Thursday, November 24, 2011

To marry or not to marry...a divorcee!

To marry or not to marry...a divorcee!

IPSHITA MITRA | Nov 24, 2011, 12.00AM IST

To marry or not to marry…a divorcee! (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)
There was a sweet silence in the house. Kids were away for a vacation and the domestic help was out of sight.

I was busy arranging the champagne glasses to celebrate the romantic evening, my wife surfed TV channels in the meanwhile. The moment of 'cheers' was not far away when she shrieked "Arvind, do you remember how much we loved this TV show?"

Anurag was the new husband she had married after she divorced Arvind years back. This inadvertent forgetfulness left the rest of the evening hostage to an awkward silence.

Second marriages in India are ridden with complexities hard to rationalise sometimes. Marrying a divorcee is a tough proposition, but does it always conclude in bitterness?

Do/Can we trust each other?

Trust is the building block of the institution of marriage. Dr. Kamal Khurana, Relationship Coach at Purple Alley Institute of Relationships, Delhi, explains: "In a marriage where one or both partners are divorced, the couple has to deal with blame games, suspicion and contempt."

Research shows that 75 per cent of second marriages can end up with couples seeking another divorce in the first two years. Second marriages are more vulnerable and fall prey to a web of hostility and quick separation.

Things can get worse if infidelity is the cause behind the first divorce. Elucidates Dr Kamal Khurana: "There was a case where the husband felt that his divorced wife wanted to patch up with her ex and was not clear of her emotions for either of the men." The fear of illicit relations born out of dissatisfaction in the second marriage puts the divorced under constant scrutiny of the other partner.

"The present partner in that case suffers from paranoia and an over-possessive behaviour towards the divorcee he/she has chosen to settle down with," adds Dr. Bhavna Barmi, psychologist and marital therapist.

Dumping the emotional baggage

For a clean slate beginning, the past needs to be wiped off; otherwise the marital union stands at risk. Comparisons with ex-partners are detrimental to a positive development of the second marriage. It is not easy to replace a new face with the old, but an attempt to look for similar qualities or traits in your new life partner can be pressing. Dr. Khurana says, "Loving and respecting the individuality of your current partner will help the marriage flourish."

Bhavna Barmi speaks of an interesting case where a divorced man with kids was not ready to marry a divorced woman because he was insecure that the new mother, (p.s. without kids) would not be able to accept his children fully. Says she: "As the man came from the high end of society, he wished to marry someone without marital history, and thought it easy to come his way, thanks to his affluent status."

The apprehension of a past getting carried forward to the present makes a lot of individuals wary of tying the knot with a divorcee.

So are these marriages based on 'love' or utilitarian in character?

Gender psyche is not an easy study. The above case for example shows us men's psyche which fails to distinguish between a wife and a governess. Psychologist Bhavna Barmi and Sociologist Reeta Brara feel that "men are self-centred and more often than not try to find surrogate mothers for their child that does not promise a healthy husband-wife relationship."

However this is not a universal conclusion. Even if the second marriage begins on a contractual note of an immediate need, it cannot hold for long without love and affection. "It has to grow into affection and respect for each other; strengthening the emotional bond between the spouses," adds Dr. Bhavna.

Will society accept your marriage?

There is still a stigma attached with an individual's 'divorced' status in the matrimonial market. Families and friends perceive them as 'second hand merchandise'.

After suffering an abusive marriage, Reena, 38, gathered courage to move out of her first marriage and begin a new life with another man. She was happy but her new in-laws could not accept her. She laments, "My in-laws feel that I may lodge a police complaint anytime, the way I did in the first marriage. They are a little apprehensive towards me."

Many a times it happens that someone who gets married to a divorcee faces adjustment issues in a social circuit that hesitates to change loyalties with the earlier partner and perceives the current with resentment and hostile behaviour. As a new member he/she gets subjected to embarrassment and neglect.

From a 'nuclear' to 'unclear' family

Asha Prabhakar, aged 52, government employee and a mother of two entered a new alliance 12 years back and was content, until the time her kids (from first marriage) grew up to a level of maturity and wisdom. "My kids have never addressed their new father as dad. I married him out of love but my kids could not see another dad in him. There is still resentment and I don't know how to resolve it."

Family scenario is such that the mother has lost all authority over her children. Dr. Khurana says, "The wife has to go through a period of agony in such cases. Kids would call their father by first name to register their objection to the marriage."

Reeta calls this trend a movement from "nuclear family to 'unclear' family" where kids from other parents find it difficult to adjust with new parents. She, however, believes that second marriages need not be strenuous all the time. "There are remedies too. Send the kids to boarding school/hostels or grandparents' place. This way the present matrimonial phase can develop into a stronger bond."

