Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bow down before your wife's 'diktat', SC tells husbands

NEW DELHI: If you want to buy matrimonial peace just do whatever your wife says!
This is not some piece of advice from a marriage counsellor, rather it is from the country's apex court.

A vacation bench of justices Markandeya Katju and Deepak Verma observed, "Bibi joh boltee hai woh sunno (listen to whatever your wife says), as otherwise it could land you in trouble. Because if you do not listen to her, you will suffer the consequences."

"Hum sab bhogi hai (we are all sufferers)," the bench said in a lighter vein.

The bench further said that a husband has to accept the suggestion of a wife irrespective of the fact whether it is sensible or not.

"If your wife asks you to put your face that side, put it that side. If she says, put it this side, then put it this side. Otherwise you will face trouble. Hum sub bhogi hai," the bench remarked again.

The interesting suggestions from the apex court evolved on Tuesday during a matrimonial case involving an Air Force official Deepak Kumar who complained that his estranged wife Manisha had ruined him and his family by implicating them in false criminal cases including sodomy.

The couple got married 17 years ago but matrimonial disputes surfaced between the two soon after marriage.

A district court in Chandigarh dismissed Deepak's plea for divorce as Manisha opposed it, but a single judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court granted decree of judicial separation.

On an appeal from Manisha, a division bench granted the decree of divorce as the marriage "had irretrievably broken down" besides directing Rs 10 lakh maintenance amount from Deepak to her.

Aggrieved by the high court's order Manisha filed the appeal in the apex court challenging the decree of divorce.

Deepak's counsel argued that Manisha even though had implicated her husband and his family in a host of criminal cases was yet opposing the divorce despite the marriage breaking down irretrievably.

The vacation bench however, posted the matter for further hearing to July last week as there was no urgency in dealing with the matter.

"You have waited for 17 years, so wait for a few more days," the bench said while switching over to the next item on the agenda.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Sailor set to test political waters, raises dowry issue

Captain Sudhir Kumar is thrilled with the kind of support he has been getting, specially from women. Far from the regulated, almost regimental life he is used to, Kumar is sweating it out in the Delhi sun and getting a taste of Indian politics. He is contesting the general elections from the New Delhi constituency as candidate of the little known Bharat Punarnirman Dal (BPD) and is addressing issues that nobody seems to have paid much attention to till now safety at sea for Indian sailors is just one of them.

Kumar, presently working with the merchant navy, has been associated with BPD since its inception in 2006. The volunteers comprise ex-IITians, MBAs and engineers and the target audience is the middle class voter. That is precisely why Kumar chose to enter the battle from a strongly contested zone. "I represent the common man who is fed up with dirty politics. All my voters are decision makers. The New Delhi constituency has the maximum number of people who can make a difference to the legal and administerial way of functioning in the country,'' says Kumar.

The party, that is fielding 11 contestants all over the country, is strongly focussed on family affairs and Kumar is arguing hard against the present dowry laws. "I have been campaigning long hours and going for padyatras too. The response has been phenomenal, specially from women who have connected to the issues I have raised. No civil or uncivil country punishes 10-30 relatives for a crime that is no crime. A marital dispute is between the husband and wife and unless there are bigger issues attached to it, should be dealt with in a civil court and not a criminal court,'' says Kumar.

Kumar is on leave from his job at present, having come to Delhi only 20 days ago to start his campaigning. "I am an honest person and need a job to support my family,'' he laughs, adding that if he is elected, he would have no option but to quit. "I know the competition I am up against but it doesn't deter me at all. I would be happy if I am able to get my message across to the people and make some difference to their lives,'' he adds.

Because of his strong connections with Africa he has been posted there for several years Kumar is also advocating strong ties with the continent. "India is going to be facing a severe shortage of food grains in the next five years or so. Africa can be our food basket and we need to develop our relations with them,'' he says.

Far from the usual promises of roti, kapda aur makan, Kumar has an entirely new agenda up his sleeve which includes urban rebuilding of Delhi, domestic harmony, judicial reforms and freedom of media and private radio.