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Letter from India

 

Goodbye Marriage

It’s broken, irrelevant and unnecessary for producing children

 

— Kul Bhushan

 

Boy meets girl. Boy likes the girl. The girl likes the boy. They meet again and again. They come closer – emotionally, mentally and soon, physically. They are in love. The boy proposes, the girl accepts. Or the other way round. They get married and are supposed to live happily ever after. The End? No way! In fact, it is the beginning of a new chapter of adjustment, compromise, suppression, mental torture, slavery, violence and even killing. They may sort it out themselves. The one who gives in first, has to give way for the rest of his/her life. Or they divorce. This is the story of marriage today.

 

As women assert their equal rights under the law; become more and more educated; are able to earn and support themselves; and enjoy sexual freedom with contraceptives; marriage has become weaker – indeed collapsed. So a ‘live in’ relationship without getting married is fast becoming popular. Indeed, the legal systems of the West, and now India too, have accepted this relationship. A new bill before the Indian parliament, when it becomes law, will allow single men, women and even gays and lesbians to have children using surrogate mothers. Women do not need a man to bear a child. A man does not need a woman to bear his child. The pill and the condom have freed a woman from bearing a child. A woman does not need a man to bear a child, she can use a donor sperm. She does not need a man to support her as better education has enabled her to earn and live the life she wants.

 

In a lead article, ‘I Don’t’, Newsweek dated 28 June – 5 July says, “As an institution, marriage is described by sociologists as ‘broken’. From a legal, financial and practical viewpoint, marriage is no longer necessary.”

 

The facts tell the same story. The percentage of married persons has dropped every decade since 1950s, while the number of unmarried partners has risen 1,000 per cent over the last 40 years. Births out of wedlock are 52 per cent in Sweden, 50 per cent in France, 42 per cent in the UK, 41 per cent in USA. And 15 other EU countries had an estimated average of 33 per cent, the annual ONS’ Social Trends report said. In 1980, births outside marriage in the UK was a meager 12 per cent, according to he Office for National Statistics.

 

Half of all babies will be born to unmarried mothers by 2012 if present trends continue, says new research that suggests the rapid erosion of moral and religious taboos. Moreover, fewer than half of families will consist of married couples and up to a third could be lone parents, said Dr Peter Brierley, a former government statistician now specialising in religious trends.

 

No wonder the western sociologists now say that marriage, as an institution, is broken. Osho said this over 40 years ago. Osho talked about all these aspects of marriage happening now. But with one major difference – he looked into the future and spoke more than four decades ago. He said marriage is irrelevant if one is in love; women have become more empowered with education and contraceptives, why one should not live in misery in an unhappy marriage, and divorce should be an easy and even an enjoyable option. If a marriage does not work, said Osho, untie the knot by going round the fire ceremony in the opposite direction! In the same style, divorce parties have now become popular in the west.

 

Osho said, “I am not against marriage — I am for love. If love becomes your marriage, good; but don’t hope that marriage can bring love. That is not possible. Love can become a marriage. You have to work very consciously to transform your love into a marriage.

 

“I am for the REAL marriage. I am against the false, the pseudo, that exists. But it is an arrangement. It gives you a certain security, safety, occupation. It keeps you engaged. Otherwise, it gives you no enrichment, it gives you no nourishment.

 

“Passion alone is not able to sustain love; compassion is needed. If you are able to be compassionate towards the other; if you are able to accept his/her limitations, his/her imperfections; if you are able to accept him the way he is or she is and STILL love — then one day a marriage happens. That may take years. That may take your whole life.

 

“Marriage is a trap: you will be trapped by the woman and the woman will be trapped by you. It is a mutual trap. And then legally you are allowed to torture each other forever. The very institution of marriage is ugly, the very institution is anti-love. It is based on denying love a chance to flower within you. Marriage is an invention of those who don’t want the earth to be full of flowers of love. Love is dangerous to the establishment, the most dangerous thing, because if people are loving then this society is doomed. This society depends on hatred, not on love,” said Osho.

 

What do you think?

 

* * * 

 

Rejoinder from Jean Marie F. RICHARD

 

Dear Sir

 

I refer to the statements made by Jean-Claude de l’Estrac during in the course of an interview in your esteemed weekly on Friday June 25th last which I consider to amount to spin doctoring. More precisely I would like to draw the attention of your readership to the part of the interview related to Radio One.  

 

It so happens that the said de l’Estrac is both the Chairperson of Viva Voce Ltd and La Sentinelle Ltée of which he was formally an Executive Director. De l’Estrac mentions a “simple contrat de management” in this regard whereas the latter has systematically been made, in my opinion, instrumental to outwit the law and the spirit of the law.

 

May I illustrate this averment by referring to the last episode where a media group sued the State…Viva Voce Ltd was literally dragged into this issue without its Board being at least informed, not to mention, mandate being given after discussions… We Board members only learnt from the media that the Chief Editor of Radio One had joined the bandwagon.

 

When I shouldered my responsibilities as a Board member requesting explanations through the Company Secretary, ConSec Secretarial Services (fyi : the same outlet being the media group’s company secretary), surprisingly it so happened that a letter from a Director, by definition and destination privy to the Board of Viva Voce Ltd., found its way in the columns of the daily owned by the Management Company of Viva Voce Ltd: i.e. La Sentinelle Ltée.

 

I have since requested that my views be published on the whole matter to the Editor, Mr Raj Meetarbhan, and also through the Complaints Committee of the daily chaired by former Justice Robert Ahnee…It is sad to say that to date I am still awaiting a response, not to say an explanatory note from both gentlemen…

 

I am forced to disclose that when questions are put regarding the financial trends of the company, there is systematic reference to the seemingly sacrosaint “simple contrat de management”. Recently a “performance appraisal and a review of the management contract” were formally requested but this was rebuked with disdain and threats from the Chairperson to the extent that I had to ask him to stop considering Board Directors as his chockras…”.

 

In spite of the fact that the Company Secretary had taped the meeting, this serious incident surprisingly again was not mentioned in the minutes of the Board meeting. I had to insist that the incident be included for the records. It is after this incident that I formally informed the Board that the whole matter of governance would be presented to the regulator, the Independent Broadcasting Authority.

 

I do hope those clarifications will prove enlightening enough to your readers on the matter specifically regarding the Radio One issue after the patronising and condescending replies of your interlocutor which I consider to be stand alone statements of his mindset.

 

Thanking you for the publication of the above in your next edition

 

Jean Marie F. RICHARD

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