The day our mindset nurtures positive thoughts and learns to be receptive with a changed outlook, things would definitely change for better.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Uttar Pradesh urges Centre to make Section 498A of IPC a bailable offence

Uttar Pradesh urges Centre to make Section 498A of IPC a bailable offence

Posted on: 11 Nov 2011 on jagran
Make 498A of IPC bailable: UP to Centre

Lucknow: In a bid check the misuse of the Section 498-A of Indian Penal Code (IPC) that came into force against accused in dowry cases and to save women from domestic violence, the Uttar Pradesh government has urged the Centre to amend this Section to make it a bailable offence.

Citing misuse of 498-A (Husband or Relative of Husband of a women subjecting her to cruelty) by unscrupulous women to extort money and to harass husband’s entire family, the state government has written a letter to the Central government seeking amendment.

Under 498 A, whoever, being the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman, subjects such woman to cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.

The matter was brought into light by Allahabad High Court during the hearing of a petition filed by Sanjeev Kumar. The High Court directed the state government to put forth its views on the misuse of 498-A.

Acting on the directives, state administration took review of dowry deaths and domestic violence in the state. It was found that from 2007-2010, more than 5500 cases of dowry deaths and 20,000 cases of domestic violence were registered.

In majority of the cases, kin of the victim filed an FIR against the husband and his family under 498-A of IPC as of which elderly, pregnant women and even juveniles were declared guilty. It was also found that in many cases allegations imposed by the victim and her family was totally wrong as there was no proof of any kind of physical assault. However, the husband and his family had to be put behind the bars in compliance with the rule.

Monday, November 7, 2011

No alimony for women walking out of marriage

No alimony for women walking out of marriage


Full text of the order @

 November 5, 2011 

WOMEN who choose to walk out on their marriages cannot claim alimony and must support themselves, a Delhi court has said.

Rejecting a plea for maintenance from a Malviya Nagarresident who had deserted her husband, the court said the woman must first prove that the man had actively denied support and caused separation.

“ A wife cannot walk out of the house at her own will and also claim maintenance from the husband,” additional sessions judge Rajeev Bansal said.

“ Living separately is not sufficient ground for a wife to claim maintenance from the husband. She must prove without fail that the husband had refused to maintain her, despite having sufficient means to do so.” The woman had filed an appeal against a magisterial court decision which had dismissed her plea for maintenance.

In her application to the sessions court, she alleged that her husband had acted cruelly, leading to their separation, three years after the marriage. Claiming that her estranged husband was making sufficient money as an electrician, she demanded an appropriate amount of alimony.

The court, after examining the evidence and testimony at hand, concluded that the woman had failed to prove the adverse circumstances that had led to the estrangement.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Why can't single men adopt?

Why can't single men adopt?

It's almost official - single men and live-in couples will soon not be able to adopt in India. The Ministry of Women and Child Development is set to notify a new set of guidelines for adoption, which are fat stricter about couples who are not married, and single men.

They also specify the age at which married couples and single women can adopt.

The reaction of single men and live-in couples has been mostly disappointment, with many saying that while each case should certainly be evaluated thoroughly, why impose a blanket ban like this?

Why a blanket rule?
I agree, they have every right to be anxious about this, considering all the strange cases of rape and etc we hear almost everyday. But then, they need to evaluate these things on an individual-to-individual basis. It cannot be a blanket rule. We've tried to adopt and failed. The child can benefit too, you know. If I adopt a child, I can give him/her a good life. Why should the government take away that right from the child?
- Leena K, in a live-in relationship

It makes sense
I think this decision makes sense, because single men are not as responsible as women. And you do need a female companion to take care of kids.
- Sahil Mehta, debutant actor ("Love Express")

So surrogacy's ok?
This is funny, because surrogacy is OK in India. I was reading about a gay couple who came from a foreign country to become surrogate parents in India. But I don't understand why we can't relax adoption rules so that we can help the millions of children in our own country who are literally dying each day in many foster care homes. Follow-ups strict karo. Be harsh on anyone who has adopted and is not found adhering to the standards set by the government. But let people adopt. It'll prevent ill-treatment of orphaned children.
- Mridul, in a live-in

Two-sided sword
This rule is a two-sided sword. From our point of view, the rule is not fair, but perceptions differ. Yes, we live in a country where people believe in certain things. But the more rules you add, the more they'll be broken. I believe that it is an individual choice. These days, people don't want to get married, yet want a family. There are children who don't have parents, what about them?
- Jackky Bhagnani, actor

