One reason for the increased divorce rate is that educated women India – or at least the educated middle-class women – now have the option. “Women do not want to lie down and take it anymore,” says Julie George, a lawyer based in Pune, in matrimonial cases. “There’s a lot more independence, freedom. Women who work are financially independent and are not willing to put up with a husband who harasses them.” While nobody is suggesting that Rushdie was harassing Lakshmi in any way (Documents India reported that the party was to “another man” recently), the couple are separating, according to spokeswoman Rushdie “because of his desire to end their marriage. ”

But that’s only half the story. Lakshmi is not representative of the average Indian woman. And while the middle class, urban women can take charge and, at times as likely to leave their husbands as their husbands to leave them, in rural villages in India, yet the men who initiate most divorces – a often leaving women and children in non-financial and little family support. “Poor women in villages are often just abandoned,” says George, who works for Streevani, an organization based in Pune nongovernmental, according to its website, is “committed to the empowerment of women in India” . “Some have no chance to remarry because according to the rules of caste can not, even though the man can.”