"I am going through difficult and testing times. Amrita and I have lived separate lives for a long time. We have applied for divorce with mutual consent. It is a legal procedure which takes its own time. But the relationship we once had ended long ago.
Amrita is free to take decisions about her future and I respect them. I also wish her the best for her future life.
I know many of my friends, well-wishers, students and colleagues are feeling sorry for me. But more than that, I also know they are with me. I am sure I will come out of these difficult times. I expect you all to respect my privacy. One gets to recognise one's friends on such occasions."
"For people who are not ready to view the finer details of man-woman relationship and also the woman's existence and personality from any other mindset than the feudal and patriarchal one, for those who do not consider women anything more than a private property or a baby-making machine, for those who do not respect the dignity of that gender, it is a chance to indulge in lurid jokes, personal attacks and mudslinging. But this is all they know. This is the limit of their thinking and politics. I do not expect anything more than this from them."
Anyone who has gone through a divorce, break up or a bad friendship knows that there are bad memories. There is pent up anger and there is a very strong dislike for people. Having said that, there is no reason to not be civil to someone. But I what I particularly loved about Pradhan's Facebook message was how he thought about women and men. While he says that these are testing times for him, he in no way is saying Amrita Rai is responsible for it. He comes out openly to say that their relationship was over. This sentence in particular struck a cord with me where he says "She can do whatever she wants"... I know this is the 21st century and this doesn't even need to be said. But it still has to be made explicitly clear. Or so it appears.
I posted the same on my Facebook wall and I quickly got a reply it saying 'She's hot and he's not what is wrong with women' may be it was well meaning humour, may be it was a genuine question. The problem is we think we are allowed to judge people for the choices they make. We think we somehow have a better understanding of what is best for people. We as a country or as human kind in general have this attitude. Pradhan has been very sensible in saying that despite all the differences, nobody deserves the right to breach the sanctity of her relationship with Dijvijay Singh. It is not too much to expect men and women to be sensitive about what they say. It is definitely not too much to expect that people mind their own business.
It brings me to my next point of discussion, why does it even need explicit saying? Because we love a scandal. We want to indulge in shaming, we want for Amrita Rai to be red faced, Dijvijay Singh to deny the relationship, we want Anand Pradhan to come out and say mean things or stay silent as an acceptance of this. None of it happened. (Thankfully). We love jokes at others expense, why do you think Pradhan confidently said 'it is a chance to indulge in lurid jokes, personal attacks and mudslinging. But this is all they know. This is the limit of their thinking and politics. I do not expect anything more than this from them". It is because we've historically done the same. All evidence suggests that lurid jokes and personal attacks will happen, the same that happened in case of Modi's wife. Personal lives and Political lives are interrelated, but there is also line that needs to be drawn when we discuss personal and political lives of individuals.
I really liked Pradhan for saying what he said, where he put it in words that Amrita is a free person, she can do whatever and there is nothing wrong with her relationship. We cannot think of her a someone's girlfriend, someone's wife, someone's ex. Of course he puts in a word for himself, he says he needs his privacy to be respected sending out a clear message that he does not want to talk about it to wellwishers, friends and definitely the media.