The eleventh episode of Aamir Khan’s popular TV show ‘Satyamev Jayate’ focussed problems of senior citizens. Amir talked about the fears attached to old age and how challenging it is for the elders to lead a life of dignity in society. The show referred to the example of an organisation in Ahmadabad which facilitates live-in relationship for old couples. Marrying in old age for companionship was the high light of the show.
Amir seemed to endorse some solutions that are definitely not well thought out. He talked about property dispute as a major hindrance in remarriage of the lonely senior citizens, and cited the initiative taken in the first ever live-in relationship conference in Gujarat. The aged looked for a live-in partner with whom they could spend the rest of their lives.
Is marriage and a live in relationship are as easy a solution to loneliness in old age as was made out in the TV episode, with much clapping?
Let us look at marriage. There have many instances in recent years when elderly couples have divorced after decades of marital life. Elder people wanting a quick fix in marriage need counseling and should carefully assess mutual compatibility.
As for a live in relationship, the supreme court has taken the view that a man and woman living together without marriage cannot be construed as an offence. A live-in which has been long lasting, will be considered as marriage according to the Supreme Court of India. Children born out of live-in are not illegitimate. If a man and a woman have been living under the same roof and cohabiting for a number of years, there will be a presumption under section 114 of the Evidence Act that they have lived as husband and wife and the children born to them would not be illegitimate. Such children are entitled to their share of inheritance.
Why should elders afraid of property disputes? When an elderly man chooses a partner, surely she is entitled to her share of inheritance? If they decide to have a live in relationship, what would happen to the woman after the man’s death? She would find it hard to claim her share of property and would have to fend for herself, when she is much older, and needs support.
Entrepreneurs have already taken note of this demand and created matrimonial sites for second marriage and those marrying late in life. There are a number of matrimonial sites for people who are divorced or widowed or someone looking to start late in life
Elderly Gujaratis seeking partners for live-in relationships now can just log on to a first-of-its-kind website that will feature profiles of men and women. Two students of M S University have launched a website http://www.2ndinnings.in to provide information on matrimony and live-in relationships and other services to elderly people. Their portal has already received good response with elderly people from Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Mumbai and USA having registered for the website.
Other sites for second marriage or late one are
http://www.secondshaadi.com/ : you are divorced or widowed or someone looking to start late in life,
http://www.2ndvivah.com/ for a second marriage. Marital Status Unmarried Widow/Widower Divorcee Separated
http://thesecondmarriage.com/BestSecondMatrimony.asp Second Marriage, Divorce Marriage, Marriage Portal for Widowed,
http://www.marryagain.in/ Free Matrimonial website for divorced people, Widows, widowers. ,
http://www.secondmatch.com/ : Dating Portal for Divorced, remarriage, second marriage, Divorcee or Divorced, Widow, Widower & Separated people.
The TV show should discuss the other major, under-the-carpet issue – challenge faced by gay seniors to find a partner in India. There are plenty of sites and chat rooms for gays, but GLBT people out there are looking for younger hook-ups. Middle aged and older people are ignored or even derided.
Maybe a smart entrepreneur will launch an online platform to solve this issue.