Friday, March 2, 2018

It Takes Two to Tango – Stealing Affection – An “Affair of the Heart”

Things that are considered trivial in the civilian world become headline news in the military world. 

Is a consensual love affair between two ordinary civilians considered newsworthy...? 

However – a consensual love affair between two military officers is hyped and sensationalized by the media into a news report with a scandalous headline:  Alleged affair between two Army Majors lands them in trouble 

In the news item above – there is a rather curious quote:

“There is enough persuasive evidence against the Major (male officer) and the Major (female officer) and both are blameworthy of having entered into relationship against the norms and ethos of the Indian Army...”

Reading this reminded me of a blog post I had written many years ago... 

Stealing Affections  It Takes Two to Tango

Sometime ago – I came across a rather curious news-report about a “stealing affections” case. 

One does not know the truth about the allegations/case – and – the truth will be found out by the inquiry. 

In most “stealing affections” cases – men are accused of “stealing affections” 

But – in this case – an allegation of “stealing affections” has been made against a woman. 

After reading this news-report – I remembered a Story that I had posted on my blog around 4 years ago in July 2014. 

I had written this story after reading a newspaper report on a “stealing affections” case.

Here is the story once more for you to mull over.

From My Humor in Uniform Archives 

NB: This Post Was Originally Written on July 19, 2014 and revised later. Link to my original post in my blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:

Stealing Affections  It Takes Two to Tango
A Fictional Spoof

NB: This Story Was Written on July 19, 2014

There was a recent news-report in the newspapers about a Navy Commodore being sacked as he was found guilty of “stealing the affections of a brother officer's wife”. 

The term “stealing affection” is the military euphemism for “adultery”.

Stealing the affection of a brother officer’s wife is deemed to be conduct unbecoming of an officer and conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline and is considered to be an offence.

Don’t you feel that the expression “stealing affection” is a misnomer...?

The word “steal” implies that you take something belonging to someone else without her knowledge or consent.

Can you “steal” someone’s “affections” without the other person knowing it...?

Is it a case of one-way love...?

Or  is the lady (brother officer’s wife) willingly giving her affections to the officer (her husband’s colleague)...?

If the lady is willingly giving her affections  can the officer be accused of “stealing” affections...?

And  if the officer had forced his affections on the lady  she could have complained of rape or molestation – or outraging the modesty of a woman  for which the punishment is much more severe than mere dismissal.

There is a difference between sexual harassment and a love affair between two consenting adults.

An officer can “steal” the affections of a brother officer's wife – only because the brother officer’s wife is willing to have her affections “stolen” by him.

In a love affair  the relationship and the sex  both are consensual.

So  isn’t the woman equally responsible for the adulterous love affair...? 


It takes two to tango.

Yes  it takes two willing people to commit infidelity  not just one.

Both the man and the woman are equally guilty of indulging in the immoral act of adultery.

But – in most cases – the man is punished severely  even sacked from his job  whereas the equally guilty woman goes scot-free. 

Is this fair...?

From an ethical point of view  is it ethical to blame only the man for the adulterous love affair in which the woman has willingly participated...?

Is it not a case of reverse gender bias...?

Extra-Marital Affairs and “Stealing Affections” are not new to the Navy.

Surely  you have heard of the famous Commander Nanavati Case – which  some say  was instrumental in abolishing the jury trial system in India.

As far as the Navy Social Mores are concerned  it seems okay for officers to sow their wild oats outside the service environment. 

Even in cases of “stealing the affection of a brother officer’s wife” – as long as the love affair is kept discreet  everyone looks the other way.

The Navy cracks the whip only when one of the aggrieved spouses complains  and the complainant is mostly the cuckolded husband”  the officer whose wife’s affections are being “stolen” by another officer.

The saddest part is that – the wife of the “straying” unfaithful husband – she is hit by a double whammy.

First  she has to bear the social humiliation associated with her husband being accused of committing adultery with another woman – and being punished for “conduct unbecoming of an officer”.

Second  she has to suffer financial consequences of her husband losing his job  and maybe  his pension benefits  if he is dismissed with disgrace.

The financial jolt due to loss of job and income of the breadwinner can be particularly severe if the wife is a homemaker financially dependent on her husband.

The children suffer unimaginable agony too.

Earlier there were no Lady Officers in the Armed Forces.

So – the only sexual “offence” involved male officers “stealing the affection of a brother officer's wife”.

With the entry of Women Officers in the Defence Services in the 1990’s  new possibilities have emerged.

Whereas for male officers  stealing the affection of a brother officer’s wife is deemed to be conduct unbecoming of an officer and conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline and is considered an offence  in the case of female officers  will the same apply to “stealing the affection of a sister officer’s husband” or “stealing the affections of a married officer”...?

By the way  for a lady officer  stealing the affection of an unmarried “brother officer” is considered okay.

Conversely  stealing the affections of an unmarried “sister officer” seems okay for unmarried male officers. 

In fact  “brother officers” are permitted to marry “sister officers”. 

Yes  male officers are allowed to marry female officers – and there are many “military couples in uniform” in the Armed Forces. 

(Love Affairs between “brother officers” and “sister officers” are considered okay – provided both are unmarried. 

Of course – in the military  extramarital affairs are not considered okay – even though they may be consensual in nature).

It is all very confusing  so all I will say is that  “stealing affection” is an affair of the heart – in which – “It Takes Two to Tango...”

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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1. This story is a fictional spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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Revised Repost of my article Stealing Affections  It Takes Two to Tango posted online around 4 years ago on 19 July 2014 at url:

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