I learned how to sit at a big round table and say things in a way that made it seem like I knew what I was talking about, and soon enough I was able to make a convincing argument about pretty much anything.I also learned how to drink irresponsibly and still live to experience the hangover the next day. What changed the most for me, though, was how I thought about my own country.All valid marriages contracted/solemnised outside Singapore and registered in accordance with the law of the place in which the marriages were contracted/celebrated are recognised by our Government for all purposes of the Law of Singapore unless there are reasons to doubt the particular marriage was not validly contacted.In such cases, the Court of Law is the final arbiter as to whether the marriage is recognised by the Singapore Law.Solemnization of their marriage can then take place after the expiration of 21 days but before the expiration of 3 months from the date of the notice of marriage.
She was twenty-three years old, a physiotherapy intern, and was coming home from watching a movie with her friend on the night of her assault.I felt anxious when I flew in that direction, and relieved when I flew back.When I made it past the mean but mostly bored Customs and Border Protection employees at JFK, I breathed. The last time I flew back to India, almost six years ago now, I was a senior in college, about to graduate. I didn’t know that I was going to be fine, but found myself saying so in a small voice anyway. I looked out of the window, onto the familiar streets of the city I was born in, a city I once loved.I wondered what it would be like if I ended up having to move back.But if I had to, I would be able to do it, I told myself.If the parties to the intended marriage are above 21 years of age and are going through their first marriage, they only need to produce their passports and birth certificates at the time of filing their marriage notice. Persons who have been previously married are required to show documentary evidence (i.e.Certificate of Making Decree Nisi Absolute-for divorcee or death certificate of late spouse, as applicable) that they are free to marry again.I watched with the rest of the country, and soon enough the rest of the world, as the gruesome details of the incident unraveled. Then there were the anti-protesters, the ones who blame women, the ones who think nothing is wrong.When Nirbhaya died a few days later in a hospital in Singapore, we were all stunned into silence, but only for a minute. People took to the streets across the country and asked the bigger questions—how could we live in a place where the circumstances allowed something like this to happen? That’s a lot of people in India, and the world, unfortunately.I grew up accepting that I would have to adjust my lifestyle around men, their advances, their violence. Women were brutally raped, assaulted and killed on a daily basis, sometimes in cities, many times in remote, isolated villages and towns. The police and government participated and enabled.It was terrible, but no one wanted to become a statistic. After Nirbhaya’s death, there was a public outcry for change. The maximum punishment for rape became the death penalty, instead of life imprisonment.