Thursday, June 20, 2013

If Every Child is Legitimate Now, I Support Madras HC

Madras High Court order on pre marital sex and marriage has sparked a controversy which is going viral on net. I have lost the count of the different versions, opinions, judgements, views and above all interpretations that I have read about the same.

Let me just begin with sharing the links for the news :

Couples who have premarital sex to be considered 'married' : says HC

However, I still believe that the title by The Hindu for the link above was somewhat misleading.
Therefore, I would also like to share TOI's article. Its an interesting read.

The very statement "If a couple in the right legal age indulge in sexual gratification, it will be considered a valid marriage and they could be termed as husband and wife." has raised eyebrows, made headlines, been the hot topic for debates all over the country.

While people have been criticizing and ridiculing the verdict, while there have been funny facebook posts "trolling" the pre marital sex=marriage part (without looking at the exact interpretation), while people are questioning the fact that there can't be documentary proofs for sex between a man and a woman, while some say this would actually mean polygamy for those who casually sleep with more than one woman, I feel that considering the present case, there is one aspect that simply can't be ignored, and that is, according to Justice Karnan,

" the petitioner’s rank has been elevated as the `wife’ of the respondent and likewise, the respondent’s rank has been elevated as the `husband’ of the petitioner. Therefore, the children born to them are legitimate children"

And, this statement, precisely, is the reason why I am writing this blog.

No Child Should Be Called "Illegitimate". Period.

For a moment, forget the case, forget the verdict, forget the controversy and the endless articles and blogs about the same. Consider a case where a man and a woman have sex, but they are not married to each other, the woman gets pregnant and eventually gives birth to a child. Now, since they are not a married couple, the child born to them would be an "illegitimate child" for s/he would be born out of wedlock, where the marriage is invalid or void in the eyes of the law. More importantly, such children would be termed as "naajaayaz aulaad" in the eyes of the Indian society forever!

Was it the fault of the child that s/he was born as a result of pre marital sex and not sex after marriage? Why should the child be devoid of proper education, nutrition, bringing up and care? Why should the child carry the psychological and emotional burden of being called 'naajayaz' throughout his/her life?

If Justice Karnan's verdict implies that such children deserve a life beyond the tag illegitimate' ,deserve financial support,education,love and affection ,deserve a life like that of so-called legitimate kids whose parents had had sex only after getting married ,I support such an interpretation of the case!

Yes,I understand that two individuals cannot get married just because of a sexual intercourse and a one night stand. I admit that people,particularly women ,might use such laws for blackmailing others, this may lead to forced marriages too. I do believe that if a woman or a man wishes to be a single mother or a single father to the child, s/he can't be forced. But then, the child will have to suffer because of the word 'illegitimate' as long as he is alive, and may be his own children will also have to suffer for the same.

Thus, in spite of everything, this verdict does hold good for cases where pre marital sex leads to pregnancy and/or child birth. Many girls in India commit suicide in case if they get pregnant and they can't abort the child. Many men in India still use and throw women for lust in the name of love and commitment. Almost all kids born out of sex without marriage go through the mental torture of "being illegitimate"

And the worst part is that irrespective of laws and legal terms, indian society would continue to be equally rigid. Gays and lesbians are still not accepted in our society even after Section 377. Do you think we will ever accept pre marital sex and unmarried pregnant women? Even if a law is introduced to support such kids in all similar cases , society would continue to call them "Naajayaz Aulaad", unmarried pregnant girls would continue to go for illegal abortions and suicide attempts!

The irony is that Indians do not condemn something as brutally illegal as rape as much as they condemn pre marital sex which involves mutual consent. And just like they have no sympathy for rape victims, they have absolutely no acceptance for the "illegitimate children". Perhaps people in India have decided that they would keep their notions, their so-called values and culture above all logics, all ethics, all sympathy and humanity.

Justice Karnan and his verdict has been like a proof to the fact that we, the people of India, love to look at only one side of the coin, and that side is the side which deserves criticism, blames and sarcasm.
If at all we could think of accepting children born after sex without marriage, if at all we could let unmarried pregnant women live their own lives, such a verdict would not have been needed in the first place.

Every newspaper, every blog writer, every other person may have come up with his/her interpretations and views. I have just one thing to say.

I reiterate my words.. "No Child Should Be Called Illegitimate. Period"

Sonia Bhatia


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4 comments:

shahbaz said...

It doesn't matter what law says, what matters is the mentality/thinking of the people of our country.
Today, the way people reacting to such situations is totally horrible. We are having sick kind of people in our society, who always try to extract the negative.
So the only thing that needs to be changed is the perception of the people/society of our country towards this.
When that will happen, no law is required for this in our country, because law is for the people, people is not for the law.

Sarah Boast said...

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D.M. SOLIS said...

Fine post. What kind of a culture, what kind of people are we that we think of children as illegitimate and immigrants as illegals? John Dear has made a life of pointing out (and protesting) the harsh ways we define and label each other, ourselves, and many aspects of our day to day lives.

Sonia said...

@Shahbaz ..you're right ! :)

@ Sarah.. Thank you so much :-) :-)

@D.M. exactly my point

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