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The institution of marriage evolved for companionship in bed and out of bed while keeping the social structure intact and as strong as ever. A married man having sexual relationship with a married woman who is not his lawfully wedded wife, is committing not only sin but also crime cognisable by the police when the State will be the Prosecutor against the man sharing bed with another married woman, not his lawfully wedded wife, for sex. However, section 497 IPC (Indian Penal Code) has kept the adulterous woman out of prosecution by the State. This was done possibly to protect women who were by and large unlettered and liable to exploitation by men folk of the family and even outsiders.

Their Lordships of the Bombay High Court have rightly suggested that under the changed social set up, women should also be brought under the purview of section 497 IPC. In the centuries gone by when IPC was enacted, women were the exploited lot and, generally speaking, a Male was the seducer who led the unsuspecting simple married woman to bed for sexual gratification. The then Legislature did not wish to act in a cruel manner and doubly punish the woman by launching prosecution against her while she already stands sexually exploited by an adulterous man.


Good leaders of a progressive society do not confine themselves to punishing a law breaker. The social leader is a social reformer too. He or she fathoms the cause of an infringement of  a social norm or commission of an act of crime by contravening provisions of law. They fathom the depth of social malady and look for solutions beyond the precincts of a court of law. A court may, based on unimpeachable evidence, pronounce an adulterous man guilty and sentence him to imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years. However, if cases of adultery crop up in large numbers that is disproportionately high, a social reformer has to look for remedial measures beyond the domains of legislature and judiciary.

As a matter of fact, the figures of adulterous males in a region or religion, is just not available. At the same time it is common knowledge that many married men go out on a hunt for sexually unsatisfied married women. There is a prevailing belief among philanderers that having a relationship with a married woman who is not the lawfully wedded wife of the seducer is safer than doing the same to an unmarried woman. In the latter case, social and legal hazards are more than what can be counted on finger tips. Therefore, the number of cases of adultery is constantly on the rise.

Quite a few men wish to start a one-night stand with a married woman and then wish to forget all about it. However, let it not dupe you that you are safe after the nocturnal escapade with a married damsel is over. No, it is not so. Having sex with a married woman, not your wife, is tantamount to commiting adultery, irrespective of the number of times the adulterer and the adulteress shared the bed for sex. The man can be charged under section 497 IPC even for one-night stand. Adultery is adultery, never mind the number of days or nights that the sexual liaison lasted.


Under the Vedic law, Vivah is a sanskar and not a contract. The marital bed is for sex and sex is meant for  procreation. When a man has sexual intercourse with his lawfully wedded wife, it is to give birth to a son or a daughter. The new generation will carry on with the Vedic Parampara or a tradition. It has the sanction of the Vedas, the most ancient scripture in the library of Mankind. On the contrary, in an adulterous relationship, the aim of the indulging couple is just to have fun and not procreate. A baby born out of wedlock in an adulterous relationship will be called a Bastard and will have no legal entity to inherit his or her biological father's property. There will be numerous legal complications too.

With a view to leading a healthy and happy life, a male must avoid entering into an adulterous relationship with a married woman who is not his lawfully wedded wife. In order to enjoy the fruits of labour, a man or a woman must make an endeavour to live life as prescribed by the Dharma and evolved by saints after studying and observing human behaviour for many years. Let your sexual urge not run wild but tame it by your will power or sublimate it through your creative talent.

Sublimation of Sex is the panacea of all ills of this nature. Yoga, including Pranayam is the answer to cure sexually surcharged mind. Elders of the society have a sacred duty to guide the youth and bring back home those who went astray. One should live and die observing the Dharma and pass on the rich cultural cum religious heritage to the next generation. Living thus, we will be beneficiaries of a healthy social life sans adultery.

By Chitranjan Sawant

Email: upvanom@yahoo.com  or  sawantg.chitranjan@gmail.com     

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