“Ask your father if he has never beaten your mother!” Please adjust.

“You have to adjust….”  Karnataka high court told a victim of domestic violence.

I don’t quite understand this. Don’t we have a laws that makes Domestic violence and cruelty a crime?

“Ask your father if he has never beaten your mother!”

So do most Indian fathers beat their wives? And somehow that is not only acceptable, but can also be used as an example for their daughters and sons in law to follow.

“I know you have undergone pain. But that is nothing in front of what you undergo as a woman.”

What is this even supposed to mean? What is it that women undergo that makes Domestic Violence seem like ‘nothing’?

Women suffer in all marriages.

Is the 28 year old wife supposed to believe this? And even if she does believe that many other Indian marriages are miserable, why should she see that a a reason to be unhappy too?

Link shared by Harjot Kaur.

HC judge tells abused wife to ‘adjust’

Women suffer in all marriages.

You are married with two children and know what it means to suffer as a woman. Why are you still talking about his beatings? I know you have undergone pain. But that is nothing in front of what you undergo as a woman. I have not undergone such pain. But madam (Justice BS Indrakala) has.”

The court asked the woman if her parents were present, at which her father walked up to the bench. The judge remarked, “Ask your father if he has never beaten your mother!” When the woman’s advocate produced photographs showing her swollen face, the court said, “You have to adjust.

There is nothing in your case to argue on merits. Have you read about actor Darshan. He spent 30 days in jail after beating his wife. But they are living
together now.”

The case was to be heard again in the afternoon, but was adjourned to a later date.

Related Posts:

Are His Judgements Justified? – Tvaraj

Be a wife like Sita, wear a sari but don’t get abducted.

Parents should choose the boy for a girl aged below 21, as it is they who bear the brunt of an unsuccessful marriage – Karnataka HC

An email from a daughter whose mother endured everything because she did not want to ruin her daughters’ lives.


53 thoughts on ““Ask your father if he has never beaten your mother!” Please adjust.

  1. Oh my god! How is this possible? It’s completely unacceptable. No one has to “adjust” if they don’t want to stay in a marriage even if there is no domestic violence!

    The first person to raise their hand is at fault and is enough grounds for divorce immediately.



    I thought part of your JOB DESCRIPTION as a judge or a lawyer was to APPLY THE LAW and not let your personal experiences or biases come in the way. This reminds me of the judge who told a female lawyer she couldn’t argue a divorce case because she wasn’t married herself. What is going on in our country?!!


  3. Ugghh…What kind of a justice is this? I cannot count the number of ways that this is screwed up

    1. Who is anybody to ask the woman to adjust to physical violence? If tomorrow, the husband seriously injures or maims her, who will come and save her? Even in the absence of any serious injury, why should this woman be subjected to a life of constant fear and pain?
    2. Does the law give anybody the right to force a woman to stay in an abusive relationship? I don’t think so. I sincerely hope not.
    3. How is it relevant to this case for the woman to ask her father if he beat her mother? Is there any evidence that her father was beating her mother? Why is it insinuated that at all in the first place? In case the father did beat her mother, then the father should be punished. Why is this given as an excuse to doom the woman to a lifetime of physical abuse?
    4. Why is the actor’s life given as an example? What bearing does it have on the violence that this woman is enduring?
    5. “All women suffer in marriage” – Shouldn’t we be ashamed to make such a statement (especially if it’s true)? Isn’t this a terrible indictment of the status of women in our country where their suffering is considered as the normal (or even desired) state of affairs? Isn’t it even more shameful that we are trying to perpetuate this pathetic situation by asking this woman also to suffer just to satisfy random prejudices about the so-called sanctity of marriage

    Why is there no sense of outrage in the news article about this atrocious case? Why is there no criticism or penalisation of the husband’s actions? It’s a seriously messed-up world.


  4. wonder what the Madam actually replied back. It saddens me to see that there are people like Darshan’s wife who bow to the societal pressures and irrespective of the abuse faced join the actor to lead a so called happy life. And if continuous domestic abuse is not a severe suffering what else is- it seems that it is being implied that being born as a woman is a curse and hence the suffering in the form of domestic violence is nothing compared to that- Revolting and horrible indeed. There is no question of adjusting and it is high time the society adjusts it’s medieval mindset


    • Priya, one of my friends was physically abused by her husband. He refused to ‘accept’ her until she ‘changed her ways and be a good DIL’. Initially, my friend refused to go back but gave in to the societal pressure. Her mother asked her to ‘adjust’. She is very well educated, was quite ambitious but gave it all up to become a ‘good DIL’. So it is very well accepted in our culture to ‘adjust’ , after all aren’t women conditioned to ‘adjust’ for society’s sake, husband’s sake, MIL’s sake and children’s sake? Anyone who refuses to adjust is branded as ‘rebellious’. In Darshan’s case, it does not matter to public that he abused his wife. His movies continue to mint money. When it comes to such issues, public will say “their personal affair”. But if the case had been reverse i.e if the wife had abused the actor there would be riots, dharnas and sermons on how women should behave. Ask Padmaja, Manjula, Muthalik. They have earned PhDs on how women should behave from the moment they are born.


