Mahadevan's Monologues

If we had the vision and feeling of ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel’s heart beat and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence. – George Eliot

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


The Maharashtra Cabinet has decided to introduce a Bill shortly, in the State Legislature, seeking to legalise ‘living in arrangement’ between a man and a woman. Union Minister Renuka Choudhary wants not only legal sanction, but also moral support from the society for such living in arrangement. Let us now examine the legal, moral and sociological implications of the proposed measure by the Government.

When all over the world, economies have crumbled, India and a few others have escaped with minor bruises. Dr.Manmohan Singh attributes the International economic failures to lose regulatory controls. In India, we have one of the finest regulators, the Reserve Bank of India and this Regulatory body’s extra zealous efforts certainly helped us in maintaining a semblance of discipline. Thus, regulatory mechanism plays a vital role, when diverse operations take place. Marriage is a social regulatory institution evolved as human civilization advanced. Lord Sriram was singled out for praise for remaining monogamous. Today millions of us are monogamous and yet we are not praised. Why? In Sriram’s time, monogamy, that too among the Royals, was not a virtue. And yet, Sri Ram chose to remain faithful to his wife and is admired for that. When we have come out of that state and the vast majority remains within the wedlock, respecting the Institution of Marriage, should we move out of this stage of civilization? Hinduism and Roman Catholic Church considers marriage as a sacrament. When we realize that Regulatory mechanism, certainly help us, should we opt out of it? ‘Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread’.
Excepting Special Marriages Act, Marriages under which is optional, we do not have common Marriage laws, governing different communities of their marriages, divorce and inheritance. If Marriage laws are different, will the proposed laws for Living in arrangement’ apply mutatis mutandis to different communities? We have been hearing constantly about the attrition in software and BPO industries. ‘Living in arrangement often would lead to attrition in man-woman relationship and if attrition as such is obnoxious, how can we encourage attrition in man-woman relationship? Today children outside wedlock, generally carry a stigma, in all communities (celebrities excluded). Will the legitimization of their parents’ relationship erase the stigma? Perhaps Mrs. Renuka Choudhary had this in mind when she asked for moral support to ‘living in ‘arrangement.

Living in arrangement, by definition is not likely to last for long period and therefore how do we work upon laws of inheritance? How do we nurture children, when there is constant reshuffling in parental relationship? Relationship within the Institution of Marriage is the rule and relationship outside marriage is an exception. Should we seek to make the exception as the rule?

And finally let us be governed by the oft repeated common sense axiom – when in doubt, don’t.


  • At 7:40 PM, Blogger Usha said…

    There are so many aspects of a marriage which are still left unlegislated - where is the urgency for this kind of law?

    On an unrelated note, is that your article about the idli and upma - a study in contrast which is doing the rounds through email?

  • At 7:51 PM, Blogger Mahadevan said…

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • At 7:54 PM, Blogger Mahadevan said…

    I fully agree with you. There is no need for such legislation now.

    Yes. It is my old article on Idli and Upma that is doing the round now.

  • At 11:57 PM, Blogger Subhashini Sury said…

    With so many burning issues to be handled..there is absolutely no need to encourage something thats going to lead to a whole set of new problems and questions...

    Completely agree with you.

    Somehow its not nice that youngsters today wanna change everything..n i feel quite strongly about the fact that some basic values and principles laid ages back hold good till today.

  • At 8:46 PM, Blogger Usha said…

    Mr Mahadevan, where are you? I hope all is well with you.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home