Girls are eloping with boys: Judge feels India is in 'kali yuga'

No, this isn't a leaf out of the Amar Chitra Katha playbook.

 |  4-minute read |   23-12-2016
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The sixteenth year of the second millennium is almost at the verge of ending. Humanity, as a collective has broken several barriers that would, even a mere decade ago, seem impossible. We have achieved so much, and yet, we continue to judge on the basis of an archaic moral construct that hold no meaning whatsoever in today’s society.

Presenting to you, the Madras High Court: the upholder of snide, overtly moralistic and completely unnecessary comments. According to a special report in The Hindu for December 16, a high court justice made a remark about “Kali Yuga” and “facial attraction” in a case of eloping.

Justice S Vaidyanathan of the Madras High Court Bench said, “Normally boys used to elope with girls but the trend has changed with girls choosing their partners and eloping with them due to facial attraction. This symbolises the era of Kali Yuga described in Sanskrit scriptures. It is pertinent to point out that smoking and drinking habits are on the higher side among girls than boys,” while granting anticipatory bail to a 20-year-old nurse, accused of having eloped with a 17-year-old boy.

What relation would smoking, or drinking is likely to have with eloping is something that the judge should have elaborated upon. What is also important is that this observation about “smoking and drinking habits are on the higher side among girls than boys” be substantiated with some data (not that it has any relevance at all).

This remark nothing more than another bright plaque in India’s glorious past (and present) of being judgemental towards women, taking a moral high ground on the sheer qualification of being male, and  having a rather sanctimonious mindset about recreational consumption of tobacco or alcohol.

madras-court_122316040356.jpg Photo: Twitter

Despite the age we exist in, it is somehow, perfectly acceptable for a bunch of people to stare at a womnn lighting a cigarette in broad daylight, as if she were an extra terrestrial creature. It’s an attitude that can be observed, both in small towns and in metropolitan cities.

Earlier this year, a woman in West Bengal was assaulted by TMC workers for allegedly wearing shorts and smoking in public. What’s wondrous about this incident is that the assault on her was not because she may have been flouting laws about the public consumption of tobacco. It was merely because she was a woman.

The judge’s remark also reeks of contempt towards women in modern relationships. The phrase facial attraction hints at women being susceptible to good looks and that they are incapable of taking decisions for themselves about things like partners and relationships. The judge seems to be living under the notion that women are as fickle as 90’s cinema portrayed them. But then again, this is a mindset not limited to this particular judge at all. Even when more and more women are taking charge of their lives, fighting societal pressures and judgement, the question of a woman’s choice in terms of marriage, relationships, even divorce, is one that if often left unheard by families.

judge_122316040531.jpg Photo: Screengrab/Reddit

But calling it a societal problem should not be any reason to not call out this sanctimonious judge for these remarks that were completely uncalled for.

Also read - Sania Mirza shows us her ugly side to welfare of animals

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