Many of us in the world dread the word “marriage.” Really! One marriage is a nightmare enough, but some people chose to marry more than once, or in some parts of the world, more than one person simultaneously. Finding a partner for marriage is not a piece of cake, so people visit online dating apps and matrimonial websites. If you want to find multiple partners, it just gets tougher. An Indonesian software developer realized men’s “troubles” with finding more wives, so he developed an app wholely dedicated to polygamy.
LinduPranayama, a software developer from Indonesia, was going through Indonesian dating websites about a year ago when he noticed that many married men were looking for second or third wives. None of the dating services provided any options for polygamists, so he thought of making an app just for them. He developed the smartphone app “AyoPoligami” that translates to “Let’s do polygamy.”
Indonesia has a population of about 250 million, and 80 percent of them are Muslims. It is legal for men to have more than one wife but under very special conditions. Any man looking for a second wife must first seek the consent of his first wife, and then get permission from a court of law. The court grants the permission only if the first wife is either disabled, suffering from a serious health condition, or cannot bear children.
When talking to media about his motivation, Pranayama said,
“When they go to regular dating sites, they don’t see options for polygamy. They don’t see options for finding second, third, or fourth wives.”
While it may be legal, the state does not particularly encourage polygamy. When Pranayama launched AyoPoligami, it sparked a lot of controversies as people accused it of normalizing polygamy. In a lot of polygamy cases, women are exploited. They are kept unaware of the circumstances that are about to affect them, and they often become a victim of domestic abuse.
Indriyati Suparno, the commissioner of the National Commission on Violence Against Women, says,
“The reality is women tend to be the victims of domestic violence in a polygamous marriage – polygamy is a form of violence against women.”
Since its launch in April, the app has become immensely popular among Indonesian men. It has been downloaded more than 37,000 times since its release. The biggest problem is that people can set up fake accounts and fool women into marrying them, even when they do not have the permission from their first wives. This is why Lindu has disabled registrations for a while as he develops a better version that requires complete identification, marital status, and a letter of consent from their wives.
Lindu himself was unable to find a suitable life partner previously. However, he recently married a woman whom he found using the app. She is his first wife, and he says nothing about whether he will marry another one or not.