The story of Independence for women in India which rejects traditional norms, is always one which is fraught with battles with the legal system because of the rigidity of laws that do not update itself to keep up with changing values within society. The Indian legal system exists with no apology for its indifference to accommodate alternative choices and instead oppresses those who will not conform.
When Surendran and I chose to embrace a life-long commitment of togetherness twenty-five years ago, it was a structured union with a well formulated vision for a deliberated future together; and which chose to define its articulation from what we considered as important and valid for ourselves and our son. This choice has proved supremely effective for each of us as individuals, as well as for us as a collective unit, in nurturing us and sustaining the philosophy that is in harmony with our personal politics.
Today however we are obliged for tax reasons (!) to register our union under the special marriage act, merely because the Indian legal system does not view our relationship with the same yardsticks that it applies to the established/sanctioned representations of heterosexual unions. When matters/issues/ideas/structures related to liberal thinking are rejected legally, merely because a nation refuses to shed its conservative adherence to law, then I fail to comprehend how India views itself as a secular democracy that accommodates pluralism.
I feel betrayed by my nation that does not uphold the representations of the institution of family as we have devised it for ourselves, that in no way compromises any other individuals liberty, and which holds every factor that exemplifies each of us as law abiding citizens.
The true problem in India lies in the interpretations of meanings which get distorted by those invested with the power of implementing governance, and who care little to understand that well defined laws are always with the scope to accommodate nuanced meanings.
But try explaining this to a nose picking clerk in a stinking government office, where corruption exists as it's underbelly that continuously needs to be scratched by one and all, to get this cumbersome beast to move even an inch.
So bring out the tin drums and beat it for us, because within the next 90 days our names will be scribbled into a dirty unkempt ledger; and only then will the taxman believe that our pledge made twenty five years ago is for real!