Can’t end marriage over sari ;)


This post was in the drafts  and was a result of this news,

‘Can’t end marriage over sari’

MUMBAI: Sari may be a bothersome garment, especially compared to ‘Punjabi dress’, but a marriage cannot be ended over it, Bombay HC has held.

In the petition, the wife cited several instances of cruelty to which she had been subjected, including husband’s illicit relationship with another woman. One of her grievances was that she was forced to wear sari by her in-laws.



He prefers Sari, you like Punjabi Dress?

Education has gone to your head I guess!

He wear trousers, you complain?!

From such comparisons please abstain!

He’s your husband!

Please apologise.

Girls should know their place

Guys will be guys.

Marriage is sacred in my view,

Can’t end over such a trivial issue.

Aim a little higher!  Understand this,

There’s a little point that you missed.

He too can’t end marriage over a sari 😉

So go ahead and wear jeans you Bhartiya nari.



Edited to add:

Other cases,

1.  “Lousy cook, mother? No reason for divorce.” (Thank You Suranga)

2. And here divorce was not granted, although  “His mother filed an affidavit that she works 8 am to 8 30 pm, but does ‘no additional work’ at home.




78 thoughts on “Can’t end marriage over sari ;)

  1. I think it is a crime to ask someone to wear what they don’t want to. I was mandated to wear a sari for four years of college and it now takes an act of god for me to wear one. Can admire the sari on others, still think it is a graceful garment, just not for me. Sounds like grounds to me!


  2. No need to worry over this. If the mindset is “my wife must do what I/in laws want her to do”, then this will manifest itself in many ways than just a sari. Sooner or later something will come up that will be unacceptable even to the most obtuse person.


    • Brilliant point Bhagwad! But maybe once the controlling goes from superficial (sari) to more life-n-death issues, the woman will be completely trapped. Wish she could’ve gotten that divorce early.

      Sometimes a ban on a sari is a useful initial warning sign of a relationship that will ultimately strangle the woman.

      Interesting that the HC seems to have overlooked the extra-marital relationship and focused (as usual) on the woman’s dress code.


  3. BTW I grew up hearing paeans being sung to sari by everyone around me that I positively HATE wearing it. Besides I fail to understand why we must drape five and a half metres of cloth and inconvenience ourselves in daily life. Graceful, elegant or not it is a hindrance in daily life. It is okay for special occasions. But the sari has been pushed down my throat so much that I simply cannot get over my dislike for it, though I do wear it once in a blue moon.


  4. The Mumbai High Court seems to be, as they say ,”seized” of the situation of marriage, divorce, and stupid reasons. See this …

    Appeared in today’s paper …

    Me – I think this was needed. It’s like next we will hear recession results in women demanding divorce from unemployed husband – what happened to team work and partnership? In another case I blogged about once, the mother in law and husband had complained that the woman came late form work which was bad enough, but on top of that she wanted help with housework – so they wanted divorce. It was rejected. Let me get the link 🙂


    • I can see the lawyers laughing all the way to the bank. This kind of thing should be blocked at the lawyer stage itself, by some kind of ombudsman person, instead of taking these cases to the High court. I sometimes feel the couple can sort out their problems themselves; the problem is the so called well meaning family “advisors” , who keep hyping things up.

      Surprsingly, the High Court has recently overturned a divorce decree granted by a family court in Mumbai , in a case involving a High Police official.

      I suppose one day they will also request that “streedhan” brought over by the bride be put in some kind of escrow account, to keep the greedy grooms from accessing it. My actually be a good idea…who knows.

      Dont know if people are getting facetious or the courts are just getting more interested …..


  5. As others have already pointed out, the ‘forced to wear sari’ complaint is just one (and probably the milder) issues that the DIL/wife has in this marriage. I can’t believe the court didn’t consider all of them!
    Nice post!

    Me – rajk no details are given, so it is difficult to say what exactly happened, I am sure an affair is very cruel and a ground for divorce. I wish the news had a little more information.

    But I see the silver lining – a lot of women now know they can’t be divorced over a sari.
    Take a look at another equally interesting news in Suranga’s comment… what do you think?


  6. LOL!! Poetic justice indeed! 😉

    But, if wearing the saree is against the person’s wishes and if that person is being forced to wear it, wouldn’t that qualify as harrassment on some level?

    Me – I think it must be mental torture. Can’t imagine what she must be going through – now she should dress as she pleases because we can’t end a marriage over a sari. There’s another verdict – Suranga ‘s comment has the link, where a man can’t divorce the wife for being an incompetent housekeeper or mother.

    Wouldn’t such a small act feel big when there are so many such “small” issues?
    I don’t know.. they should have listened to the case or maybe, it should have been presented differently…

    Me – Her husband is also having an affair or atleast the wife believes he is 😦


    • I agree KPJ – but if she can’t leave him, she can use this verdict to dress comfortably in a Punjabi dress she prefers.

