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Live-in relationships in India have been legalized but it seems like that’s only on paper. They still face persecution in many day-to-day situations.
The troubles and dishonor that the couples in live-in relations have to go through are yet to be addressed.
In 2015 Supreme Court said: “In modern times, live-in relationship has become an acceptable norm. It is not a crime.”
SC had also ruled that if an unmarried couple is living together as husband and wife, then they would be presumed to be legally married and the woman would be eligible to inherit the property after the death of her partner.
The Constitution of India, Chapter III and Article 21 – Protection of life and Personal Liberty clearly states: No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.
I was reading about the status of live-in relations in India the other day and was surprised to find that making a law doesn’t makes a difference when it actually comes to day to day life. It’s really strange that we have laws that legalize live-in relations, provide rights to women in such a relationship and also to the child born out of it; but couples are still facing the problems as though they are committing a crime. Even after years of cases being ruled in favor of live-in relations and laws being formed, the trouble of actually being in one is still an everyday fight for couples.
One such problem I found is that unmarried couples are not allowed in some hotels. They are even ill-treated sometimes. I found many reviews where people posted that they couldn’t book a hotel because it mentioned ‘Unmarried Couples not allowed’. Even some hotels mention it in their policies.
Dogs and Indians not allowed. Image source here.
I am just wondering if this is legal. As I thought of this, what crossed my mind, is that sign during the British Raj: ‘Dogs and Indians not allowed.’ This is a similar kind of prejudice and intolerance.
In one review a girl mentioned how they were not given a room even when they had a booking. And in another a guy mentions how he was forced to check out within an hour, and yet had to pay 50% of the total tariff! Here is a screenshot I took.
Image source here.
Then I searched if there is any such law that can let hotels put up such rules, I found a news report on hotel rules for unmarried couple.
Couples are facing a lot of trouble and the law isn’t helping out. They themselves have to go through mind-boggling planning to make one outing safe and enjoyable. And even after preparing like going for a battle they have it in mind that something might go wrong.
This is not all. The bigger problem lies in getting a place to live. If you go to the really upmarket areas, there this may not be that troubling, but everyone can’t afford homes in these areas. While talking to landlords they generally say,
“Yeh sab nahi chalta yaha.” (All this isn’t acceptable here.)
“Kahin aur ja ke karo yeh sab.” (Go elsewhere and do all this.)
“Mummy Papa ko pata hai tumhare?” (Do your parents know what you are doing?)
How can something that is not wrong be so embarrassing?
When laws are passed like ban on smoking in public places, actions are taken up to ensure they are implemented. Shouldn’t there be some fine or action against those who disrespect live-in law/people, treat them as low-life and deprive them of their rights?
People in live-in relation are looked upon as dirty. There are corrupt, selfish, psycho people who are the real threat and still people who just want to stay together out of love are considered as a blot on society. Why has nothing been done yet to change people’s mentality on this? There’s awareness on almost every issue these days. Why not on this?
These are just two problems that I have mentioned. Couples have to go through way more than this.
Ending with many questions and a statement to shout out:
Why should getting married define life, when human life and love should be considered more important above all?
Header image source: couple in love by Shutterstock.
I am in IT by profession. But my soul lies in writing and art. I
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