The other half: Unequal unions

27 May 2012 06:30 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Kalpana Sharma
Why should women obliterate their personalities, their lives, once they get married?
Last week, a young man, 24 years old and a graduate, introduced me to his new bride. He comes from a tradition-bound Maharashtrian family. The young man introduced his wife as Tapasya. I asked the young woman her name. She said it was Usha. “But ‘they’ have changed my name”, she said. And both seemed to accept this unquestioningly. As if it was the most natural thing to do. So the girl loses not just her last name but also her first name. In other words, she becomes a new person, apparently with no connection with her past.

The change of name might seem a minor issue. But it is what it represents that needs to be questioned. Why? We need to ask that. Is it essential? Will it make a difference to the quality of the marriage? Will it make a difference to the lives of the young people entering into matrimony? And why only the girl? Perhaps both ought to change their names so that they start their lives on a completely clean slate!

First in France
A stark contrast is France where the new woman in the Presidential Palace in France, is the first unmarried woman to live there alongside the man elected as President. On May 6, France voted in Francois Hollande of the Socialist Party as President. With him came his “First Lady”, Valerie Trierweiler. The two are not married and as of now have no plans to do so.
The idea here is not to advocate an end to the institution of marriage or to debate whether live-in relationships are ideal. Is it essential for a woman to obliterate her personality, her life, once she gets married, or when she enters into a publicly-acknowledged relationship with a man? Does she not have the right to remain her own person?
The Hindu
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