It's a concept that has been plaguing the debating world for ages. I remember organizing the English debate competition in college, and 'live-in relationships - for or against' was a topic for debate back then. And now again, as if the existing issues and topics were not enough, the Maharashtra government has decided to legalize the status of a woman in a live-in relationship.
I have just one question - why this step........now????
Ok, so the world has decided that it is time to wake up to issues that have been on the wrong side of the majority human bias for so long. Well, what else explains the current scene in American politics? The Democrat race for nominations is a fight between racial prejudice v/s sexist prejudice. In an attempt to sway the feverishly feminist voting population, the Republicans decide to put a pretty face as their vice presidential candidate. (flash news - hockey mom booed in an ice hockey game! Talk of irony!!!)
Ok, as the world awakens to its prejudices and decides to capitalize on previous wrong doings in an attempt to earn brownie points, our own government has decided to show its humane 'we care for women' side. And what do they do? they try to table a bill that suggests that a woman involved in such a relationship for a “reasonable period” should get the status of a wife. The proposal is based on recommendations of the Justice Mallimath Committee which said if a man and a woman are living together as husband and wife for a reasonably long period, the man shall be deemed to have married the woman according to customary rights of either party. Now, what purpose does this serve?
Look at it from another angle. A married man, walks out on his wife and 'lives in' with another woman. Indian society calls her just that - the other woman. In spite of dreary battles in court the wayward husband doesn't come back, or give his legal wife a divorce. What happens? The other woman is now his legally wedded wife? Holy Christ! Are you protecting women? Or creating a new loophole for the errant men? And why now? Maharashtra couldn't house the Nano, since Sharad Pawar famously declared that he could very well have asked Tata to get Nano here, but with the guarantee of just 12 hrs of electricty. MNS guys beat up anyone who doesn't speak Marathi. Hell, Indian movies are not ready to allow 'modern thinking'. But some people want to show that they can be ahead of the times! Talk of duplicity - here it is.
I for one, have never been a supporter of this 'live-in business'. According to me, getting into a live-in relationship is more like entering a room while simultaneously cementing the escape route! How very cowardly is that? And why do we need to try to follow what is a common practice elsewhere? Why are we so unwilling, indeed ashamed of our culture and tradition that protects the rights of people through a tool called 'fear of social stigma'? "I can't run away from my wife and live with someone else, since my parents will not be able to lift their head high in society!" - is the single biggest fear that prevents people from going astray. If you look at the Western world, a growing number of American/ Canadian males want to settle down with women of Asian origin and upbringing, because of the values of a stable family that such women grow up in. Likewise for North American women. I remember an episode of Dharma and Greg, which used to be like a cult humor show a few years back. Dharma - the hippie is married to Greg and living happily. Dharma's parents (you can imagine how old they are) have been in a live-in relationship all these years (which is one reason why Greg's family find them ewwwwww!!!). So when Dharma in exasperation asks her parents why they don't finally get up to it and tie the knot, her father very dolefully replies that he is 'afraid of commitment!!!!'
So, when the West is taking steps to do what we used to do best, we try to follow them in their follies! So, one small step forward for civilization in the west is one giant leap backwards for our so-called civilized East!