GANAPATHI BHAT, AKOLA
The word ‘divorce’ was literally alien to Indians at a point in time. No more, as India is catching up with the ‘developed’ countries with a sheer increase in the number of divorce cases. Man and woman have a complex, but beautiful, relation as husband and wife. The complexity has to be buried under the hidden pleasures, privileges and pride marriages carry with them. Marriage is an institution in itself that has to be nurtured with care and sacrifice. Unfortunately, that is not happening, and matrimonial disputes are piling up before various courts. No less than the Supreme Court has pulled up partners to mend their differences for their own betterment, and for the sake of children, if any. That was exactly what the apex court reiterated in a recent judgment. The court said it is “heart-wrenching” to see children suffer consequent to the battle of their parents. Children grow looking up to their parents. For them, the father and the mother are both idols and ideals. But they become disillusioned when their ‘inspirational figures’ fight like cats and dogs. A man and a woman may be cruel but no father or mother is uncompassionate towards their children. While keeping their cards close to their chest on the outcome of custody, they unwittingly ignore the hopes and aspirations of dreamy-eyed children. Temperament of husband-wife is not ‘non-tamperable’; it can be sewed for the sake of children. A proverbial storm in a teacup should not be allowed to massively flare up because one sacrifice that is required for a successful marriage is to sidetrack ego for the sake of one’s blood relation. The old joint family structures had elders acting as buffer to neutralise marital discord. The nuclear families of today have inherent advantages as well as disadvantages. The former should be built upon and the latter discarded with an eye on children. It is good to see that courts are mindful of the consequences of a protracted marital legal battle. Something more has to be done on counselling at an early stage.