Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Divorces: Urban v/s Rural !!

Divorces are higher in urban areas than in rural areas. Why is this? Is it due to availability of greater number of potential partners in urban areas or is it the lifestyle of urban crowd that distances them from their spouse. A research has suggested that that the proportion of people getting divorced in urban areas is almost 25% higher than in rural areas, country being the same. Now that's startling considering the fact that these people were natives of the same country, they followed the same traditions and shared similar beliefs, and the fact that either they or their ancestors once resided in the rural areas. But again this data can vary across continents, if not across countries. In some countries getting divorce is not a cakewalk while in some you can divorce your spouse by just reciting the term "Divorce" three times.

Urban areas are densely populated and cities are spread across hundreds of kilometers, such that people have to travel plenty for their work. On the contrary, 10 villages combined might not have roads more than 40-50 kilometers long. The lack of transportation facilities in rural areas keeps people confined within their respective areas. Thus, the urban people interact with greater number of potential partners than their counterparts in rural areas. Moreover, urban crowd is outspoken and believe in continuously experimenting in terms of partners, until they are convinced to have found a real "soul mate". More so in developed American and European Countries. Developing Asian nations have a plethora of social and legal restrictions to even think about experimenting. For instance, in some parts of rural India, people still practice "Honor Killing", of a couple if they belong to different castes. Changing partners within one's caste is also considered a blot on the family's reputation.

I know it is out-of-the -context of this topic but let me take some time to say: Though it is one's right to get divorced, but divorces benefit no body. Especially, not the children of the divorced couple. It might have a long term negative psychological impact on the children, seeing their parents fight, when they should be nourishing them "together" and with love and care. Considering this, certain law-makers are lobbying to make divorces difficult to get, but at the same time, living with someone you don't like "anymore" can be suicidal. Can we have a middle path? The only solution to reduce the instances of divorce would be to cultivate a sense of "one-partner" into the teenagers right from puberty. Parents should themselves set an example by being loyal to each other.
Children of every divorced couple must have thought this: "Mom hates dad, Dad hates mom, it all makes you feel so sad ".


  1. I don't quite agree with the demographics you've provided.Divorce is a psychological issue, than a rural-urban conflict.When you talk about the belief system of a country, you have to bear in mind that India has witnessed progressive changes in its belief system, primarily influenced by increased Independence, education and better oppurtunities for growth, a trend that continues to grow in the urban cityscape. The dependency of the rural woman on her husband and family for livelihood, and financial support disallows any such thought of seperation if an issue of incompatability arises.Moreover the concept of soulmates exist on a metaphysical, spiritual level that is devoid of any cultural/regional influences, and cross-cultural marriages among varied nationals from different regions are testimony to that.Though there are isolated incidents of honor killing, or sati practices, I'd like to think that India's socio-economic structure is on an upswing with progressive influences.

  2. To your first opposition, I have not made up any of the statistics. And the reasons cited in the article are purely based on studies conducted on a sample of people and are intuitive also. Divorce is psychological in some cases, in others, factors like having found a more attractive partner could create a rift between existing ones. And the chances of that happening is certainly more in urban areas. Not a question to India being slowly defying the social taboos , but come on, she is nowhere near abolishing them completely. India might be doing well economically but socially she remains equally backward. And that is because almost 70% of people are still living in rural areas with traditions like "Sati" and "Honor Killing" passed on to the present generation. And the reason why you do not hear about most of such cases is the lack of reach of media.

  3. I never indicated that your data is not correct, but I believe that to assert such a difference between the urban and rural, you'd need a wide spread demographic study that would incorporate all the factors that influence Divorce, and not menial factors like attractiveness of a spouse.Generally speaking, Indian's aren't the type to jeopardize a marriage altogether because of some shallow mentality like finding somebody more attractive.While I agree, that incidents of infidelity happen more in the urban areas than the rural, I completely disagree that its a sole single factor that would lead to something as substantial as a nullification of marriage.India's socio-economic structure right now is undergoing tremendous changes, and it is a positive trend.Isolated incidents of honor killings and Sati, cannot speak for the aptitude of the entire rural community.As for the lack of media coverage, news articles based on incidents like these always make it to the newspapers one way or the other, and I'd like to credit our newspapers with atleast that, if not anything else.Sensationalism and yellow journalism are a thing of the past in the Indian media.Times are changing, be positive.

  4. I agree with the fact that i might have missed out certain points to clearly outline the difference in the divorce rates between urban and rural area, but i think our discussion is being too India centric, while I intended to cover the entire globe.
    I already reckon that experimenting with partners is not an option in India. Indian mentality of marriages is far different from that of the western world. In India, arranged marriage is a custom, and the divorce rate is as low as 1.1% which is well below when compared to 45.8% in USA. So countries like India may be called as the rural counterpart of the West. And factors like meeting a better partner and striking a new love bell might not be common in India but it happens all the time in the Western and European Countries. People get married at a young age like 20-21 when they really don't understand the significance of the institution of marriage. They get married cause they were attracted to their partner and soon they find out that they were not made for each other, and there you go- Divorce. I personally know of 3-4 such cases.
    And regarding the progress of India's social structure you need to wake up and see for yourself. Still 50% of rural India remains untouched by any of the conventional media and the resources that other areas have are not comprehensive and lack regularity. What do you make out of that? The cases of social barbarism seem isolated to you coz the others are simply not covered. You need to understand that "it is easier to grow when you are really low", that's why you see those terrific numbers flashing in the news, singing praises of India's growth. But in reality minimal absolute change has been achieved.
    And dear drea, stating reality does not mean that i am not optimistic about the changes that are being brought to this country.

  5. This is bullshit. Your life is in your hands. If you treat your body as a holy place and value life then you will want to live it the right way with the right person. Living life with one person and having kids itself is more than we all can manage and have to miss so many things in life. Several marriages or affairs are only for losers.

    There are times and circumstances that are genuine and need divorces. But this is just an excuse the other losers use to take life down the easy road.