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Somy Ali Stands by Zeenat Aman Amid Criticism, Advocates for Live-in Relationships to Reduce Divorce Rates

Somy Ali, a former Bollywood actor turned women’s rights activist, has voiced her support for her close friend Zeenat Aman’s views on live-in relationships. Despite the backlash Aman faced for her stance, Ali defended her in an interview with Hindustan Times, highlighting the potential benefits of such relationships in reducing divorce rates and fostering a stronger understanding between couples before marriage. Drawing from her personal experiences, Somy Ali shared, “When I lived in Vidhyachal at Mount Mary, Zeenat Ji and Mazhar Bhai (Zeenat’s late husband) were my neighbors. Jackie Shroff and Ayesha (Shroff) also lived nearby. We would often catch up when we went for shoots. Recently, many people have criticized her.
With a global population of 8 billion, I am not against live-in relationships at all. I fully support Zeenat Ji’s views.” Ali further explained how live-in relationships can help establish boundaries and enable couples to better understand each other’s habits, potentially leading to more stable marriages. Ali also addressed the rising divorce rates, both in South Asia and globally, emphasizing the significance of Aman’s perspective. “Divorce rates have increased in India, Pakistan, and across the world. Zeenat Ji is highly intellectual, having studied journalism in San Francisco on a scholarship. She is intelligent, well-read, and articulate.
I want to tell the naysayers that we no longer live in the 1950s. It’s 2024, and the world has undergone significant changes. Men and women can have live-in relationships.” Ali’s comments underscore the importance of adapting to evolving societal norms and recognizing the shifting dynamics of relationships. Furthermore, Ali highlighted the practical aspects of live-in relationships, shedding light on the challenges often faced in traditional arranged marriages. “We have witnessed numerous cases where people get married without truly knowing each other, only to end up divorcing later on. This is a common occurrence in arranged marriages in both Pakistan and India.
Despite dowry being illegal in both countries, people still ask for it. Behind closed doors, such practices persist in India, Pakistan, and even America.” Ali emphasized how live-in relationships could offer a solution to the compatibility issues frequently observed in arranged marriages. By voicing her support for live-in relationships and challenging traditional norms, Somy Ali adds her voice to the ongoing discourse on modern relationships and their impact on reducing divorce rates and fostering healthier marriages.

Ziya Khan


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