Normalising Remarriages For Men As Well As Women In India: Why Is It Needed

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Normalising remarriages in India is quite a task but equally an important one. Over years, remarriage is seen as a taboo in the Indian society much like divorce and live-in relationships. However, the course seems to be changing as people are realising the need of a companion in their lives. Then why does the Indian society abstain people from finding happiness again? What aspect is wrong about moving on for good as an attempt to start over?

Why do we look down upon people who decide to remarry and find companionship again? The moment someone decides to be happy again with another partner, they are ‘villainised’ and made the bad guy for trying to move in with their lives. Whether it is a widowed man stepping out of the grief of his late wife, or an abused woman who broke off her toxic marriage in order to find a fresh start, they are ultimately made to bear the fall for their troubled married life. But why do we blame them?

Why can’t people with failed marriages have a second chance at love while normalising remarriages? If they fail to work it out with someone, does that mean they don’t deserve to have love in their lives at all? Isn’t it time to start normalising remarriages for the sake of people trying for a second chance at love? They are mostly certainly capable of giving and receiving love all over again. And it’s high time that society accept their choices and cut them some slack already!

From Javed Akhtar to Pankaj Kapur, to Neelima Azeem, Bollywood actors defied that age-old taboo to establish some progressive ideas about relationships as a step towards normalising remarriages. Most recently, actor Farhan Akhtar tied the knot with his lady love Shibani Dandekar on February 19, 2022. It was Akhtar’s second marriage, his former wife being Adhuna Bhabani, an English hairstylist. Farhan Akhtar and his first wife Adhuna Bhabani were married for seventeen years and parted their ways in 2017.

Akhtar has two daughters with his former wife – Shakya and Akira Akhtar. Both of them were present on his big day with Shibani Dandekar as they happily welcomed her as a part of the Akhtar family.

Talking about children being acceptant of their parents’ remarriage, we have the Kapur and Khatter families who recently gathered to celebrate the marriage of Pankaj Kapur’s daughter and Shahid Kapoor’s step-sister Sanah Kapoor.

Veteran actors Pankaj Kapur and Neelima Azeem got married in 1979 and filed for divorce in 1984 after Shahid Kapoor was born in 1981. The two went their separate ways moving on with their lives with their respective partners. Kapur married actor Supriya Pathak in 1988 and has two children – Sanah and Ruhaan Kapur. On the other hand, Azeem went on to marry Rajesh Khattar in 1990, who is the father of actor Ishaan Khatter.

Not only does the family is involved in the happy and sad events, they also have a professional approach when it comes to working together. Shahid Kapoor with father Pankaj Kapur and step-sister Sanah Kapur acted in 2015 romantic-drama film Shaandaar which also starred Alia Bhatt.

It’s great to see how the family remains united with love even after separation of their parents. And maybe that is something we need to inculcate in our society as an attempt to normalising remarriages.

While it is evidently easier for men to remarry and start their life all over again, it the women who become the victims of the blame-game most times. In our society, a man can cheat or abuse a woman in a marriage and nobody bats an eye. Yet when a woman attempts to break out of a toxic relationship, she is either too ambitious or too stubborn. Furthermore, they are sometimes even blamed for being cheated on simply because, “maybe she wasn’t able to satisfy her husband.” Even the widows are blamed for their husband’s death apparently for being less attentive to his needs.

It’s high time that we shed such double standards and let people live the life they want for themselves without giving the unsolicited opinions. Everyone has the right to love and be happy in their lives. It is quite unfair to deprive them happiness simply because of some failed relationships in the past.

Views expressed by the author are their own.