Feminism, Machoism or Equalism


By Mrinal Wokhloo

It is believed that wife is Ardhangini i.e. half of man. Man is only half not complete until he marries. Wife is not Grihapatni but also Dharampatni. In the Ramayana the wife is said to be the very soul of her husband.

Marriage is a sacred and cherished institution in a Kashmiri Pandit culture, and it is accompanied by a multitude of customs and rituals that vary across different regions of India. Saptapadi, also known as the "Rite of the Seven Steps" in Kashmir is a tradition that symbolizes the union of two individuals in a lifelong partnership, seeking the blessings of the divine. However due to emergence of industrialized societies and result of social awareness amongst our culture, Kashmiri Pandit girls are abandoning their husbands for their best interests which finally results in a dissolution of marriage.

Many social experts and some independent surveys are of the opinion that fi nancial independence, over involvement/Interference of parents, lack of joy or interest to stay with in-laws after marriage, infidelity, substance abuse, live-in Relationships has lead to rise in divorce cases among Kashmiri Pandits all across the country.

“For nearly one year now, I have suffered the trauma of not being able to meet my 9 year old son”, says 42 year old man from a well reputed family, a resident of Noida. He has been married for 13 years now. He is now like a guest to his own biological son.

“It was always a happy marriage; memories of togetherness, forgiveness of mistakes and used to be always a promise to never give up with each other” a man says. “My wife left the matrimonial home of her own on 11th Jan 2023, around 2:45 pm
with his son at the pretext for her Nephew’s birthday party and said that she would be returning back on 13th Jan, 2023”.

“Our daughter-in-law has forcibly taken away the
grandson with sole motive to deprive us from the
love and affection of our grandchild” says a retired
teacher and a mother in law who is in a shock.
A husband and his parents were eagerly waiting
for their daughter-in-law and grandson in Noida on
13th Jan 2023. Instead of that husband and his family received the notice from the Counsel with the
false allegations on the husband and his family just
for the extortion of money”

Kashmiri migrants have reportedly registered
high cases of divorces in the Matrimonial Court of
Jammu and Kashmir during the last several years.
Discord and marriages ending in divorces are not
only rising but are becoming socially acceptable among Pandits, as the community continues to live in exile outside its homeland.

Surprisingly, more couples from the high-income group married within the community are seeking separation. Interestingly, the prevalence of divorce among couples who have married outside the community is low. Among more than a dozen cases, boys and girls give little considerations to the norms of
society. They have little patience to sort out their
small differences.

Another aspect is financial in-dependence. Young people are confident to pursuea separate path if they feel their marriage is on rocky grounds and to some extent over involvement of the daughter-in-laws family are responsible for breaking the marriage and welcoming their daughter to come back to her parental house.

Over the years, Kashmiri Pandit community in exile has already suffered a lot on social, economical and political front and continues to suffer in exile for the last 34 years. Let us all fight together against such nature of community evils and save our children from the breakdown of marriages.

(The writter is a Medical Professional, resident
of Noida & a proud Kashmiri Pandit. Feed-back: mrinalwokhloo@gmail.com)

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