The Union Cabinet recently decided to make "irretrievable breakdown of marriage another ground for divorce".This added to the existing three legal grounds of divorce viz mutual consent,partner fault and insanity would make India at par with all modern democracies in world.However the recent decleration has sparked off a debate between the conservist and modern social thinkers.Many people fear the so called moving away from Nehruvian culture might lead to hampering of social and economic development as India is not yet ready to live the western way.
The arguments espoused above might have some merit .Lets first see how marriage has evolved over the time and its current social significance.Marriage can be defined as a social contract between two individuals (usually of different sexes) to live together for entire life and take care for each other emotionally,physically and financially.The idea of marriage started with womens need for security and genetic encoding in humans which encouraged women to choose a suitor who could provide the best conditions for fostering of an offspring for her life.Over time the emotional aspect added to the concept of marriage.
However with changing times,the fastening pace of daily life and rise of fairer sex in economic sphere ,the usefulness of marriage as an institution seems limited.Currently we live in a time of fads with the liking of people changing every instant.We are no longer a moronic static society ,but rather a dynamic pulsating ones whopse need for technology,food and work is always changing.Its no wonder that in such a system an individuals liking for a partner is bound to change and therfore being "bound for life" seems to make little sense to many of younger generation.This is clearly exemplified by the gradual rise in average age of marriage,the no. of diveorces and decrease in percentage of marriages across the world .
While the above might seem pleasing to many ,the institution of marriage has its own significance and cannot be done away with.In particular marriage is the binding force which provides stability to a family and this leads to development of better offspring and general growth of the country.The US which has been quite liberal with its divorce laws is grappling with problem of failed marriages.According to a survey about 70% of US criminals had single parents.With ever increase in divorce rates ,many western counteries are drappling with problems of fallling birth rates,rise in crime due to lack of proper breeding by single parents and general decrease in economic growth rates.
From the above we can conclude that while reforms in divorce laws are necessary and need of the hour but at the same time any extreme measures would have a long time negative impact on the economic,social and demographic stability of the country.A right step in the above would be to liberalise the divorce laws for couples withou kids but those with children should be subjected to more stringent rules.The couples could be asked by court to reconsider their decision and live together for a particular time frame before finally deciding to seperate out.Another alternate might be state taking possesion of single kids and raising them in seperate facilities with their parents paying a compensation.The Soviet Union experimented with sate taking responsibility of children and produced some brilliant scientists sportspersons etc
Whatever may be the routhe one point is clear..change is in the air :)