More and more couples seeking divorce on ’silly’ grounds

April 20th, 2008 - 9:50 am ICT by admin  

(Feature)
By Kanu Sarda
New Delhi, April 20 (IANS) The ground beneath Rajni Sinha’s feet slipped away when her husband said he wanted to end their three-year-old relationship because - guess what - she did not dress well! And this after having a “love marriage” - unlike most Indian marriages that are arranged by the families of brides and grooms. The divorce petition filed by husband Sanjay Sinha said, “Despite my several requests, my wife does not wear modern lifestyle clothes. I just can’t bear the comments from my friends that my wife is not stylish.”

Rajni told IANS: “I was shocked when I received the notice from the court. It was unbelievable. We had a small fight a few days ago and after that I came to my maternal home. But it was a small quarrel and could have been solved easily.”

She said the ground was baseless because she had every right to wear the kind of clothes she wanted to.

“It’s my fundamental right to wear clothes, be it traditional or modern. Nobody has the right to force his/her wish on me. If he wants to divorce me on this ground then I think he doesn’t deserve my love, dedication and sincerity,” Rajni said.

The matter came up for hearing early this month at the matrimonial court in Tis Hazari. The court also found the ground amusing and suggested that the couple give it a second thought.

Rajni’s case is not an exception these days for people seeking divorce.

“Marriages end in divorce because people rarely discuss their expectations in detail prior to tying the knot and are less willing to work on their marriages afterwards,” a judicial officer said.

“They look for quick solutions rather than resolving issues. People have divorced their spouses for trivial reasons like snoring!”

Kamal Singh Pundhir, a lawyer who deals with matrimonial cases in the capital, said: “Earlier, the common reason for divorce was mental or physical torture but now it has more to do with incompatibility, adjustment problems, temperamental differences and intolerance.”

He said growing levels of impatience in relationships were making couples opt for divorce.

According to an estimate by the judiciary, nearly 136,000 weddings are registered here every year. Conversely, nearly 10,000 divorce cases are filed in Delhi every year and 10 cases on an average are filed in one court in the capital every day. Around 12,000 divorces were cleared last year.

Last year, a man dragged his wife to the Delhi High Court after the session’s court rejected his divorce petition calling the reason invalid. The man had filed for divorce because of what he called his wife’s arrogance. She had refused to serve tea to his friend and a quarrel ensued.

The high court too rejected the petition and directed the couple to live together and solve the dispute.

According to lawyers, some other “inconsequential” reasons cited in divorce petitions in India these days include refusal to stay with in-laws, no desire to experiment with lovemaking or unwillingness to do household chores.

Husbands often allege that spouses do not have table manners or do not interact with colleagues or refuse to drink at parties.

“These reasons may be silly and minor, but once the couple is intent on quitting the relationship then not even the judiciary can help much,” said Manisha Jha, a lawyer who deals with marital disputes.

Jha recalls that a wife who once filed for divorce from her husband after six months of marriage alleged that he neglected her and spent more time in office.

“I advised her to join some hobby classes or start working, but she refused. She was firm on getting a divorce. So I filed the case and it was sent to the mediation cell for consideration,” Manisha said.

Lack of communication also ends in divorces.

“You can’t have an effective relationship if either of the partners doesn’t discuss his/her feelings, can’t talk about mutual or personal issues, keeps resentments simmering and expects the mate to guess what the problem is all about,” Jha said.

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