The more the marrier | india | Hindustan Times
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The more the marrier

india Updated: Feb 05, 2008 00:17 IST
Hindustan Times
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No one like the British to tackle the concerns of different cultures. It turns out that Brown Saheb ‘Gordon Brown’, reaching out to fundamentalist Mormons and Muslims, who theoretically can indulge in the perfectly culturally-legit practice of polygamy, will now be able to claim extra welfare benefits in Britain. The new guidelines state that the Department for Work and Pensions will now pay £ 33.65 for “each additional spouse” where there is “a valid polygamous marriage”. Apart from the obvious benefits of marrying more than one woman — and the downside of having more than one set of in-laws — now Mr Brown has provided a tidy sum of weekly money to push more multi-cultural multi-wife Britain.

It’s rather remarkable that Britain, like India, if we might add, where society considers monogamy a bedrock of society despite anomalies, is actually going out of the way to not discourage polygamy. To add insult to patriarchy, the Brown government has stated that “income support” for all the wives may be paid directly to the husband’s bank account “if the family so chooses”. That is, as far as we envious monogomists can see, an incentive to marry more than one woman. And just in case that isn’t enough, a polygamous man may also be eligible for additional housing benefits and council tax benefits “to reflect larger property needed for his family”.

Which makes one think whether John Smith will consider becoming a fundamentalist Mormon or a Muslim. For as far as benefits go, being polygamous in Britain never made better sense. Oh well.