There is no doubt that women in live-in relationships and children born out of such liaisons are vulnerable to exploitation and therefore need the protection of the law (Nov. 29). At the same time, any social practice, once buffeted with a legal scaffolding, gains legitimacy over a period of time. When the legal line between marriage and cohabitation gets blurred, only the fear of social stigma can restrain people from opting for live-in relationships. Society needs to bolster the institution of marriage which is a bulwark against disorder and anarchy.
Live-in relationships promote a lack of discipline and commitment, and tend to dilute the family-based system that safeguards the interests of the wife and children. Comprehensive peace in society is unimaginable without a strong and peaceful family system.
The Supreme Court has ruled that a live-in relationship is not a crime or sin. But can it be a substitute for marriage? I am not a moralist, but in this age of violence and discrimination against women, encouraging the live-in culture is ultimately abusive to women. Marriage, despite its ups and downs, provides sanctity to a relationship and a modicum of purpose in life. On the other hand, a live-in relationship is one with no strings attached. I dare say this, but Bohemianism is seldom a woman’s cup of tea. Let’s not end up in a situation where women get the short-shrift.