Thoughts and other trivia...

Monday, January 31, 2011

This ain't America, sister!

There's a report in the newspaper about a young woman, who's in a live-in relationship with her brother-in-law. She had sought protection from the Delhi High Court (HC) because she believed they faced a threat to their lives from their family. Reprimanding the lady, the judge cited the Hindu Marriage Act, under which bigamy is a crime. And, in her innate wisdom, the judge went on to remind the petitioner that "This is not America..."

Er, does this mean it's okay for women in America to co-habit with their brothers-in-law? This is what I've never been able to understand: in order to feel good about ourselves, why must we always run down the 'decadent' West? Why must we always assert our supposedly superior morals and values vis-à-vis the West? What makes us believe that we belong to a higher plane?

The problem, I think, is that all of us are living with this notion of greatness, the basis of which rests in claims to a glorious past and cultural and moral superiority that, I believe, exists only within the narrow confines of our minds.

Maybe we should learn how not to get our morality knickers in a twist all the time.

This idea of moral superiority makes perfect business sense for our spiritual gurus, who're mass-produced by television these days, and for our politicians. It is, after all, the time-tested fodder that the teeming masses, who, weighed down by the crippling burden of tough lives and emotional, physical or financial problems, lap up these feel-good morsels. But, why the courts? Shouldn't judges confine themselves to matters of law?

Purely on the basis of the newspaper report, the woman and her partner haven't even broken any law! Surely, living with her brother-in-law is not a criminal offence? If he chooses not to be with his wife, can the court make him go back to her? We can disagree with the actions of the woman and her brother-in-law but, beyond that, it isn't our business, is it?



7 Comments:

Blogger Maia said...

We're the conscience-keepers of the world, na? :-)

5:55 pm  
Blogger GhostOfTomJoad said...

The hell we are :-)

6:52 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its in our DNA only I think :)

IndGo

12:57 pm  
Anonymous Rosemin said...

wow that is all so true!

8:17 pm  
Anonymous Rosemin said...

wow that is all so true!

8:17 pm  
Blogger Smarika said...

hey do you have the text of this judgment/order by any chance?

8:39 am  
Blogger GhostOfTomJoad said...

SMARIKA: No, I read the 'story' in the newspaper and, if you're interested, you'll find it on the following link:

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/this-is-not-america--court-tells-livein-couple/141828-58.html

8:25 pm  

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