Divorce in Indian newspapers


Reporting and articles about Divorce is generally sensationalist and over the top. Yesterday was no exception. The Times of India  decided that writing about Divorce will show how advanced their thinking is. Here I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt. In case I don’t want to do that I’d say they’re writing about divorce because it makes good copy. Take a look at what they’re writing.

Yesterday’s edition of the newspaper had a story called “Facebook face-off peppers Divorce cases across India”. It makes no sense as it seems to blame Facebook for the rise in the number of divorces in India. The comments under the article are mind boggling – it set off the Hindutva NRI brigade and had them ranting about Facebook, which in turn sparked a whole army of defenders of Facebook. What did that scintillating piece of reporting say? In a line, that a couple of men divorced their wives after they saw what the wives were unto on their Facebook pictures. Having got an insight into the secret lives of their wives (apparently) the guys went to court.    Pathbreaking! Don’t you think that trust is the most important aspect of a marriage? If husbands and wives are keeping secrets from each other but flaunting them on Facebook their marriage s obviously pretty shaky to begin with. In which case they either need to work on the trust issue or take a call on whether to break off. So its irrelevant where the information comes from – Facebook or the local nosey neighbor… if spouses are up to extra curricular activities they want to hide from each other its a problem. And that is the main problem, not Facebook or divorce.

The article  starts off promisingly enough with a comment about Mark Zuckerberg and how he hasn’t changed his Facebook status to ‘married’ whereas his wife has. Age old story – and now we can see, not only in India where women wear mangalsutras and bindis and bangles and all kinds of things that scream out their marital status ,while men wear NOTHING to indicate the same. Not even a ring. Now that would have been something to write about. The need for men to appear ‘cool’ by showing they’re single and for women to appear ‘desirable’ by showing they’re married! Instead it became all about Facebook and the decline of morality in modern society. wtf

The second ‘article’ was in the Delhi Times – yes, I can hear you sigh – brace yourself. It was called “Pati, patni aur divorce.” Husband, wife and divorce. It’s  a pity because it was the infinitely more sensible article of the two. It was about Television Divorces – divorces that are taking place in TV serials. These serials are watched intently by millions of viewers and have a far reaching impact.. Of course, as in real life, the couple usually merely ‘separate’ which is somehow better than divorces apparently. Don’t ask me why – but people are ok with ‘separations’ in India. Its kind of an acceptable way out of a bad marriage – you live your life, and I’ll live mine but lets not take it to the courts. Divorce is disgusting!!  There are a number of TV serials that have integrated separations or marital problems, or even discussion about divorce into their scripts – these are “Diya aur Baati Hum”, “Bade Achhe Laggte Hain” and “Amrit Manthan”. The producer of Amrit Manthan, Rajan Shahi s says about divorce “…there is no stigma attached to it. If two people who decided to tie the knot are unable to live happily together, divorce is the best way out. In changing times, couples part with mutual respect for each other.”

I have more to say about the Indian media’s reporting about divorce – wait till tomorrow.



About Kalpana

Trying to change the world one blog post at a time. I write. It's the best thing I can do. I am the Hanged Man, the Fool, the sometime Magician. Whether I travel in my imagination or in real life I write about it and show you pictures either through my photography or through the pictures I paint with my words. I read books and write fiction. During working hours I teach English as an Additional Language. I edit.

Posted on June 4, 2012, in bad marriage, Breaking Up, Courts, Divorce, media portrayal of divorce and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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