Separated in city - divorce cases on rise in Bangalore

July 22nd, 2009 - 12:56 pm ICT by IANS  

By Maitreyee Boruah
Bangalore, July 22 (IANS) Marriage to a successful techie, beginning a new life in a new city — it seemed like a beautiful dream for Poonam Nath. But within a year, everything turned bitter and the couple separated. Poonam is not alone. The city sees an average of 25 divorce cases filed every day.

According to a recent survey by the Children’s Rights Initiative For Shared Parenting (CRISP), around 13,000 cases of divorce are pending in various family courts in Bangalore. Of these 5,000 were filed in 2008.

“Now, I am staying alone and have managed to get a job in a BPO and am earning my livelihood,” said Poonam, 23, who belongs to Kolkata. Her name has been changed on request.

Arvind Kumar is in the same situation. He was divorced recently and his wife has moved back with her parents, who stay in Kochi.

“I keep myself busy at work. Now work is my life, as I have nothing else except for work,” rued Kumar, 30, a content writer with a city firm.

“On an average, divorce cases take three to four years to get disposed of in Bangalore,” Kumar Jahgirdar, president of CRISP, told IANS.

“Rise in divorce cases is a worrying statistic. When a couple decides to get divorced, many lives are affected, especially if they have any children,” Kumar said.

Lawyer Bhavana. P. said: “Cases get disposed of easily if couples opt for divorce by mutual consent. Some cases are pending because as per matrimonial law a year is given for reconciliation.”

Experts vary on the reasons for the rise in divorce rate in Bangalore.

“There are reasons galore for the rise in divorce cases. Urbanisation and increasing violence against women and financial stability of both husband and wife, to name a few,” Dona Fernandes, a member of women rights’ group Vimochana, told IANS.

“Today’s empowered women are refusing to follow the traditional diktats of Indian marriages. Marriage is the biggest form of displacement for any woman as she has to shift from her home (natural habitat) to her husband’s home.

“It is the wife who is supposed to adjust. But today’s financially strong women are not ready to take undue pressure on their individual existence and thus marital discords are bound to increase,” said Fernandes.

Echoing the view, marriage counsellor Sujit Kumar says that financial stability is a major cause of rise in divorces.

“The couples do not try to work out the marriage as they are confident they can lead a life independently as both are financially stable,” he said.

Psychiatrists are of the view that with stress and long working hours with little time for each other, couples drift apart and end up being separated.

Sanjanthi Sajan, who runs a firm that handles several such cases, says at her firm the basic idea is to stop couples going to court.

“We have counsellors who talk to couples to avoid going for a divorce,” said Sajan.

Vishwanath B.N., a city-based advocate who handles divorce cases, says that today’s couples do not try to reconcile and are in a hurry to end the marriage.

“There is very little that can be done to save the marriage after it comes to court,” he said.

(Maitreyee Boruah can be contacted at m.boruah@ians.in)

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