      I feel controlling how she dresses is just symbolic and indicative of so much that must be unbearable in such a relationship. 😦


      • I think she should leave him. It seems quite improbable that this marriage would ever work out. Not with him having affairs while his parents attempt to treat her like a slave.


  7. I am seriously fed up with the obsession over sari. One my friends got married recently and had gone on honeymoon. While returning back, before the station came her hubby asked her to wear sari and she did that!! She was wearing salwar kameez previously.


  8. Are these people for real? Here you have life and death issues, work issues and relationship issues and a mother in law wants to apply for her son’s divorce just because his wife works from 8 a.m. to 8.30 p.m. and wont pitch in the house. She is bringing home money isnt she? Gosh!!! I can’t get over it!


  9. Now, if HE wanted to wear a saree, then that would be a problem…

    But in this case both parties are mind numbingly stupid…one forcing her to wear a saree, and the other filing for divorce on these grounds…
    She should have tied those who forced her to wear the saree in the saree itself and pranced around in what she wanted…

    Anyway, it takes all kinds….
    Nice poem though…these idiots give bloggers a lot of stuff to write about


    • Astatine it’s not easy for women to defy her in laws and she filed for divorce for many things including an affair that she said husband was having. The sari was one of the issues and not a small one – because it implies that her on laws can and do control what she wears (and eats, buys, uses, gives away… literally everything).


    • ## Now, if HE wanted to wear a saree, then that would be a problem… ##

      Hey, what’s wrong with a bit of cross-dressing? Maybe he would look good in a sari! *grin*


  10. Loved your poem !!! Actually I’ll propagate to every woman to wear jeans – isnt it such a comfy thing to wear !!!

    I started wearing sari from a very young age – I loved it – No compulsions – And I love those starched cotton saris and the great look it gives !!! I wanted to feel good and tall, by wearing a sari.

    But, if it had been forced on me, I would’ve hated it, I think.


    • I love wearing sarees too, been wearing them off and on all my life and am in one at the time of typing this comment. They weren’t forced on me but I did receive a lot of encouragement from my parents.


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  12. Great poem IHM !! I just can’t understand MILs obsession about the sarees. Does the girl changes as a person after wearing a saree?
    I remember when I was coming back from my first US trip after marriage, my MIL insisted that I should come out of the airport in a saree as there would be many more relatives there and she wanted to portray her daughter -in-law as “true Indian bride”
    I just couldn’t bring myself to do that ever !!


  13. I can live in my jeans and how can anyone on earth dare to tell you what to wear !! This is insane, why are we a society full of control freaks, especially when it comes to dealing with a daughter in law people forget they too have daughters who might be forced to compromise and adapt to idiosyncratic norms they are subjecting their DILs.. How hyprocritical can we get ?? Why treat a young woman like a doll who merely has to act as she’s being asked to,why don’t people realise she has a mind of her own and has free will which no one can stop her from exercising !! Loved the poem by the way


    • Freedom of speech at play here. The mom-in-law has the right to make a non-abusive request to her DIL to wear a sari. The DIL can exercise the same right to say no. It’s not the end of the world.


      • Does the same freedom of speech allow the daughter in law to request her mother in law to wear certain kind of clothes or to ask to move into her own house with her husband?

        The husband wanted to divorce her, and her not wanting to wear a sari came up as one of the problems.


      • ## Does the same freedom of speech allow the daughter in law to request her mother in law to wear certain kind of clothes or to ask to move into her own house with her husband? ##

        Absolutely. That’s what’s so good about our country 🙂

        ## The husband wanted to divorce her, and her not wanting to wear a sari came up as one of the problems. ##

        I thought she wanted to divorce him and her inlaws pushing her to wear a Sari was one of the issues her lawyers put forward? (maybe I read a different news article, and also a week or so back)

        Me – Nish you are right, it was the wife who wanted to divorce the husband.


  14. I do not think people even approach courts over such issues. There must be deeper issues. I think if my husband wanted to go, I would just let him. I do not care to hang around when I am not needed. How do people even tolerate each other, after they wash their dirty laundry in public?


    • Well the media usually just reports a fractional part of the story. It seems fairly obvious that this couple have deeper issues and are definitely not suited to be together. Ideally they should go for divorce through mutual consent.


  15. I can’t understand this fixation for Saris for the bahus of the family. Why can’t one have freedom to choose what one wants to wear!! Also, it is difficult to accept things which are forced on you!
    Lovely poem!


  16. I absolutely loved the poem …:)

    I wish women look at thier husbands from head to toe , when they insist on any apsrticular’s attire ..a look that says ” what make you think you even qualify to tel me what to wear” .

