If the steady reports depicting bigamy, adultery are anything to go by then it does seem as if marriage has lost its sheen. More than marriage, loyalty, commitment and monogamy seem like ‘yawn’ inducing terms. Slowly but steadily, inching forward, is the concept of an ‘open marriage’ whatever that means.
Lately, the rather amazing coverage of Prof. Matuknath, his lover Julie and wife Abha, served as fodder for many a conversation. Then came along the sorry tale of Manoj Prabhakars second wife and his two kids despite the presence of a first and her 18 yr. old son. Udit narayan, the singer whose voice has been associated withh Shahrukh, was caught dodging the press when his first wife showed up in front of the media to expose that he had deserted her and had married again.
Laxity of moral values or a complete turn around? Down the ages man has been a predator. However civility demanded monogamy. Therefore he was forced to adhere . Marriage played little or no role in curbing the instincts so deeply ingrained. But till a while ago, shame facedness, societal pressures, kept behaviour of the kind under wraps. Either an ever inquisitive media, its need to expose and ‘break news’, or then that the incidents have taken on a frightening regularity and impunity in their stance and attitude, but as of now, it seems sadly ubiquitous.
Have our folks from good ole Bollywood set a trend, which at the time may have caused an uproar, but now has served as a license if not a path breaking example? Dharmendra, Boney Kapoor, Aamir Khan (before the divorce involvement with the british girl and present wife) Saif ali Khan,off the cuff examples. There sure are a lot more, even if one leaves out the Muslim actors who by virtue of their religion invoked permissions have almost always adhered by this tenet of more than one wife, disregarding any other to do with Virtuousnesss.
What has emerged from this rather painful turn of events are two attitudinal changes, to do with the man and the woman.
First, the man it seems has openly declared his right to ‘love’ another, live and raise kids, with impunity, with total disregard to laws and judiciary. Several loopholes and lacunae, in our antiquated civil code totally in the dock here. Encouraged that the wife, at the mercy of a judiciary therefore who would in all probability squeeze her dry financially, emotionally and physically before even a semblance of justice is accorded to her, is a pawn in the hands of a patrarchal system and lethargic judicial and social structure.
Second, the woman notwithstanding, the round about route of justice, has decided to speak up and bare her sorrow via the media to the world at large. She has decided brazenly to give back as good as she gets. The unreasonability of hiding behind the confines of her domesticity in the name of ‘shame’ dignity’ propriety’ is not an alternative any more. If the sacrosanct institution of marriage has been thus trampled upon and abused by the man, then what good for the woman to morally hang on to threads of a bond, long severed?
Where will this lead us is anybodys guess. Either the denotation of marriage will have to undergo a radical re-definition. Or, marriage as an institution will fail to attract the coming generation as one which spelt, ‘settling down’ or ‘home making’ in its essence..
The writing is on the wall. Relationships are in a stage of transition. Whether or not it will eventually prove to be a wiser, practical and therefore viable resolution, is too early to predict.
A paradigm shift is taking place .. I for one, am saddened. Why is it so difficult to be committed in one's decision and flexible in one's approach?
On a different tangent:Does not the woman have a right to love another and hinge her claim to 'independence' irrespective of a home, marriage and kids? Sure.. What would be the end result then, if women decide to exercise their right in the same proportion as men do? Is the rearing of kids pre-dominantly a womans responsibility? Does the father forego his duty to provide a home, safe and secure for his children, the moment he 'is disenchanted' with his wife or enchanted with another? Does not moral uprightness fall within the ambit of responsible parenting? Will the sons/kids from such a marriage grow up to be dependable responsible adults, capable of living up to standards of a progressive civilised society?
This is not about divorce, incompatibility, or instances when separation is not only the way out but also advisable. It is also not about a marriage where all limits of propriety have long been forsaken and divorce the only option.
This is about disloyalty, bigamy , adultery! This is about sounding the death knell of 'marriage' in its universally accepted connotation. This is about putting ones needs before those of ones family. This is about arm twisting a womans lack of standing as an individual worth consideration. This is about overriding desires getting the better of wisdom and righteousness. This is about decadent moral values in a rotting festering society worshipping novelty over steadfastness. This is about proving once again that among all the creatures on the planet, man is the most unreliable and undependable. This is about defence of ones actions blatantly under the guise of "love" for another girl, younger than your son. This is about giving lust the name of 'soulmate' and demeaning a marriage of 26 years as a 'compromise'.
This is also about a warning to males and females to re evaluate ones priorities in the baclground of a harmonious ,just and fair world. Where 'Love' is a reason to make not break. Where passion is not a virtue if it dictates immorality. Where control over the base instincts is the Reason for marriage. Where your mettle as a human being is evaluated mostly on how you conduct your self as a man, in your role as father, husband, son and benefactor. Where curbing of ones passion is the key to being recognised as a successful balanced human being. Where both partners pledge and vow that committment is the basis of their relationship. Where marriage is a 'choice' agreement entered to with the aim of fulfillment and respect of its attributes.
The world is stricken by terrorist activities. Who are these terrorists? Are they results of a broken home? Neglected childhood? After all they are humans, not aliens? They belong to our society. Is not the barbaric act of a husband who burns his bride, tortures her, demeans or betrays her, also not an act to terrorise another?
Its time we deal with injustice at all levels. There seems to be no dearth of atrocities within and without.
P.S. A generic stance had to be adopted for the sake of feasibility. There are several males who are lovable, monogamous, loyal, honest, committed..(on orders from a highly disgruntled hubby)