracks are developing in our family values. The life of a woman is now even tougher. The new definition of a happy marriage is sacrifice plus compromise plus adjustment. Spouses used to respect each other. Not any more.Why, even discussion on husband-wife relations or divorce is becoming boring now. Hardly anyone raises an eyebrow.

I saw Aamir Khan and Reena’s separation news item rather curiously. Aamir and Reena have a nine-year-old boy Junaid and a four-year-old daughter Ira. In any separation, the feelings and compensation of spouses is paramount, not those of children. They are poor victims. The court asks them as a mere formality — who would you like to stay with? Your mom or your dad? The child hardly ever understands the question. There is utter confusion in the child’s mind and eventually he or she is handed over to either parent. It is all so inhuman. We will repent for this one day.

I remember an IAS officer, married to a sister of another IAS officer, who sought divorce. They used to stay in the same building. As agreed in the court, their four-year-old son would have breakfast with his father in the morning. He would drop his son to school. His mother would take care of his homework and dinner and the child would sleep there.

You tell me, dear reader. Do you approve of this cruel separation of a child? Would your dog accept two homes — one in the morning, another in the evening?I remember another case. A highly educated couple sought divorce. They had a five-year-old son. The husband would live in Chennai and the wife in Mumbai. The father would fly down every weekend to Juhu Centaur and the son would stay with him during the weekend as per the agreement. The boy would have a whale of a time — shopping, swimming, health club, et al. On Sunday night he would return to his mom, with a heavy heart, as she could not afford the luxuries provided by the father.

Parents are free after divorce. What about children? If someone asked about their parents in school, they have tears in their eyes. Some of them suffer from dyslexia, some don’t mix with others. They can’t get married easily because their parents had separated from each other. The quarrel between the parents doesn’t end with a divorce. The curse follows them. Unquote

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