In what can be termed as a momentous decision by an Indian Court a woman has been granted compensation for the emotional abuse she suffered at the hands of her live in partner who used her on the promise of marriage and then dumped her unceremoniously , threatening her with his ‘high connections’ if she so much as uttered a word in protest.
Sheeba Chowdhry the lady in question and her partner Amitava Mukherjee decided to live together in Bangkok after the latter even went so far as meeting up with her father and promising marriage.
As is wont to occur, an abortion and several years later( in an interview she mentioned the abortion to have taken place three years ago) the man recants from his obligations, spouting one excuse after another in an effort to keep the relationship going but avoiding the issue of marriage. It is later brought to the notice of Sheeba that this ‘ gentleman’ was already married !
Accusations, counter accusations and threats followed with Sheeba now wanting to bring to book her abuser. The police dily dallied on taking in a complaint, as Mukherjee was in a senior position ( diplomatic?).The matter was taken to the courts where a landmark judgement pronounced that Mukherjee had emotionally violated Sheeba and he had to pay her Rs 1.5 lakhs in compensation.
The amount is not the point of focus here.. its painfully paltry a sum.
What is pertinent here is the path breaking stance by the courts where the connotation and denotation of ‘violence’ has transcended that what is ordinarily viewed as. ‘Emotional abuse ‘ is now going to come within the ambit of violence. Do scars of physical violence alone spell the torture a woman may have been subjected to? Emotionally abusing, as in this case, betraying the trust, dishonoring a commitment and manipulating emotions can be disastrous to the health and well being of any ‘individual’…and that is ‘violence’ as well.
Reflecting the altered scenario as we witness today, the courts have responded by taking due cognisance of a live in relationship..as an alternative to marriage. Now the ramifications of this can be far reaching. Will this invite the populace to adopting it in in greater numbers?
On another level, marriage is a bond which has been granted a locus standi for reasons too obvious to deserve enumeration. Therefore a couple who decides to optionally live together is unwittingly or morally doing so with a similar purpose as that of two who wed, albeit without a social announcement. Do rules then really have to be different?
Disloyalty, abuse, torture, adultery apply to a relationship imho, not a piece of paper.
This does not in any way reflect on my views on the sanctity of marriage. It is a contract which has to be respected and essayed only after serious deliberations . But for those adults who wish to instead involve themselves in a live in arrangement, then manipulations, lies, deceit, harassment and torture cannot be overlooked/logicalised/rationalised/dissed only because ‘its not a marriage.. so I dont owe her anything…not even a shred of decency”.
Of course going by the present situation, being in a marriage is no guarantee either.. so where is the difference?
Or should we holler ” Marriage is dead…Long Live Holy Matrimony”!!