My heart is filled with rage and sorrow as I sit down to write this post.
Because life has brought me face-to-face with the struggles of “BEING A DAUGHTER.” In India, a girl’s fate has been decided and sealed the day she is born. As she starts to grow up, time and again she’s always been given a long list of DO’S and DONT’S –
Be nice. Don’t be loud. Don’t be stubborn. Don’t argue. Be modest. Be respectful. Don’t speak out. Be a good daughter and sister. Think about others. Stop Playing. Learn cooking. So on and so forth. The list is a never-ending one. Even going by the rules don’t make their lives any easier.
I live in a country and a society where women are given the status of Goddess and then are constantly disrespected. From a very young age, girls in India are brought up with the mindset that they are inferior to men and that they really don’t have their own identity. Women always need a man to complete them, at first it’s their fathers and later on comes the husband.
Reality check – Women do not need any man to “COMPLETE” them. They marry a man to enter into an equal form of partnership to grow together, inspire each other and build a beautiful life.
In today’s time, women are living in a constant state of a dilemma between their career and family. They are allowed to pursue higher education but not allowed to work (what’s the whole point of education then?). If they work and become successful who will marry them? Also, now that they have reached the “marriageable age” (for God sake who invented this term?) they should stay at home and learn household chores.
Sadly a lot of girls fall prey to the pressure and surrender to their parent’s decisions; another dream crushed, another life wasted. They give up on their goals, ambitions, wishes and career. God forbid if you are someone like me – a rebel, then, words like judgement, criticism and taunting become your best friend. I have constantly been criticised for being “too strong” and “not” behaving lady like. Just because I got a good education, I work, I am independent, make my own choices, travel the world, fulfil my dreams, stand for the right, speak the truth and did not get married at the “marriageable age” makes me too strong. Unbelievable! Give me a break, there’s more to life than just that for some of us.
Sometimes I think how and why is it so difficult to see me beyond my age and relationship status. And maybe this is the reason why I have stopped attending family functions and restricted my interactions with my relatives due to the inability to come up with answers and justifications for all the so-called concerns that I am hounded with.
Why is MARRIAGE the ultimate destination in a woman’s life? Why aren’t such restrictions imposed upon a man? They don’t have any list to follow or set of rules to live by. The Indian society still follows the old norms when it comes to a woman and calls themselves progressive; we all are nothing but chauvinist. Everyone loves talking about the likes of Kiran Bedi, Kalpana Chawla and Saina Nehwal but when it comes to reality they cannot handle a strong, independent, brave woman.
I am not against the institution of marriage but the definition of it in Indian society astonishes me. The complexities attached with it is too much to take in. By all means, it is the rebirth of a woman. All the adjustments and sacrifices are expected out of a woman. She changes everything from the way she dresses to the way she eats, her likes and dislikes are now according to her in-law’s, she can no more go around freely. As if leaving her parents house wasn’t enough she even requires to drop her surname; in certain cases, women have to give up the only thing that they were born with – their name.
Life after marriage is a complicated one. There’s so little to gain and so much to lose. People that brought you into this world and made you the person that you are, take a back seat in your life. It breaks my heart when I see that girls have to take permission to go to their own parent’s house. Neither can they take care of them during their times of turmoil nor can her parents come live with her. Why? Because it’s against the so-called rules. There is always differentiation between her and the daughter of the house and is generally tagged as an outsider. Cut her some slack, she is not a robot, she is human with flesh and blood running through her veins.
Just because she’s married doesn’t mean she’s been purchased, she isn’t your property. Show some respect. It’s agonising to see the adversities that Indian women are living with. We all are highly inspired by the western culture but fail to learn anything from them. A country and society can only progress when the women are treated equally and are given respect.
I couldn’t help but wonder, is India really that tough a country for Daughters?
P.S- Please do share your views in the comments section.