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Live in and let live

The National Commission for Women wants to define ‘live-in’ relationships. A pointless exercise.

india Updated: Dec 21, 2008 22:04 IST
Hindustan Times

What is in a definition, you may ask. We wondered the same when we heard that the National Commission for Women (NCW) Chairperson Girija Vyas is getting all worked up over the morally correct description of live-in relationships. The sagacious matrons of the Commission have sought to separate ‘relationships of convenience’ from ‘live-in relationships’. So, if you are staying together because sharing bills and chores are easier, forget any nice sweet-sounding tag; like it or not, according to the Girija rule, your’s will be deemed a relationship of convenience. But promise marriage, and you get the pompous ‘live-in’ tag. So in the end, what goes up to the altar is sacrosanct and what falls short of it, even by a few inches, is convenience.

Now that’s not all: if the relationship is six months old and there is no commitment, it can be declared null and void. So who will be the judge? Our already over-burdened judicial system, what else? So while your seven-month-old relationship may be put to the ‘seriousness test’, the ruling just might take a lifetime to come. However, the aim of such bracketing is a serious issue: The NCW wants an amendment in the Code of Criminal Procedure so that it can include “women living in relationships in nature of marriage”. And who can say that a six-month relationship is less serious than one that is six-decades old?

In matters of the heart, let’s keep the silly equations out. Ensuring the rights of women can be done even without indulging in such zero-sum games.

First Published: Dec 21, 2008 21:48 IST