Of post marital disputes and broken families
DR.MIRZA ASHRAF BÉG
The number of broken families and post marital disputes are sadly rising at an alarming rate. Different people give different explanations and different people have different reasons. I have seen judges, doctors, lawyers, educationists and highly learned people or even totally illiterate, religious or nonreligious all suffer the menace alike. I believe the stress of the present day lifestyle, lack of understanding, communication gap and trust deficit are the leading factors that work as stimuli to some underlying pathology.
I don’t see any justification to blame women’s empowerment for this mess because neither the west nor the east has empowered the woman in the real sense. Educating women for office jobs does in no case mean that we have empowered them when an office going lady has to do all sort of her household jobs when she returns home after a tiring day in her office while her husband having returned home sits with crisscross legs puffing a cigarette and asks for a hot cup of tea and her mother in law needs an explanation for returning home a bit late.
Times have changed drastically and it did not give us time to change accordingly. Only a couple of decades back you would hardly see an office going lady in your neighborhood but today if you are a keen observer you see dozens of young ladies running helter skelter to find accommodation in an overcrowded bus and no gentleman occupying the ladies reserved seat has a courtesy to offer a seat to the trembling eve. I am at a loss to understand if that is the women’s empowerment? West has solved this problem to a great extent by improving the transport system and giving computer and internet facilities to everybody. So most of the jobs are done at home and the conception of your physical presence in an office is gone. I know it will take us time to understand this system because our boss needs a ‘good morning sir’ in the morning and gossip the whole day in your cramped office.
Before deciding to write on the difficult subject of broken families and increase in the rate of divorces in our society I had an interaction with some such unfortunate couples and different people had different reasons but one factor was common with everybody that was the role of destiny. After studying some who had been in deep love decades before and after marriage parting their ways one could have no explanation except to accept the role of destiny. Having said that some ladies did express their concern that the present day lady wants her share of rights and role in the society and unfortunately male chauvinism is not prepared to accommodate to the changing society which to me looks just a bit of lack of understanding and perceptions. God though has created the two genders somewhat alike but he has differentiated the two in to two totally different human beings with different roles at times like men can’t bear children. Hence God has chosen the Eve for this hard but a sacred job and wise men are expected to deal with her with care, respect and dignity.
Some even say the direct access to the cash for a working lady gives her an authoritarian bent of mind and builds tendencies of revolt in a joint family system which needs a bit of research but at the end of the day the house maker is the lady of the house weather she is an office going Madam or a mother at home. Both of us need to understand she is the banker and the economist of the house.
Recent press reports suggest that every year more than 35 to 40 percent cases (about 2000 cases) registered in lower courts of Srinagar judiciary are marital disputes most of the times invoking section 488 of CrPc. Naturally children born of such broken wedlocks are the indirect sufferers for none of their faults. It is being erroneously argued that deviation from religious values is the reason for these tragedies. On the other hand I strongly believe present day men and women understand their religious responsibilities better than before. I am afraid we should not unnecessarily invoke too much intervention of religion in every field leading to misrepresentation of Islam. You can be a good Muslim in a western suit or a bad one with a green or black headgear. Let us be careful lest we divide our society on these color codes! There is increase in divorces in every religion. Hindu marriage was considered an eternal bondage and they had no provision for a divorce but of late courts have found ways and means to accommodate such human needs provided by Islam long-long ago. So far as making women economically independent Khadija the prophet’s wife was an independent business lady before and after she married Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). We need to concentrate on changing human behavior the outcome of present day stressful life and find ways and means to combat it.
Premarital marriage counseling is important for the present day half baked educated lot. Islam gives you all the liberties under proper guidelines of the society to select your life partner for both men and women alike. When I invoke the role of society I mean culture, family traditions and other genuine norms of the society we live in. What is applicable to west can never apply to east—that is it.
Sometimes we blame the role of dowry for the broken families. Historically dowry less or more has always been there according to the social status of the parties involved. The problem lies in commercialization of the sacred institution of marriage. The glitter or pomp and show that we are consciously or unconsciously introducing to get pseudo recognition in the society is the basic problem that needs a sound education for our future generation. That is why I stress on concentrating on the development of the human mind and soul while we keep an eye on physical development through our sports etc. We need food for our developing brains too.
Coming back to the broken families there have been suggestions that mediation centers with retired judges can be a great help. Having my reservations I need to emphasize most of the times it is psychological maladjustment and you need psychoanalysts as support services to bridge the gap rather than a bomb disposal squad to diffuse the bomb.
(The columnist is the author of the book, ‘Kashmir in search of peace.’ Feedback at drashrafbeg@ gmail.com)
Lastupdate on : Mon, 24 Sep 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 24 Sep 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 25 Sep 2012 00:00:00 IST
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