What Do Divorce and Separation Say to Us About Contemporary India

Ever wondered why divorce rates have increased? Find out the most common reasons for divorce happening in india by reading this article

What Do Divorce and Separation Say to Us About Contemporary India
What Do Divorce and Separation Say to Us About Contemporary India


One out of 1,000 marriages end with divorce in India

“There cannot be any objection to the right to divorce. However, the idea of granting this right to women in isolation is unintentional and likely more destructive of harm than good,” said a critic in a lyrical essay in May 1949 on the status of divorce and women in India.

In the prestigious magazine Economic Weekly, Roma Mehta wrote that females in India were “more secured and well taken care of than women people in the West” They also discovered “more happiness frequently in her home” and that her problems and heartaches were resolved in the family” in the place she lived. “The interdependence can be quite severe; however, despite everything, the family unit is protected and maintained.”

She said that divorce did not “concern the large majority of individuals” in a nation that is fundamentally rural. People lack education and have no connection to the world beyond as well as the “clamor for higher standards of living is not present.” Thus, Ms. Mehta argued that the “problems of hate and love and marriage and remarriage are resolved with a simple strategy which is made to benefit the entire community.”

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Change equations

This was in the late 1950s. The important Hindu Code Bill passed in the legislature in the mid-1950s gave women the right to property, banned polygamy, and allowed couples to apply for divorce. The laws were amended in 1976 to allow divorce with mutual consent.

As time passes, the traditional family unit has been replaced by family units in towns and cities, as more females are choosing to work or starting their own businesses. A lot of urban women do not need to rely on their spouses to provide financial security. Men share household chores, and gender roles are gradually changing.

A major study conducted by economist Suraj Jacob and anthropologist Sreeparna Chattopadhyay has looked at information from India’s census to provide – possibly in the very first instance some perspectives on divorcing and divorce in India.


Marriages of love are becoming more popular in India

The census in India gives citizens the option to choose their status as never married, divorced, never married, divorced, widowed, or married. Some women aren’t likely to report divorce or separation because of the stigma that comes with the distinction. However, here are some of the most important results of the study:

1.36 million people in India are divorced. This is equal to 0.24 percent of the married population and 0.11 percent of the overall population.
The most striking thing is that the number of divorced people is nearly triple the number of divorces. It is 0.61 percent of married couples and 0.29 percent of the total population.

Women are more likely to be divorced and separated than males.
North-east states have divorce rates that are significantly higher than other states across India: Mizoram has the most divorce rate (4.08 percent) and is four times higher than Nagaland, which is the state with the second-highest divorce rate (0.88 percent).
Gujarat is the state with the highest amount of divorce cases among the largest states, with a population of over 10 million, closely followed by Assam, Maharashtra, West Bengal, and Jammu and Kashmir.
Meghalaya is the state with the highest number of cases of dissociation than Mizoram, Sikkim, Kerala, and Chhattisgarh. Three of these states are located in the north east region of India.


What can this reveal about the breakdown of marriages in present-day India?

In fact, there are more divorced people as divorced than separated in India due to the stigma associated with divorce, as well as the time it takes to settle disagreements in slow-moving Indian courts.


More women separated than the men in India

The gender gap, with more women who divorced and separated in the past – is striking and tells a narrative about the gender biases in India and how patriarchy functions.

This is basically a sign that women are opting to remain divorced or they aren’t finding couples for remarriage, which is not the case with males. “It is in keeping with the discrimination women have to face within India,” says Ms. Chattopadhyay. “You can choose to divorce. However, it is difficult to remarry due to the stigmas that divorced women face.”

The third factor is that the gap between divorce and separation in towns, cities, and villages is “very small,” which was a surprise “big unexpected” for the research team. “So classes could or might be irrelevant; however, the residence does not seem to make much of a distinction,” they say.

‘Not surprising’
The third reason is that divorce and separation rates differ dramatically across states and regions.

The divorce and separation rates in north states where tribal laws permit for unofficial relationships and women are sometimes granted an even higher status as a result of a matrilineal structure are more than in other areas in India.

Northern states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, and Rajasthan are considered as deeply patriarchal and have lower divorce and separation rates.

A study conducted by the International Institute of Family Studies on divorce rates across 70 countries – among the few studies that provide global comparisons – revealed that they vary from a minimum of 0.04 percent of the population in Georgia up to 0.46 percent in Belarus.

Incredibly, the rate of divorce in Gujarat is greater than that of Belarus, and Bihar is closer to Georgia, which suggests that there is a “striking region-wide diversification.”

In addition, according to researchers, “divorce rates in India are neither shocking nor are neither surprising.”


There is a very small distinction between divorces in villages and cities in India.

“Although there’s plenty of evidence from anecdotes about skyrocketing divorce rates in general terms, we’re not the highest in the world in terms of the rate for divorce.” Says Ms. Jacob and Mrs. Chattopadhyay, who are both professors the Bangalore’s Azim Premji University.

“India is between the two. Additionally, considering that the odds of marriage before marriage are very minimal in India and that marriage is not a universal thing, it shouldn’t be surprising that for certain individuals younger than the rest of us, first marriages could end being divorced.”

Nupur Dhingra Paiva, a Delhi-based child clinical psychologist, told her that, when she began her work three years ago, she could just get one or two cases every two months from divorced parents who brought their children with issues to consultation.

“Now, I receive a similar instance every week. The couples are middle -and upper-middle-class, and both the male as well as the woman are working. Incompatibility and adultery are the two most common reasons used to justify the divorce.” One in 1,000 couples divorce in India; however, the odds are changing.

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