The Supreme Court in a recent judgment has held that A Hindu son can divorce his wife for the cruelty of trying to pry him away from his “pious obligation” to live with his aged parents and provide shelter to them.
Justice Dave, who wrote the judgment has said that insisting her husband to live separately from his parents is a western thought alien to our culture and ethos:
“It is not a common practice or desirable culture for a Hindu son in India to get separated from his parents on getting married at the instance of the wife, especially when the son is the only earning member in the family. A son, brought up and given education by his parents, has a moral and legal obligation to take care and maintain the parents, when they become old and when they have either no income or have a meagre income,”
I have been trying not to get upset with this judgment. A child should take care of his parents. Our parents make utmost sacrifices to bring us up, and when they need us in their old age there is no doubt that we be there for them, in every way. I also feel that if person wants a divorce, the court should facilitate it. But the sexism in this judgment is infuriating.
When a woman “tries to pry a husband away from his pious obligation” to live with his aged parents, it is cruelty, and that too serious enough to be a ground for divorce?
What about when a man and his family separate a woman from her parents, physically, emotionally, financially? How many married women get to send money to their parents? How many women in India have to seek permission to visit her own parents? After the gracious in-laws “allow” her to visit her family once a year, she comes back to a scowling family, irritated at the very thought of her being still close to her family. Some very low human beings even have a problem with their daughters in law/ wives talking to her mother on the phone frequently. If a woman could file for divorce on such grounds, divorce rate in India would be 100 percent!
I want to ask the Supreme court that our great culture promotes respect for elders but these privileged elders are only elders who have given birth to sons? The ones who have daughters don’t have a difficult old age and certainly do not need their daughters to take care of them? They should be punished for giving birth to a girl child! The girl who they love with every ounce of their soul, and spend their life savings on, should grow up to be an unpaid maid for a family she had not known for 20-30 years of her life, and she should spend the next 30-40 years of her life forgetting herself and them.
Who wants to have a daughter?
Let us continue to preach about our misogynist culture but please don’t be surprised with female feticide.