Divorce in India and in the West

There is a stark contrast in the attitude towards divorce in India and in the west. This is best understood in terms of an analogy.

Consider I want to leave my job for another. I only need to let my employer know and give them an advance notice as specified in our contract. On the day of leaving, I would send a flowery email thanking my colleagues for all the support they have given me in the last few years and how they have enriched my perspective, experience, and life. Remembering how we have had some really good time together, I would ask them to keep in touch as we go our separate ways wishing each other the very best.

This, I think is how divorce is seen in many western (or so-called modern) societies. You stay with someone for a while, have a good time while it lasts, and then decide to part without any hard feelings Рperhaps even choosing to remain good friends! This is very surprising, almost unbelievable, for most Indians (including myself).

Jeff Bezos' tweet announcing divorce with his wife beautifully captures the essence of the western attitude, highlighting the different attitude towards Divorce in India and in the West
Jeff Bezos’ tweet announcing divorce with his wife beautifully captures the essence of the western attitude

Divorce in India can also be likened to quitting an organization. An organization such as an underworld Mafia, that is! Wanting to leave is a mortal and unforgivable crime. The chances that you would make it out alive are slim. Even if you do, you will not be on good terms with your former colleagues or boss ever again. You will be enemies for life and will have nothing to do with each other.

Which of these you consider good will depend on your own perspective. Naturally, I like the Indian system. This is primarily because I have no interest in marriage as a casual association like a day job. Rather, I want it to be a relationship to which you commit your entire being. You know you are going to stick with each other for life. You leave yourself open to the point of being vulnerable, but find safety in the Omerta that you trust will not be broken.

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