Indian woman granted divorce over husband’s failure to build a toilet at home

It is not the first time a marriage has been called off over a toilet. (Shutterstock)
Updated 21 August 2017

Indian woman granted divorce over husband’s failure to build a toilet at home

DUBAI: A woman in India has been granted permission to divorce her husband over his failure to build a toilet in their home, which forced her to relieve herself in nearby fields.
The family court in the northwestern state of Rajasthan ruled in favor of the woman on Friday after she argued that her husband’s failure to provide an indoor toilet during their five years of marriage amounted to cruelty.
Indian media reported that the woman had filed for divorce in 2015.
A report in the Times of India quoted the court’s judgement as saying: “We spend money on buying tobacco, liquor and mobile phones, but are unwilling to construct toilets to protect the dignity of our family.
“In villages, women have to wait until sunset to answer nature’s call. This is not only physical cruelty but also outraging the modesty of a woman.”
Justice Rajendra Kumar Sharma said women in villages often endured physical pain waiting until darkness to relieve themselves outdoors.
The judge labelled open defecation — a major health problem in India — disgraceful and deemed it torture to deny women a safe environment for relief, the woman’s lawyer Rajesh Sharma told AFP.
Divorce is only granted in India if proof such as cruelty, violence or undue financial demands are shown in court.
It is not the first time a marriage has been called off over a toilet.
Last year a woman refused to tie the knot in Uttar Pradesh state after her fiancé refused to build a toilet for the couple.
Nearly half of India’s population — almost 600 million people — defecate in the open, according to UNICEF.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promised to build a toilet in every home by 2019 in a bid to stamp out open defecation.
The government says 20 million toilets have been constructed since the start of the scheme in 2014.
— With AFP


Man eats $120,000 piece of art — a banana taped to wall

Updated 08 December 2019

Man eats $120,000 piece of art — a banana taped to wall

MIAMI: The move was bananas ... or maybe the work was just too appealing.
A performance artist shook up the crowd at the Art Basel show in Miami Beach on Saturday when he grabbed a banana that had been duct-taped to a gallery wall and ate it.
The banana was, in fact, a work of art by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan titled “Comedian” and sold to a French collector for $120,000.
In a video posted on his Instagram account, David Datuna, who describes himself as a Georgian-born American artist living in New York, walks up to the banana and pulls it off the wall with the duct tape attached.
“Art performance ... hungry artist,” he said, as he peeled the fruit and took a bite. “Thank you, very good.”
A few bystanders could be heard giggling before a flustered gallery official whisked him to an adjoining space for questioning.
But the kerfuffle was resolved without a food fight.
“He did not destroy the art work. The banana is the idea,” Lucien Terras, director of museum relations for Galerie Perrotin, told the Miami Herald.
As it turns out, the value of the work is in the certificate of authenticity, the newspaper said. The banana is meant to be replaced.
A replacement banana was taped to the wall about 15 minutes after Datuna’s stunt.
“This has brought a lot of tension and attention to the booth and we’re not into spectacles,” Terras said. “But the response has been great. It brings a smile to a lot of people’s faces.”
Cattelan is perhaps best known for his 18-carat, fully functioning gold toilet called “America” that he had once offered on loan to US President Donald Trump.
The toilet, valued at around $5 to $6 million, was in the news again in September when it was stolen from Britain’s Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of wartime leader Winston Churchill, where it had been on display.