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Undoubtedly, we in India have gained immensely from the benefits flowing from a booming economy. What is worrying is a socio-economic fallout. Some of our more traditional bastions like marriage are coming under immense pressure, especially amongst the youth. Divorces are becoming far too common in the growing metros.

In the old days, divorces in India were a rarity. A few families had some one who had lived abroad and was divorced. This was put down as an aberration and seen as one of the perils of living abroad by our elders. It was believed that such things happened only in the West.

I was dismayed to see “Divorce Fever Grips City” in today’s Times of India

 

It is as if an epidemic is sweeping through the city! Apparently, a city like Pune in India is seeing as many as 240 cases of divorce per month in 2007 ! If it is any comfort, the report says the figure was 150 cases per month in 2006.

 

Every day, young, well-educated and well-earning men and women, refusing to see a permanent future with each other, are resorting to the law.

Many social, psychological, economic and cultural reasons are cited by couples while applying for a divorce. Lack of compatibility, interfering in-laws, cruelty, domestic violence and irregular communication were the causes of the split.

 

It is sad that the most typical reason for couples in the age bracket of 25 to 35 was lack of proper communication between them.

“Due to hectic work hours, couples are not able to invest enough time in each other. Unfortunately, they try to analyse their personal lives from the professional point of view. Such an attitude is very common among couples working in information technology (IT) companies,” says advocate Abhay Apte. He stated that on an average, six or seven divorce petitions were filed every day last year.

Significantly, most couples applied for a divorce within 2-3 years of marriage. Interference by the families of both spouses has also been cited as the most common reason. “It has been observed that spouses prefer to talk about personal issues not with each other but with their respective families. This creates a communication void between them which results in misunderstandings. Also, parents can’t easily let go of their authority over their children. They are in the habit of interfering in the couple’s day-to-day activities,” explains advocate Neelima Atre.

I feel (I have done no research on this) the main reasons are:

  1. Young people rushing into marriage in a dreamy state without understanding all that is involved
  2. Marriages taking place under parental pressure in which the couple have been left with no choice
  3. Newly found wealth and a new life style putting pressure on the couple as they think they are expected to behave in ways which do not come to them naturally
  4. Economic independence making the woman more bold to walk out of an unsatisfactory marriage
  5. Work-life balance issues adding pressure with one or the other partners not willing to compromise on their work priorities or careers.

I hope parents and young people take more care in deciding about marriage. I hope they make better and more considered choices. Rushing into a marriage without thinking through issues and being fully ready is the surest reason for having to rush out of it too.

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