The Indian society functions on culture and traditions, and anything beyond the confines of Indian ‘Sanskar’ is unacceptable and inappropriate. Humankind is evolving and changing, and this results in challenging the norms and traditions which have been present since time immemorial.
The youth of the 21st century is challenging many deeply entrenched practices of society and introducing a positive change. One such taboo which the young generation is breaking in conventional Indian society is the notion of live-in relationship.
As Soke Behzad Ahmadi once said, if you wish to break with tradition, learn your craft well, and embrace adversity. The youth have acquired the craft of dissenting. They are aware of the laws and their rights to a live-in relationship.
A couple chooses to engage in a live-in relationship to check the compatibility between them before getting legally-married; it also saves them from courtroom procedures if the couple decides to break up. Though the number of couples moving into live-in relationships is increasing in big cities, it is still very controversial in our conventional rural society because marriage is a more socially-accepted form of relationship.
The couples who stay in a live-relationship are not accepted by society; many times, by their parents, they also face the challenge is in finding a house because many renters don’t prefer giving a place to unmarried couples. After all, they feel it is illegal for a man and woman to stay together under one roof if they are not married.
The Bollywood movie Luka Chuppi portrayed the problems faced by the character of Kriti Sanon and Kartik Aryan, who move into a live-in relationship in a small town. It throws light on the mentality of Indian parents because they believe that the couple has eloped and got married.
After all, parents don’t understand and approve of the concept of live-in relationships. The film also highlights how the owners ask for proof of marriage to heterosexual couples because they disdain a man and woman living in the same house without tying the legal knot of marriage.
But things are slowly changing the society is accepting the idea of live-in relationships, at least in the big cities, because for a lot of landowners and, renters it is the source of income, and they don’t raise questions until the money is following. There is a very peculiar acceptance happening in society parents don’t welcome live-in relationships of their children but are okay with others having it.
In India, there is no law which deals with the concept of live-in relationships. The Supreme Court held that a living relationship comes under the ambit of the right to life under Article 21 of the constitution of India. The court further upheld that live-in relationships are permissible, and the act of two adults living together cannot be considered illegal. The legislature has put the Domestic violence act 2005 under the ambit of live-in relationships by giving rights and protection to women who have not been legally married but are living in a live-in relationship.
Section 125 Criminal Procedure code incorporated by the Supreme court of India to avoid vagrancy and destitution for a wife/minor/old parents, the same law is now extended to partners in live-in relationships. The live-in relationship involves pre-marital sex, and there are high chances of a child being born; the Supreme Court of India has granted them the status of a legitimate child along with the property right. Indian law doesn’t allow couples living together to adopt a child.
Honorable Justice A.K. Ganguly said, “With changing social norms of legitimacy in every society, including ours, what was illegitimate in the past may be legitimate today.” It is an appreciable decision for all the live-in partners, but societal acceptance has a long way to go in India.
The number of couples indulging in live-in relationships will increase in the future because the young partners are keeping themselves away from the shackles of marriage, or they want to experience compatibility before getting married. There is a need for extensive legal laws in India related to live-in relationships, and society as a whole needs to widen and accept the concept of live-in relationships.
The idea of live-in relationships can challenge the institution of marriage as a whole as in the future- many young people will opt out of getting married.
As Mahatma Gandhi once said, Be the change you want to see in the world, and the youth is revolutionizing society and bringing controversial topics to the surface.
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