Jakarta: Indonesia, the country with the highest Muslim population in the world, has a unique mobile app which helps people who support and practice ‘polygamy’.
The mobile app namely ‘Ayo Poligami’ launched by 35-year-old techie Lindu Pranayama in April has already been downloaded by more than 56,000 people.
Fearing faje accounts, Lindu Pranayama had stopped new registration after it was downloaded 10,000 times. He launched the new version on October 05 with mote features with stricter rules on users including requiring them to provide an identification card, marital status and a letter of permission from their first wives.
Polygamy under which one can have more than one wife or husband is practiced in 50 countries.
In Indonesia, 80 percent of the 250 million population adheres to Islam and people here practice polygamy. A man here can have up to four wives under certain circumstances.
This scenario pushed a business idea into the mind of Lindu Pranayama who thought to bring polygamists in near to each other through his app ‘Ayo Poligami’.
The name of the app means “let’s do polygamy”. It works in a similar way the dating app ‘Tinder’ functions.
"AyoPoligami.com is a platform that seeks to bring the men to the women who are willing to make a 'big family' of a husband. The single or married, widow or widower, received with open arms here", the introduction line of the app says.
As reported by The Diplomat, in Indonesia, if a man is married to a woman who is disabled, suffers from an incurable disease, or cannot have children he can get permission to have four wives from a religious court.
To have multiple wives the man just needs to take the permission of his first wife and if he is in civil service, he would have to take permission from his employer.
The majority of the app users were men, but there were also about 4,000 women who have registered, the app developer said.
Lawyer Rachmat Dwi Putranto, who deals with marriage matters, said polygamy is “not that easily achieved” as Indonesian courts will only give permission if the first wife is disabled, ill or cannot bear children.
The app has stirred a debate in the country. Stating that the app is trying to “normalise polygamy”, Indriyati Suparno, a commissioner from the government-backed National Commission on Violence Against Women, said, “The reality is women tend to be the victims of domestic violence in a polygamous marriage - polygamy is a form of violence against women."
Indonesia's Women's Empowerment and Child Protection Ministry however said it was up to individuals if they wanted to use the app because polygamy is legal as long as it can be done in a fair manner.
“For us what is important is whether the women and children are protected in polygamous marriages,” the ministry's spokesman Hasan, who uses one name, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.