This isn't right
This is not the right decision. You know, it is a great thing to adopt a child and hence take responsibility for it. Recently, a friend of mine adopted a baby girl and he takes proper care of her. Although I don't have any plans of adopting a child now, but in the future, if ever I plan to adopt, I'll be happy to do it and also, it will be a matter of pride for me.
- Rajat Barmecha, actor

Will get worse
Adoption is already so complicated in India, and now these new guidelines are going to make things worse. If someone is earning well and can give the child a proper education and a good life, then rather than dissuading them, he/she should be encouraged to do so.
- Meher and Karan, live-in couple

(Inputs from Kashika Saxena, Richa Shukla, Sanya Ahuja and Upasana Mantri)

Woman ticks HC Judge off for 'making' her nine-year-old son cry

Woman ticks HC Judge off for 'making' her nine-year-old son cry

 Thursday, November 03, 2011 at 12:39:42 AM

The boy, whose parents are separated, started sobbing when the judge told the kid that he should spend time with his father. If he did not follow the order — or stop crying — “we will send you to the police station.” The sobbing continued for more than an hour outside the court

A mother took on a High Court judge on Wednesday for trying to scare her nine-year-old son into spending his weekends and holidays with his father and threatening him with jail if he didn’t.

Justice N K Patil and Justice C R Kumaraswamy were hearing a case between Raja Lakshmi and Subraya Manja over the custody of their son and were trying to convince the woman to send her son to meet his father on weekends and school holidays. The boy, however, started crying when he heard this.

“We are telling you to meet your father on the last Saturday and Sunday of the month and half of the vacation. If you don’t, we will send you to the police station. Your father has the same affection for you. Do not act like this. He is your father, he is also human. Your father is not your enemy. You can meet him once in a month,” Justice Patil told the boy.

On seeing the boy’s tears, he said, “We are not disturbing your stay with your mother. You can stay with her, but meet your father also. If not, we will send you permanently with your father.”

By this time, the boy was howling loudly, saying, “Please, please.”

But Justice Patil told the boy, “If you cry, we will send you to jail. Is it not your duty to tell your mother that you want to meet your father and discuss things with him?”

The judge then turned to the mother’s counsel: “It is your duty to tell your client that she should let the boy meet his father.

Otherwise, you will kill the future of the child. If you people cannot arrive at a compromise, we will pass an order as per the facts of the case. We are tired of such things. Unless we pass the order, you won’t understand the trouble.”

The couple had separated after a year of marriage and have been living apart for 10 years now. A lower court had ordered for the restitution of conjugal rights but Lakshmi had refused to go back to her husband.

During Wednesday’s hearing, Justice Patil asked both the parties to talk to each other and arrive at a compromise. But their counsel said that the couple was not on talking terms and was incompatible.

The judge said, “It is a problem they have created. If they do not talk face to face, the matter won’t be decided. Neither he nor she will be happy. Let them live together for four months and see if they can lead a compatible life. The husband may now realise the importance of a wife. Many who have made mistakes have become model citizens and better human beings.

Unfortunately, our society has not developed family counsellors.” The judge then adjourned the case for some time and asked the parties to talk to each other.
Sympathy all around
During the adjournment, the boy continued to cry outside the court as his mother tried to console him. “Amma please, let us go home. I do not want to go inside again,” the boy kept repeating. Other clients, advocates and even the policeman on duty tried to console the boy but to no avail. When the court resumed at 4.30 pm, both mother and boy stayed outside.
Dad’s version
Manja, the boy’s father, told the court that he and his son would earlier play cricket and lagori, but his wife was not letting them meet. He told the court, “She did not even invite her father to our wedding. I earn Rs 40,000 per month and can take care of the child. I can take care of her like a queen. After marriage, the luck of her brother and sister turned for good and they kept me away. She left me nine years ago and did not come back.”

At this point, Lakshmi who was consoling her son outside the court hall, stormed in. “I was in hospital during childbirth but he did not once come to see me. He should have fed me when I was carrying. You will not understand how tough it is for a woman to become a second wife to a man. I will not go with him. I have brought up my son,” she told the court.

Justice Patil told her that her husband was repenting. She countered, “Repentance is different and leading a life is different. Even I will repent, but how will anyone understand how I agreed to become his second wife and how badly he treated me. He used me like a worker. For two years, he produced xerox copies in court, showing that he had sent me alimony. But he didn’t.

He should have fed me when the child was born. Why else would the child fear going with him? After you scared him, he is still crying after one hour.”

After this outburst, the court sent both of them out of the court and read out the judgment. It ordered that since the child was of a tender age, he should not be deprived of the love and affection of both the parents. It ordered that the boy spend the last weekend of every month and half his vacations with the father. “Tell your client to motivate the child to meet the father, otherwise he will get full custody,” the judge told the mother’s advocate.