Marriage as a forceful essential convention has got a kick in the butt.
The Supreme Court yesterday opined that a man and woman living together without marriage cannot be construed as an offence. This, along with the January 2008 Supreme Court ruling stating that 'if a man and woman are involved in a live-in relationship for a long period, they will be treated as a married couple and their child would be called legitimate', makes for a great change in the Indian social fabric.
With respect to physical security, the female of live in relationship is already given protection under the Domestic Violence Act 2005. In terms of the fear that the male partner may leave the girl with kids is also no longer true. In the court of law, it will be very easy for her to prove legitimacy.
With respect to children, the SC judgement has dispelled all doubts and apprehensions crucial for the children’s future, their prestige and treatment among the society. They will be treated at equal footing in the court of law.
I have always questioned marriage as being the ultimate weapon for eternal togetherness. You may want to read this. These changing societal landscape only proves that nature ultimately will raise its head out of human-created shackles like marriage. Although it may not reduce the significance of marriage as a safe institution, but it will surely encourage and support the rebels to follow their instincts and conscience.
Like the Indian economy grew after the 1991 liberalisation, the social economy will also get enhanced by this liberty given to choose the way we want to spend our life with our partners.
This will also bring women into equal economic footing, as they don't have to face the pressures of convention inside a marriage.
Divorce and break-ups will be a lesser taboo and emotionally less draining. It will ultimately be considered natural.
Relationships will be stronger, as the likelihood of each partner taking the other for granted will be lesser. We all know that marriage as a social bind changes the dynamics of a relationship. 'Shaadi ke baad change ho gaya hain' will be a lesser heard phrase.
This judgements and developments may finally make 'marriage' a lesser inspiration for jokes. It may lead to lessening of the significance of one of the oldest proverb - 'Shaadi ke laddoo jo khaye woh pashtaye, Jo nehi khaye woh bhi (nehi) pashtaye!'