India Insight

Selling your spouse: when is it legal?

October 16, 2012

Don’t ever think that I ask only smart questions.

Here’s a story that I found in the Times of India today: a man sold his wife to a broker for Rs. 6,000 (about US$114). This was the money that he needed to keep himself in liquor, the Times reported.

The accused, Medula Rajender, 42, of Malyala village in Chandurthi mandal sold his wife Medula Ammayi, 36, to the broker on October 13 to meet his liquor expenses. Daily wager Rajender found it hard to buy liquor and struck a deal with the broker to sell his wife.

Not the brightest bulb in the chandelier, Rajender took his wife to the bus station, bought her a ticket, and told her to wait for the broker, according to the report. Ammayi took the bus, but to a relative’s place instead. There, she reportedly told them everything. Then her son turned in the father to police.

“I was shocked when he told me that he had sold me for Rs 6,000 to the broker in Kortula. He even bought a bus ticket to Korutla for me and left the place,” recalled a crying Ammayi.

The journalist in me can’t help but wonder if the broker ever showed up, and why nobody quoted him in the story. The significantly smaller part of me that finds contract law interesting wants to know: can you really sell your spouse, or anyone else for that matter, in some parts of India? Are there places where you could reasonably expect to find a broker to handle such a thing? If the broker shows up at the bus station and says, “Where’s that person I bought?”, could a court enforce his right to purchase? Or is this illegal as well as unfortunate?

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‘The journalist in me can’t help but wonder if the broker ever showed up, and why nobody quoted him in the story. The significantly smaller part of me that finds contract law interesting wants to know: can you really sell your spouse, or anyone else for that matter, in some parts of India? Are there places where you could reasonably expect to find a broker to handle such a thing? If the broker shows up at the bus station and says, “Where’s that person I bought?”, could a court enforce his right to purchase? Or is this illegal as well as unfortunate?’

Did any part of you wonder if it was a good idea to post this? To answer your question: Yes, there are many parts of India where human trafficking happens (and where you could find a broker to sell your family members); No, it is never legal; and no, it is not funny.

Posted by kaubega | Report as abusive
 

This not what the Indians who toil to keep the entire nation fed and look up to the dream of becoming the economical superpower of the South East Asia one day. However, could there be a big ‘BUT’ and ‘IF’ in between really India would be a Economical Supper Power ever, because of various social, cultural, religious, political, morale and many more factors if properly researched and analyzed would prove in this world of uncertainty India’s future is floating in uncertainty.

Having stated that India might be economically strong even then it would not dare to do anything miracle to turn around the need of population, poverty and corruption time bomb that would sooner then later would burst open and take huge toll which no one can imagine what would happen to India then. We have to wait and see, just for that time.

Posted by KINGISKING | Report as abusive
 

Talk about gender inquality!!! How is it that men seem able to sell women, yet it does not work the other way around? What woman in her right mind would waste her money to buy a man when she can buy shoes!!!

Posted by illawarrior | Report as abusive
 

how many hamburgers could I get for $114. cause my turn to cook I would be in trouble and would have to buy her back.
I think I’ll just keep her.

Posted by Anonymous | Report as abusive
 

“The journalist in me can’t help but wonder”

I thought the journalist in you wasn’t the part that wonders, but the part that FINDS OUT so the story can inform the rest of us.

Posted by J.Osborne | Report as abusive
 

So the coffee sipping bleeding heart journalist in you couldn’t help but wonder if a story of human trafficking in that part of the world could be passed off as source of amusement. Kaubega summed it up well for you: it’s not legal and it’s not funny.

Posted by Ghulab | Report as abusive
 

Thanks. Indeed, I drink coffee. And if there is anything funny about the story, it’s that the husband actually thought he could pull it off.

 

At a dinner party one night, a very drunk Winston Churchill asked an attractive woman whether she would sleep with him for a million pounds. “Maybe,” the woman said coyly. “Would you sleep with me for one pound?” Churchill then asked. “Of course not, what kind of woman do you think I am?” the woman responded indignantly. “Madam, we’ve already established what kind of woman you are,” said Churchill, “now we’re just negotiating the price.”

Given low enough “ethics” and sufficiently agreeable price, anything (or any one) can be bought or sold. Votes have been bought for a burger and fries. Slavery is still endemic across swaths of the Earth. Illegal arms traders never lack for customers.

$$$ and will.

Posted by cjrian | Report as abusive
 

What a smugg arrogant perspective you portray while observing with what appears to be enjoyment a devastating reality for so many of our weakest most vulnerable people. If you really are interested in the answer to the question you pose in this so called article: Yes, there are many parts of India where human trafficking happens; No, it is never legal; and no, I’ts not at all funny.

Posted by PetraD | Report as abusive
 

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