Ours is a patriarchal society which does not know how to treat an empowered woman: Karnataka High Court

A Division bench which also comprised Justice Natraj Rangaswamy was hearing a joint divorce petition when Justice Nagarathna chose to make some forthright remarks on the struggles which women have to encounter.
Ours is a patriarchal society which does not know how to treat an empowered woman: Karnataka High Court
Justice BV Nagarathna

Certain strong remarks on systemic patriarchy by Justice BV Nagarathna of Karnataka High Court turned an otherwise mundane Monday into a lively one with the judge stating that ours is still a patriarchal society which does not know how to treat an empowered woman.

A Division bench which also comprised Justice Natraj Rangaswamy was hearing a joint divorce petition when Justice Nagarathna chose to make some forthright remarks on the struggles which women have to encounter.

"The society always looks down upon the woman. Ours is a patriarchal society. People always say woman empowerment, but the society does not know how to treat an empowered woman. Parents don't teach their sons on how to treat an empowered woman... That is a problem with men, I will say that," Justice Nagarathna said.

However, the Bench also said that a woman with financial independence and education should know how to deal with her family and the same should not lead to break up of her marriage.

The Bench was rather prompt to further state that, in a marriage, the mother-in-law also should not interfere unnecessarily once the wife comes into the picture.

This apart, the hearing saw a slew of pointers passed by the Bench. When the counsel for the wife submitted that she was finding it difficult to adjust with her partner as she is an only child, the Bench remarked:

"Just because you are an only child does not mean you can ignore your husband.."

The Bench also quoted several instances where many couples came together during the COVID-19 period through video conference hearings and withdrew their respective divorce petitions.

"One couple came together after 18 years in VC (video conferencing hearing)....It is easy for us to pass an order," the Court said.

The Court went on to encourage the couple to attend counseling sessions as well as to communicate with each other at all times.

"Marriage is all about adjustment. It is ultimately only between 2 people", said the Bench.

At this juncture, Bench observed, the "round faces" of the estranged husband-wife duo, who were physically present, and opined:

"Please don't make a round face, we are trying to make it work for you. This is the tendency of the present generation, you don't accept that you are wrong."

The parties were married for 2 years, after which, certain differences arose leading to the present petition for divorce.

As the hearing drew to a close, the Bench commented, "For your sake, don't burn the bridges between yourselves".

The matter was then adjourned to January 6.

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