Generation Ex - the Axe factor


By

Srikant Kapoor
DHMCT, BA (Eco), HDSM (NIS), PGDBM, MBA
Faculty Associate
ICFAI-IRS
E-mail: srikapoor@gmail.com
 



It is said marriages are made in heaven but, on the flip side divorce takes place on earth. Indian Hindu mythology is ripe with numerous examples and stories that reflect upon the commitment, persistence and adherence to the marriage - institution.

In Satyug, a period of time when truth and fairness prevailed, the classic case of Savitri and Satyavan comes to mind. To put it briefly, Savitri a princess endowed with noble virtues fell in love with Satyavan, a prince who was practising austerity. Satyavan was destined to die young and Narad the sage had forewarned Savitri that if she was to marry Satyavan she would be a widow in a year.

Savitri undeterred by the warning,went ahead and married Satyavan. She denounced the materialistic, worldly life and started living with Satyavan in the forest. A year passed and as destiny had in store Satyavan lay dead beside Savitri. Lord Yama (God of Death) came himself to claim the Satyavans' soul which was pious and pure.

Savitri realizing that it is the soul which is supreme followed Lord Yama and with her unrelenting persistence, resolute devotion and wit impressed Yama which resulted in Satyavan coming back to life.

Well, did this happen or not? we may never know, but it does depict Savitris' strength of character and thereby constructs an iconic image in our minds.

In the present day context, Kalyug, a time period characterized by selfishness, deceit, and corruption, there has been a metamorphic change in the marriage-institution. Modern day marriages have become transaction oriented (give and take elements) thereby often resulting in friction. Emotions have taken a back seat and material goods are the driving force (it is only give me------). A sense of competition has crept in where man and wife play a win-lose game rather than a collaborative and complementary role resulting in a win-win outcome. This is where the Indian woman has emerged empowered and independent. Terms such as it's my money, my car, etc are commonly expressed. The questions are you not mine is often found missing. How may husbands or wives want to answer to this unflinchingly without any demands and promises? There is zero tolerance with self interest and ego found in both partners which generally precedes everything else. Thus the marital relationships have become more fragile-long working hours, less time spent together, sub nuclear families, etc are the usual culprits.

One can find supporting figures World Values Survey: June 11th, 2007 (Asia, OECD, Social, Statistic, World) which provides some meaningful insights. In the Indian Context, the court figures show divorce rates have been increasing. This societal trend is visible not only among the rich in big cities but also among the not so affluent in small towns. New Delhi leads with the highest number of divorces in the country with more than 8,000-9,000 cases every year, followed by Mumbai and Bangalore where the figures have doubled in the past decade, hovering between 4,000 and 5,000. Kolkata and Chennai, the bastions of tradition, are also not far behind with a significant rise of 200 per cent in such cases, according to data compiled by various State courts and the Crime Records Bureau. Punjab and Haryana, both agricultural states, have seen an increase of 150 per cent. Kerala, with the most literate population and the land of Gulf money, recorded an increase of 350 per cent in the last 10 years

Divorce rates are soaring among India's newly affluent middle classes, as working women with independent incomes, refuse to submit to the traditional ideal of marriage. On the other hand, the Indian male is confused, perplexed and still not completely ready to accept this social change. So what­­­ maybe asked instead of being judgmental, perceiving the situation from a different perspective, results in the emergence of the strange but symbolic article title Generation Ex-the Axe Factor?

Actually this Generation Ex-the Axe Factor translates into a dire need for specialized support services and presents a unique opportunity in the niche family- life- cycle segment. If you are divorced, either one of your former partner for sure needs if not every thing a substantial investment e.g. alternative accommodation, beds, refrigerator, water, electricity, gas connections etc." Citing a notable example -Second Shaadi.com, a matrimonial portal is positioned as a platform for people exploring the option for remarriage (as the name says Second marriage). The single parent has to earn for his or her child and, therefore, needs crèche and play stations. Providing you for with a shoulder (if not to cry on ) but for some emotional relief (escape). Social networking sites have come up to fill the emotional vacuum, Bigadda.com, Fropper.com, Friendorama.com, Orkut all promise virtual friendship! New sites (www.happycouples.in) are promising happiness, bliss through counselling and behavioral-modification- therapeutic services. The role of NGO's is important in terms of counselling and legal service. If one is extremely unfortunate one may lose wife and get into a formidable legal mess in shape of IPC section 498A which leads to the imprisonment of the groom even before divorce takes place. This ironically calls for the best legal representation and a long hard fought battle in the courts to escape the once beloved wife.

Well the debate on divorce (to be or not to be) is sadly a never ending one but it does offer opportunities in a Generation Ex- Axe Factor kind of way.

References:

www.divorce rate.org
www.worldvaluesurvey.org- World value survey : June 11th, 2007
(Asia, OECD, Social, Statistic , World)
 


Srikant Kapoor
DHMCT, BA (Eco), HDSM (NIS), PGDBM, MBA
Faculty Associate
ICFAI-IRS
E-mail: srikapoor@gmail.com
 

Source: E-mail October 27, 2007 / November 2, 2007

          

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