chapter  4
64 Pages

- Maintenance: Saving the welfare state money

We have already seen above, with reference to marriage, divorce and polygamy in modern Indian law, that protecting the financial interests and claims of women and children has become an increasingly central concern of Indian judges. It appears that this is now considered more important than paying lipservice to modernising reforms per se.1 As we saw, the postmodern reconstruction of India's laws on polygamy does no longer allow the simple, plain conclusion that polygamous Indian men, of any religion, are given favours by the statute law and the judges. The picture today is more and more that if a man has the means to maintain several women, nobody may complain and the state will never come to know - and does not really want to know. On the other hand, if a polygamist neglects his marital or parental obligations, the courts are there to receive complaints, and they have become remarkably activist and outspoken in protecting women and children.