Wear a Condom? I Want a Divorce!
Such was the recent plea of one Pradeep Bapat in Bombay, India.
Mr. Bapat filed for divorce after his wife, Prerna, had refused to give him children, thus insisting that he use condoms when the couple had sex.
Mrs. Bapat cited the couple’s unstable financial situation as her reason for not wanting to get pregnant.
Pradeep and Prerna entered an arranged marriage in February 2007. By June of that same year, Mrs. Bapat had already moved out.
Mr. Bapat’s lawyer told the court that his client wanted a woman who was educated, who had a good job, but also who would do all the housework.
Justice Majmudar, one of the High Court judges overseeing the case, responded, “A woman is not a slave.”
In court, Mr. Bapat listed a host of other complaints about his marriage, including a lack of cooking and cleaning skills on Mrs. Bapat’s part.
In the end, the Bombay High Court refused his request, ruling that none of these complaints were grounds for a divorce.
In response to Mr. Bapat’s complaints about his wife, the judges said, “You have put [common marital troubles] in the plea. If we construe these as cruelty, then no marriage will be safe.”
Fellow Justice Anoop Mohta stated that couples in arranged marriages should get to know each other better before tying the knot. The two judges presiding over the case also commented that it is “the duty of parents to consider various aspects before the actual marriage takes place.”
According to data from UNICEF (verified February 6, 2012), 90 percent of the marriages in India are arranged marriages. The global figure for arranged marriage is 55 percent.
India also boasts one of the world’s lowest divorce rates, about one per every 1,000 marriages (as of January 2011). But that number has doubled from what it was only five years prior.