A man wants to divorce his wife. His wife doesn’t want to live with him. They appear in court. What do you suppose the judge does?
In a sensible world, you’d think the judge would grant the divorce, figure out an alimony arrangement and say the modern equivalent of pax vobiscum.
Not in India. While presiding over a divorce proceeding, Justices PB Majumdar and Anoop Mohta came to this conclusion: “A wife should be like goddess Sita who left everything and followed her husband Lord Ram to a forest and stayed there for 14 years.”
The honorable justices were clearly under the misconception that they were on Aastha channel, rather than in Bombay High Court.
I’ve tried to find an angle from which this is not idiotically ridiculous, and I have failed. The judges are trying to use a myth — as in, a story with makebelieve characters — as a reference for a real-life, flesh and blood marriage. Let’s say the judges belong to the faithful Hindu demographic, in which case Ram and Sita were married a very, very, very, VERY long time ago. Surely that should count for something. Or perhaps the judges feel that time doesn’t make any difference.
Though, if I were the woman, I’d put across the point that she cannot be Sita because:
1. She wasn’t found at the tip of a plough
2. Her father isn’t a king (presumably)
3. Her husband isn’t a prince
4. Her father in-law doesn’t have three wives
5. She doesn’t want to be kidnapped, start a war (which may not work out as in the Ramayana since the chimp-man relationship is not quite what it used to be back then. Refer judges to Planet of the Apes and Project Nim), be abandoned by her husband and ultimately driven to suicide.
Rather than setting the ball rolling for point 5 by agreeing to go to Port Blair with her husband, she would prefer to save everyone heartache and get divorced instead.
Also, if you want to be blasphemous about it, then Sita may not be quite what one would describe as the ideal wife conventionally. Really, it’s all a matter of interpretation.