When civilizations clash, it is certain that the laws, which run these civilizations, will also clash. So, the next few years will be very interesting to watch in India as we move towards a flat world.
Often stories of “holiday brides” appear in Indian newspapers. Indian government officials, feminists etc. often threaten about Interpol Red Corner notices on so many of the NRI grooms who are facing 498a cases. Most feminists claim that the NRI men get married in India and then they desert the wife so that they can marry again to get huge dowry.
Very rarely do these newspapers discuss about the clash of family laws in these two countries. There are large differences in family laws related to child custody, maintenance, alimony, divorce in India and the U.S. In India, if a man or woman applies for divorce, it normally takes 7 years or more to get divorce unless it is a divorce by mutual consent of both parties. Otherwise, the courts subject the couple to endless number of dates and ineffective counseling sessions. The young become old by the time they get divorced.
The courts often operate from a patriarchal mindset and claim that they are saving the institution of marriage in India. But, they fail to understand that one partner in a marriage can hijack this process to seek revenge. Often, one of the partners in marriage refuses to agree for divorce even though both partners do not live with each other or have not spoken to each other for years.
This is a lose-lose game where one partner says, “I will not marry again and I will not allow him/her to marry again”. In the past, women used to play this game and now some men are also playing this game. Even if a family court gives the decree of divorce in 5 years, the parties can go to the high court and then to the Supreme Court for a retrial. This process can continue for 15 years or more. So, it is easy for a partner to seek revenge on the other partner by closing the exit routes for the other partner in a dysfunctional marriage by prolonging litigation in family courts. Both men and women can play this game.
But the laws in the U.S. or most other countries are quite liberal so far as divorce is concerned. The differentials between family laws in the U.S. and family laws in India create complex situations. A woman married to a NRI, a green card holder or a foreign citizen must remain mentally prepared that the husband can get divorce if he wishes. He may end up paying alimony or maintenance, but no one can stop him from getting divorce in Western countries. These countries, unlike India, give their people the choice to live their lives the way they wish.
This disturbs the patriarchal Indian system, Indian family courts and NCW. They claim if the marriage has taken place in India, then the divorce must happen in India. They say, family courts in the U.S. have no jurisdiction over the marital conflicts of a couple living in the U.S., if the marriage has taken place in India. In a way, India wants US to recognize marriages and divorces in India, whereas India does not accept the divorces or child custody decrees passed in the U.S., when the couple are Green Card holders.
The liberal divorce laws in the West infuriate the Indian feminists. For example, a man marries an Indian woman. But, in a few months the differences crop up between them in US and the female flies back to India. The husband while in the U.S. can try for a couple of months for reconciliation and if it fails, he can very well apply for divorce.
The courts in US normally make arrangements for the wife in India to reach US and/or reply to the husband’s divorce petition. They also make necessary financial arrangement. U.S. courts grant divorce in 6 months time, whereas Indian courts take at least 6 years for such cases of desertion.
A woman who has deserted her NRI husband in the U.S. in just 3 months of marriage may literally get no alimony. That is not palatable for the Indian feminists. For them, the interpretation is that the guy has ruined the life of the girl or the market value of the girl has reduced and that must be compensated by the guy. The extortion can start from Rupees 2 crores.
Most probably the girl’s father is a Govt. clerk. Still, he wants a compensation of 2 crores from his NRI son-in-law. If the demands are not met, then a dowry case in a local police station is promptly filed. If there were dowry demands or domestic violence, the girl always had the option of calling 911 in U.S. and the police would have taken her to a shelter and started investigation.
The dowry case in India simply means jailing of parents, brothers and sisters of the NRI guy in India. These people may not have even spent ten days with the girl, but they make rounds in the court for years.
Sometimes, a woman of Indian origin deserts her husband in the U.S. and leaves the country with her U.S.-born child. If she does so without the permission of the family courts in the U.S., then the husband can move to a court in the U.S. for justice and often the husband gets the child custody. If the woman does not bring the child back to the country, then an U.S. court can convict the woman for parental kidnapping and even pass a judgment for incarceration. It’s certain that if the woman ever reaches the U.S., then she will be simply sent to jail from the airport.
The family laws, the cruelty laws, the child custody laws in India are highly biased against men, when we compare them with similar laws in the U.S. and Europe. This is unsustainable, as the world gets flat. There can be divorce tourism to western countries happening in a big way as guys get richer in a booming Indian economy.
The clash of these family laws puts Minister of Overseas Indian affairs, Mr.Vayalar Ravi in a difficult situation. As an NRI husband can get divorce in 6 months compared to 6 years. Feminists and the Media term such divorces as desertions, as they do not want to acknowledge that the root of the problem is the clash of family laws. Instead, they claim that the NRI has deserted his wife in India and has vanished.
An NRI can be easy tracked in Western countries unless he is an illegal immigrant in those countries. So, the stories of deserted brides in Punjab is either false (just like many of feminist stories) or these unfortunate women have married illegal immigrants.
The feminists are on a losing ground in India so far as family laws are concerned. As the laws are totally biased against men and their family, there is simply no room for any further laws and the men are learning the tricks of the game fast. The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) keeps a brave face talking about possible arrangement of extraditions of NRI who are getting divorce easily in US or Europe. This spineless department has no guts to face the National Commission for Women and hence it fails to come out in the open declaring that the root of the problem is clash of family laws in India and Western countries.