06 May, 2021

Gordian Knots

A professional and highly readable beginning, which will hopefully inspire other scholars to follow suit.

Gordian Knots

The first clinical and cultural portrait of marriage in India—that’s how Shaifali Sandhya’s Love Will Follow  is described.  The author is a clinical psychologist who specialises in couple therapy and family systems.

The book is certainly timely. Across the urban sprawl of middle-class India, the institution of marriage is “burning”, as Shaifali says. Economic growth, the financial empowerment of women, the breakdown of extended families, the increasing sexual awareness of women, and the influence of outside cultures is causing the most unprecedented churning in this hoary institution. Unsurprisingly, divorce rates in India have increased tenfold in the last two decades; there has been a 350 per cent rise in Kerala, the most literate state; and a 200 per cent rise in Chennai and Calcutta. Divorce, according to the author, “is the new accessory to marriage in India”.

The problem is that unprecedented change is accompanied by the continuity of tradition. Couples, whose...

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