        • I think the BJP government has a lot to do with it. Right-wing governments are bad for women’s rights in all parts of the world.

          It’s a perfect cocktail — regressive mindsets get strenghthened when the ruling government tacitly supports or condones actions intended to maintain the status quo.

          The system’s completely broken and the weakest suffer the most when governing systems break down.


        • I agree. The government seems to support misogyny much more in Karanataka, C Manjula, Patil, Yeddy – all the gems they spew… and no condemnation or apology… 😦

          Criticism of ‘pub and mall Culture’, ban on parties, preventing girls below 21 from choosing who they marry – and no condemnation from the government.


      • shocking indeed sandhya; but yes like you say many girls from a very early age are conditioned to adjust and any refusal from them gets branded with all vicious names .it doesn’t matter to which strata of society they belong to- does it ?
        if your friend the so called ‘well educated’ has to endure such misery then I can only imagine the plight of women from an ill-placed household. THIS is outrageous and pathetic


  5. The height of outrageousness.. While with one incident, one might think okay – that’s it.. that’s the limit, another one pops up, surpassing the other by just one giant leap…
    And to think how can women in India ever expect a good future, or for that matter, a decent present??
    Would a private governing agency work?


  6. It is also the same justice Bhaktavatsala who said girls up to 21 years of age should get married only with consent. You had written about it then also. It shows up on the related posts section. https://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/2012/02/02/parents-should-choose-the-boy-for-a-girl-aged-below-21-as-it-is-they-who-bear-the-brunt-of-an-unsuccessful-marriage-karnataka-hc/

    I think by “what you undergo as a woman” he means to say that if you can withstand labour pains, you can withstand a few beatings.

    I’m stunned. I can only say that the law on this unequivocally identifies cruelty as a ground for divorce and past case law (if I remember right) shows that even a single instance of physical violence can be held as cruelty.


  7. Its unbelievable, the things that come out of the mouths of those who are supposedly educated. I used to wonder why some girls had weird views while I was in college. This was the gist of one of the many conversations at college – It will be better to beat the husband to pulp, making sure he has no use of his limbs, if we got a husband who beat us. The reasoning being if we went to the police their standard dialogue will be “We also beat our wives. It happens in a marriage, “adjustmadi”. Its just a wound and it will heal” and justice will never arrive while all our pain will be invalidated. So, many of us saw having an invalid/disabled husband as a better option in marriage than having a healthy abusive one. Very rarely did Girls dream of a marriage that was true to what the Saptapadi (although I still feel it is a bad deal for the girl anyway, it still has a smell of equality between spouses) espouses.

    For those who dont know what the Saptapadi vows are. Here it is for your perusal, taken from the wikipedia- “Now let us make a vow together. We shall share love, share the same food, share our strengths, share the same tastes. We shall be of one mind, we shall observe the vows together. I shall be the Samaveda, you the Rigveda, I shall be the Upper World, you the Earth; I shall be the Sukhilam, you the Holder – together we shall live and beget children, and other riches; come thou, O sweet-worded girl!”
    In North Indian weddings, the bride and the groom say the following words after completing the seven steps:
    “We have taken the Seven Steps. You have become mine forever. Yes, we have become partners. I have become yours. Hereafter, I cannot live without you. Do not live without me. Let us share the joys. We are word and meaning, united. You are thought and I am sound. May the night be honey-sweet for us. May the morning be honey-sweet for us. May the earth be honey-sweet for us. May the heavens be honey-sweet for us. May the plants be honey-sweet for us. May the sun be all honey for us. May the cows yield us honey-sweet milk. As the heavens are stable, as the earth is stable, as the mountains are stable, as the whole universe is stable, so may our union be permanently settled.”
    From another source at http://vrindavan.xanga.com/656858760/seven-vows-of-hindu-wedding—saptapadi-or-seven-steps/
    The first step is taken to earn and provide a living for their household or family, and avoiding those things that might harm them.
    The second step is taken to build their physical, mental and spiritual powers and to lead a healthy lifestyle.
    The third step is taken to earn and increase their wealth by righteous and proper means.
    The fourth step is taken to acquire knowledge, happiness and harmony by mutual love, respect, understanding and faith.
    The fifth step is taken to have children for whom they will be responsible and blessed with healthy, righteous and brave children.
    The sixth step is taken for self-control and longevity.
    The seventh step is taken to be true to each other, loyal and remain life-long companions by this wedlock.

    How many of the “Hindu” Weddings(I know it happens in others too), do those 7 vows exist? I think we should change the language from Sanskrit to something the bride and the groom understand, maybe things will change then?


  8. Utterly disgusted. Yet another example of how, inspite of having a decent constitution and a decent penal code- ostensibly to better society- we STILL live in the social dark ages. There are LAWS against domestic violence which specify the punishment for the husband’s actions – and yet justice will not be served, all because of regressive mindsets.

