Mumbai / New Delhi, Oct 11: The Maharashtra government's nod to a proposal for legalising 'live-in' relationships has generated a fierce debate across the society with a section hailing it as a pragmatic move while others fearing that it may erode the country's cultural ethos.
While young professionals and students have termed the decision as a progressive step, others expressed their scepticism about the negative fallout of the move.
The state government on Wednesday approved a proposal which gives a woman involved in such a relationship for a "reasonable long period" the status of a wife.
Welcoming the decision, veteran film director Shyam Benegal said: "It a very good step as it will not only protect the rights of women who enters into a live-in relationship but will also be helpful to the children from such relations in getting their rights in future."
Echoing similar views, national award-winning director Rahul Dholakia (of "Parzania" fame) said the move will also help in changing the perception of the society which either discriminate or look down upon such relationships.
"The idea should be that tolerance level among society should be raised so to stop discriminating people because of the origin, cast, sexual orientation or individual relationship," he said.
Siddarth Anand, director of "Salam Namaste", a movie which explored the issue of live-in relationship, said the decision will help in protecting the rights of women.
He, however, warned against the misuse of the provision as it has both "pros and cons".
The decision has snowballed a fierce debate on the blogsphere where net-savvy youngsters are coming out for or against it.