KARACHI: British entrepreneur Azad Chaiwala launched his website, called Second Wife, back in 2017 and he claims that the idea of the website “came about from my need, and thinking there’ll be other people in my situation.” Chaiwala, who is of Pakistani origin, stated in an interview that he was only 12 years old when he “came out” as polygamous. “I told everybody I knew. I announced it. I told everyone I was a polygamous person.” So much so that he had told his wife prior to marrying her that she wouldn’t be his only wife. However, he did face several hurdles in his quest to find a second wife as Azad Chaiwala states at one point, “there was a taboo about the subject. No family member wanted to help me find a second wife.”
Chaiwala is not oblivious to the criticism his website receives. However, he justifies his business venture with the argument that “there are other deceiving ways of doing it – affairs, prostitution, etc. – those are not necessarily good for relationships.” He also stated that the idea is to build “bigger and better families.”
While Chaiwala argues that his website is wholesome, not everyone agrees. To start off with, polygamy isn’t allowed in the UK where the entrepreneur is based and is punishable to up to 7 years in prison. In order to skirt the law and avoid legal difficulties for British polygamists, Chaiwala encourages them to take civil or religious ceremonies which aren’t legally recognized. The problem with this is that it leaves both spouses without financial and legal rights. Chaiwala recognizes this but simply calls it a “hurdle” that he hopes he can cross one day.
Another problem with the website is that it has the potential to leave people, women especially, in a position to be exploited. It is unclear what protocols have been set up to ensure that the people who sign up are actually looking to find a wife instead of simply satisfying their physical needs under the guise of a second marriage.
Ironically enough, Azad Chaiwala hasn’t been able to find his second wife through his own platform.