    How do we go about righting this wrong? We are not Saudi Arabia- we don’t need to change the law in the books because it is already on our side. We need to change the way some dinosaurs think, which is impossible, so we can only wait for them to become extinct.

    I hope the wife moves out and I hope she makes sure that this husband never lays a finger on her again.


  9. Now the wife can openly thrash the husband. And go to the same judge who will have no choice but to tell the husband to adjust. I don’t know how else the wife could respond. Such a horrible state of affairs.


  10. I think they should be sent back to live together and the woman should beat up the guy everyday and then ask him to adjust.
    Some people are completely against divorce and seem to think that the wife has to die to be separated from her husband. Maybe that is why they ask them to live together. What about the kid who is supposed to see this domestic violence for the rest of his life.

    Karnataka is also going to the dogs. What a shame!


  11. I wish there was a judicial review board where people could complain against such judges who dole out morality and personal bias in the name of law. Why shouldn’t such judges be pulled up for not doing their job?


  12. Are you kidding me??? If it had been me in that 28 year old woman’s place, I’d have given a piece of my mind. No, my father never ever hit my mother. They had arguments but they sorted it out like mature adults do. No, no woman should suffer in a marriage. It’s not a death sentence that they need to ‘suffer’ through it.


    • And even if her father has hit her mother, she doesn’t have to take it! That’s bullshit! You’re right, she should have given a piece of her mind. They should ask their forefathers. Surely someone in their whole line or vansh as they call it, would have been flogged. Learn to adjust!


  13. How can a judge say that?!?! I am so shocked…

    i completely disagree with the judge…Please somebody tell him that not every Indian husband beats his wife. And his duty is to give justice based on Indian laws.


  14. A very close friend is going through divorce and a similar thing happened. The judge told her “you have a daughter, you have to adjust”. But thankfully, my friends lawyer had told her to expect this and told her not to react. Apparently this is the norm – the way our family court judges think. And the lawyer, who is also a womens rights activist and a modern woman, said that one should never retort to the judge (thats trouble) and with a good lawyer you can get the divorce even with such a judge presiding. My friend composed herself there, but broke down later..
    I was so shocked.. i mean people know about the police but even the judiciary? Its so painful to think about women who stand there listening to this..


    • Keerthana, I had a different experience in the Bangalore family court. The presiding judge was female, and only asked me if I was sure I wanted to waive off maintenance and not ask for it.

      Ours was a mutual consent divorce, but I remember the lawyer telling me that contested divorces are frequently not as smooth and the judge are more likely to offer unsolicited advice in the guise of “protecting the sanctity of marriage”.

      Heck, if marriages are sacred and holy, then perhaps men should walk the talk and not treat their wives as unpaid slaves and sub-humans.

      People who spout the “sanctity of marriage” argument also tacitly condone wife abuse and gender injustice.

      How can an institution be sacred if it brings suffering and misery to its female participants?


      • Ahh in this case, my friend has filed for divorce on grounds of cruelty, and the husband wants to live with her (and go on abusing) and hence probably this silly advice. My friend was already quite depressed and this sort of broke her..

        But it is good to know atleast in cases of mutual consent, the woman is not made to go through the additional ordeal of such meaningless unsolicited advice..


        • Keerthana, it is pathetic in the court for the woman. What you described of your friends case is so true, there is only further abuse, abuse and more abuse for the woman but no justice.


    • I dont know if this is a Karnataka thing or what!
      My divorce was done in the Bandra Family Court in Mumbai, and was by mutual consent. There was a “counselling”: session, and I was really worried they would ask me for reasons and to adjust and stuff. But turned out it was just to ensure that I am doing it out of my free will and not being pressured into it.

      The whole thing was really smooth and noone reallly cared too much!


  15. O My God!…..it’s so pathetic that people who have been enthroned to verdict justice are so illusory in themselves that really they have no eyes to differ the justice & injustice. How could an authorized one do that? It’s shameful. Is this the justice? And, if yes! for what they are supposed to be seated there. And, for what people come to courts? When verdict has to same everywhere, then jury & criminal differs no more.


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  18. Dear Women of India, Please take heart! A few years ago, this could have happened in New York City or Toronto and it wouldn’t have even made the newspaper because domestic violence was considered a family matter outside the jurisdiction of the courts. Now it is completely unthinkable. A judge behaving like that today would be run off the bench in utter scorn. (Except maybe in Texas, but Texas is a very strange place indeed.)

    So you see, progress is not only possible, I would say it’s inevitable if you just stay in there and keep on keeping on.


  19. what crap…excuse my lang bt seriusly wtf??????u know such statements from people in positions like this r disgraceful,frustrating and also i guess one of the reasons for domestic violence… it’s seriously shocking… the victim should lodge a complain in supreme court.. i have had my share of bad experience and i filed a written complain action was taken


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