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Divorce (and Systems for Accountability)



Utkarsh's well thought out suggestions on Systems and Accountability have
been housed on the agenda page. I think this is the kind of thinking that
more members on the list need to do at this stage. Very specific, concrete
proposals.

Second: I thought we had discussed this in sufficient detail and broadly
agreed on the content of the manifesto, but since Utkarsh has brought up a
few issues of concern again, this time of a slightly different nature, I 
think we must consider the capitalism issue again:

Utkarsh said:
=============
"Here I would like to again bring somethings into discussions that a blind
rush to capitalism may not be the best medicine for India."

I thought we were against a blind rush to capitalism. Clearly indicated
both in the Preamble and in the Manifesto's safeguards which we vigorously
debated. 

Utkarsh's new points:
=====================
"Even though US has been very successful in economic sense, we should not
forget the high crime rate, delapidated inner cities, high divorce rate,
teen drug use, teen abortions, and various other problems are by products
of the so called developed economy." (Utkarsh)

My response:
------------
I think we've got to be ** very very ** careful in attributing what we see
in US inner cities to capitalism. This, in my very considered view, is
essentially a race problem, arising from a long history of slavery and
then discrimination. Data clearly show that most of the problems mentioned
above are not only remarkably higher but actually, chronic, among
Afro-Americans. Spiral and chain effects operate on these issues within
the black community from one generation to another. 

Such problems do not exist in all capitalist societies where a different
history existed. For example, you do not get these things in Australia or
in England or Germany. These are country-specific social problems. 

On the other hand, I must suitably alert everyone on this list to the fact
that research clearly points to an increasing breakdown of the nuclear
family as a consequence of human development. First the joint family broke
down and then the nuclear. There is just no escape from this statistical
trend, which very closely follows the growth of education, women's status
and women's income. 

One can expect divorce to rise in India the moment we finally "liberate" 
our women. I don't know whether in that context, it is a good or a bad
thing.  As the range of desires and opportunities of a highly educated
couple dramatically increase, the conflicts in decision making in a
household increase exponentially. Further, as the power of a woman in a
household increases, the very process of decision making becomes a
challenge to the couple. Not everyone can handle these conflicts happily
in all situations. 

I suspect that Indians will better handle these conflicts for many
generations to come. But if the stigma against divorce breaks down in the
Indian society, expect divorce to rise exponentially.

We should not club divorce therefore under the same umbrella as drugs,
crime, teenage birth, or inner city decadence. None of these problems will
occur in India as a result of "capitalism." We can also manage our 
cities better. Divorce, however, is an unavoidable phenomenon.

Men folk on this list: You've got to make a judgment call on this: Let us
keep our women under lock and key and prevent economic development, or let
them out of the bag, have economic development, and also face the hazard
of divorce! As far as I am concerned, I prefer to have my wife under lock
and key, to economic development. Let us therefore ban capitalism and
growth and revert to a feudal society where a man was king! We need to
revise the manifesto accordingly...

[ But I may be too late: women including my wife, are getting too educated
now-a-days. The Pandorra's box has been opened! Women on this list, please
speak up! What would you like? Shall we lock you up? ]

Sanjeev