This refers to Additional Solicitor-General Indira Jaising's protest against the use of the word “keep” in a Supreme Court judgment relating to live-in relationships. That the highest judicial institution can use derogatory terms such as “keep” and “one-night stand” is ironical. Does not the use of such words, a hangover of the feudal system, reflect the continuing contempt towards women, while examining their relationship with men? It is necessary for the Court to review the language used in the judgment.
Ms Jaising has wondered whether a woman can say she has kept a man. This begs the question why we use the expression “housewife” but not “house husband” and why a woman is a widow of a deceased man but a man is not the widower of a deceased woman.
P.V. Ramana Rao,
Marriage is a vibrant social institution which should not be sacrificed at the altar of live-in relationships. Live-in relationships are gaining acceptance only in urban centres, where a majority is obsessed with the liberal values of the West. Unless the question regarding the legitimacy of children born out of such a relationship is answered convincingly by the law of the land, it should not be given a semblance of acceptability.
Although live-in relationships are a major threat to our culture, they have found a place in our society. The Supreme Court deserves to be lauded for saying that a man and woman should have held themselves out to the world as being akin to spouses for a significant period of time if their relationship is to be treated in the nature of marriage. This will prevent more women from coming to court, harassing men for maintenance.