INDIA: Will divorce lose it's stigma as "romantic" marriages increase?

indian womanWith Raj Rajaratnam’s arrest, and the posts we wrote about his wife Asha Pabla, we thought it time to pull out one of our drafts on divorce in India and try to get it up on the board before Raj Rajaratnam is old news. Obviously, Raj is not Indian. He’s Sri Lankan (and we don’t know what Asha is so don’t send nasty emails that she’s actually Swedish). Stay with us for the conversation’s sakes.
But. Yeah. Raj Rajaratman (I read someone called him Raj the Rat the other day) could certainly pass for Indian and so it is a close enough nexus for us. And we are willing to bet that his marriage was arranged and that he is highly unlikely to get divorced from his wife Asha Pabla just for that reason alone – of it being arranged, that is, (assuming Asha is not Swedish or something). Btw, read our other Asha Pabla posts here:
Anyhoo. We first got the idea for this post about marriage/divorce in India from Huffington Post months back. I think it was in April that Huff Post came out with this report about divorce in India. Now, India and that region of the world (including Sri Lanka) have historically had a very low divorce rate as compared to the West. When people marry in these parts, they tend to stay married. And for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that these marriages are family/kin arrangements and the couple would have to face and deal with family strife and politics if they ever chose to terminate a marriage. There has historically been an enormous stigma on divorces in these societies.

We obviously found this to be a very interesting situation for purposes of this divorce blog. However, the report on Huffington Post was basically insinuating that this stigma against divorce is lessening. Change is slow, but change is definitely happening.The divorce rate in India is still probably less than 10%. However, as more and more Indian youth become Westernized, they are beginning to choose their own spouses as opposed to the tradition of having their parents “arrange” a marriage.
And what folks are finding is that “love” marriages combust a lot quicker than “arranged” marriages for some strange reason. And with all that combustion comes a marked increase in the rate of divorce in these once divorce-free societies. That’s the negative consequence. But it’s not all bad. Because by losing the stigma, it allows married people (battered women especially) in toxic unions to have an out without fear of becoming social outcasts. And that’s a good thing.