    Its the contrling nature that will show up in diffrent ways ….like dont talk much , dont laugh too much , dont sit like this , dont sing dance and jump around, whistle …we women grow up with soo many donts that never appear in a guys life .. everyone think they can tell any other women how to do (or dont do ) on anything ..


  17. All I can say is that these people have taken marriage as a joke!
    Both parties are wrong.
    Both of them have to compromise- I like jeans, you like saris- We settle for salwars.
    And if she works 12 hrs a day and no additional work at home- it’s her fault.
    But if he also works that much and doesn’t do anything at home- He’s equally to blame.


  18. Well, the MIL asking her to wear a sari in itself is hardly criminal. If she physically forced her to wear a sari, then that’s criminal assault.

    Had the latter occurred, the lady should have gone to criminal court. That doesn’t seem to be the case however. And you can’t file for divorce merely because your in-laws made a verbal request. Not under Indian divorce laws anyway.

    What she could try is to file for divorce claiming a breakdown of compatible relations with her husband. If he goes along with it, they can get divorced in 6 months under mutual consent. Otherwise the case could go pending for several years.

    Obviously the very first step to take is to leave her husband’s home, and go live independently. If she cannot afford that at the moment she could find a roommate or two, or even ask her parents or siblings if they mind her staying with them till things settle down.


  19. llike everyone else, loved the last lines of the poem, but really.. some days i wonder abt these things.. and its all ..soo… unfair. Dont have much more to say than that.. its just not fair.. its cruel and one wonders why there is no retribution…


    • Indrani I feel if somebody wants to walk out of marriage – it’s better to let them go, what’s the point of somebody living with the partner only out of compulsion?

      But sari is not as small an issue as it seems – it means the husband feels he can dictate, and what makes him think she can’t decide what is appropriate? She is matured enough to be married, have children, work, vote, be jailed… but not enough to decide what to wear? And how is he so sure he knows better?


  20. Awesome!! If women have to wear a sari.. let men wear ‘Kashta’ as they say in marathi.. those veshtis that men wear for puja where its put in the back like layers .. what do they call that?

    Anyhow.. the end was fun!! Loved the verse milady!


  21. i think it’s more than the sari, the sari was just something she could remember from the top of her head. the other little things that she doesn’t even realise have made her feel like that. it’s never as simple as it looks

    . also if he’s cheating then i think that’s grounds for divorce isn’t it? but if they can work it out i’m all for it.

    however why is it that women are always expected to cook and clean even when they have a full time job. i know it’s not like that in my house. eventhough my mother is a housewife she doesn’t cook or clean. she does a lot of things for us. she stitches, paints, takes care of finances and also watches the stock market for trends. . .

    guys just get over it. women don’t have to cook and clean always. they can but it should be a choice they get to make.


    • Alijna I agree. Their telling her what she should wear is just an indication of all the other controls she lives with…
      I have a post in drafts about the second part… must finish and post it soon.


  22. Deal all ,
    I am so surprise that when men can wear any thing after marriage then why not women.

    Some lady (mother in laws) says that —– wear sari
    take ” pallu on head” in front of your father in law
    Don’t go in front of father in law ,
    I don’nt know that at one side of coin we are saying that we will be super power of world and at other side of coin we are leaving in this SHIT …..
    Aur u are talking about Bhartiya nari ….so man army mai women wear paint shirt …We should salute bravery of that girls who are far most better then that eunuch husband who use his whole power on their wife.
    Wearing or not Sari is not a reason for divorse or leaving husband ……BUTTTTTT enforcing any girl to wear sari is a perfect reason to leave this type of eunuch husband who can use its MARDANGI on his wife who came to her house just on a belief that
    “”” Don’t take tension PAPA I am going to my another PAPA “”
    It is so shame full that these guys are forcing their daughter in law for doing that what they want…….
    Guys I am a boy but I really hate to those husbands jo apni NMARDGI ko MARDANGI mai badalne ke liye apni wife ko paresan karte hai ……
    BOSS jitna jeene ka ADHIKAR tumhe hai utna hi tumhari VANSH ko age badhane wali tumhari wife ko bhi hai ……….


    • Dear Raj, I agree with you that nobody should be controlled and we all should be able to wear,eat, meet, read,watch etc what we feel is right. None of us should be seen as fools who don’t know what is good for us.

      But I feel we should not look down upon Eunuchs because they are equal citizens and have as much right to life and dignity as anybody else.

      I also feel we should not fall for definitions of what is MARDANGI etc. A man has a right to cry or feel scared or to love art, music, dancing, dressing up etc as much as women have. BUT men (or anybody) do not have a right to bully their wives. It is easy for a man and his family to all get together and harass a new family member (the daughter in law) – they know the society generally supports them in doing so but they forget how much this harms the man (- the husband), because he never gets to have a companion and friend and a life-partner in the real sense.


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