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About Amit Varma

Amit Varma is a writer based in Mumbai. He worked in journalism for over a decade, and won the Bastiat Prize for Journalism in 2007. His bestselling novel, My Friend Sancho, was published in 2009. He is best known for his blog, India Uncut. His current project is a non-fiction book about the lack of personal and economic freedoms in post-Independence India.




Bastiat Prize 2007 Winner

Recent entries

Understanding Consent

This is the 87th installment of Rhyme and Reason, my occasional set of limericks for the Sunday Times of India…

One Bad Law Goes, but Women Remain Second-Class Citizens

This is the 12th installment of The Rationalist, my column for the Times of India. This has been a year…

Cricketers Focus on Process, Not Results. So Should Fans

This is the third installment of my cricket column for Cricket Next., and was published on September 15, 2018. Every…

What Virat Kohli Should Consider About the Machinery of His Brain

This is the second installment of my cricket column for Cricket Next., and was published on September 5, 2018. George…

Consent Won a Battle This Week. The War Remains

This is the 11th installment of The Rationalist, my column for the Times of India. Remember, remember, the sixth of…

18 January, 2016

Rising Divorce Rates are a Feature, Not a Bug

The Times of India has an intriguing headline up today: ‘Marriages last the longest in north India, Maharashtra; least in NE.’

At first glance, you might think that is good news for North India. It is not. In my view, it shows how socially backward the North still is.

A few years ago, I’d written a column called We Should Celebrate Rising Divorce Rates In it, I’d expressed the opinion that divorce rates were “the single best statistical indicator we have of the empowerment of women.” If I may quote myself:

Rising divorce rates tell us one thing for sure: that more and more women are finding the means, and the independence, to walk out of bad marriages and live life on their own terms. If we judge ourselves as a society on the state of our women – and surely that must be a parameter – then this is good news.

So the ToI report seems to indicate that women are more empowered in the North-East than and North India. I’d love to see if data backs this up. What statistical indicators can stand as a proxy for women’s welfare? Do they show a geographical correlation with divorce rates? These are good questions to ask, though I don’t think ToI will do a follow-up report on this anytime soon.

Posted by Amit Varma in Economics | Freedom | India | News

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