Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Broken Homes (Metaphorically, although literally as well now with the housing crisis and what not)

Another prominent aspect of society in American, and also for the general Western/developed/OECD countries, is the lack of its most basic foundation: marriage. Marriage is, from what I have read,seen, heard or researched about, pretty much a Joke in America. Instead of being the most sincere and thorough relationshion in a person's lifetime, it becomes a repetitive, annoying and inconsiderate happening.

Divorce rate in the US is apprx. 40-50%, according to various sources. That is not only alarming but utterly shameful. It means half the people neither understand the relationship completely, nor do they make an effort to do so. For all the talk about "family values" being instilled in the culture of America, its amazingly pathetic that the society as a whole is failing to lay a solid foundation from which further values can be preached. Ive explained in one of my previous blogs about the cultural difference about expectations and methods of marriage in both India and US. In the US, marriage is more about the individual than it is about the combined relationship, whereas in India it is not only an union between two people but the whole family, and sometimes even of communities or villages altogether.

Now as Indian culture gets assimilated and becomes more "Westernized", there has been a very predictable and expected rise in the number of divorces. Divorce rates in India are around 2%, but metropolitan areas such as Mumbai and Delhi have seen about a 2-3 fold increase in fillings. Many different influences are to blame, and likewise thankul for these. In an unforgivingly conservative society as India, divorces are actually a blessing for the usually oppressed Female demography.

Women were forced to get married, and then endure life long abuses from the husband, in-laws, communities etc. before, but now female empowerement has been a key issue in the urban change of India. As more women become not only educated, but more so employed, they are developing personal views and expectations as well, which often results in conflicting views of society. For them divorce is an upliftment, a tool to exercise their rights,power,demands etc. which they had endured for so long. But the general and prevalent reason for getting divorced seems to be lack of compromise or mutual agreement over an issue just as in America. And that is very concerning indeed, for both men and women alike, as it could soon become an over-utilized, widespread mockery rather than an empowering tool meant to reduce personal shame, not become shameful on its own .....