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Anissia Batra was allegedly harassed by her husband and in-laws over dowry, leading her to end her life. How long will the precious lives of our young women be sacrificed in this manner?
My mornings are usually marked by ‘Love’ and ‘Chaos’ which most mothers can relate to. As I cautiously tread through the scattered toys, tiptoeing bit by bit to grab my daily dose of headlines, I land on my son’s squeaky little toys, making the loudest noise possible and there he goes! (Though today was my lucky day as he woke up smiling, asking for his favourite fruit, apple, followed by a wholesome breakfast).
Yes, it was a blessing indeed as a full tummy leads to a happy baby and happy momma but I surely have to admit that these fortunate days are quite rare. Now, as my son settles down to play with the domestic helper, I quickly catch up for some very short-lived ‘me-time’. Nevertheless I’m in a state of constant conversation with my mind, balancing my responsibilities vis-a-vis some me time and how I miss all the frenzy in those 15 to 20 minutes. I must admit, the human mind is so complicated.
Talking about ‘human beings’ who are defined and distinguished from animals on the basis of having superior mental development, I somehow tend to question this very ‘development’ that differentiates us from animals. The newspapers routinely speak of incidents of violence, and the rape of infants, young, old women. So the question remains as to how are we even remotely ‘human’?
Recently Delhi based air hostess Anissia Batra committed suicide by jumping off the terrace of her residence. It is alleged that she was assailed by the pressures of dowry and subsequent mental as well as physical torture for it by her husband. Another precious life was lost.
This incident led me to question some of the most common practices as well as the mindset associated with dowry; dowry in India, as a tool and form of torture has existed since ‘time immemorial’ but what has been done to curb this in a concrete fashion? Why despite the laws is dowry still a menace in India? Where are we failing as individuals or to put it more precisely as ‘human beings’?
Dowry is glorified and in some parts, associated with prestige, no matter how educated a woman is. Marriage is certainly considered as the ‘be all and end all of life’ even if it remains abusive and a solution to all the miseries, not to forget 30 being considered as the most dreadful deadline of marriage. If the groom’s parents are responsible for demanding dowry, the bride’s parents are equally responsible for offering one or even giving into the pressures of expensive commodities as gifts. At the time of marriage the value of a woman is reduced to dark, wheatish, fair, tall, short, fat or thin no matter how educated and successful she is! It is in fact criminal to even think that expensive gifts will ensure your daughter’s safety as well as happiness.
Have the laws failed or we have failed the laws? We have been told to raise strong daughters but it is also time to raise some strong parents who don’t treat their daughters as liabilities and think their responsibilities are finished once they marry off their daughters. We need parents who can smash the societal shackles because it is time for the cracks to seep in deep, to shatter the norms. It’s time to raise some sensitive men who will value a woman for herself, not for what she can get as a dowry for the prospective groom.
It’s about time to give a piece of your mind to all those nagging aunties and uncles who create undue pressure to marry once you reach the ‘dreaded’ 30. Marriage is an important decision that will impact you for a lifetime, so think before you leap, without succumbing to pressures. Be strong, talk & seek help – and don’t even think of ending your life because your life is precious, you are precious.
Image via Pixabay
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I huffed, puffed and panted up the hill, taking many rest breaks along the way. My calf muscles pained, my heart protested, and my breathing became heavy at one stage.
“Let’s turn back,” my husband remarked. We stood at the foot of Shravanbelagola – one of the most revered Jain pilgrimage centres. “We will not climb the hill,” he continued.
My husband and I were vacationing in Karnataka. It was the month of May, and even at the early hour of 8 am in the morning, the sun scorched our backs. After visiting Bangalore and Mysore, we had made a planned stop at this holy site in the Southern part of the state en route to Hosur. Even while planning our vacation, my husband was very excited at the prospect of visiting this place and the 18 m high statue of Lord Gometeshwara, considered one of the world’s tallest free-standing monolithic statues.
What we hadn’t bargained for was there would be 1001 granite steps that needed to be climbed to have a close-up view of this colossal magic three thousand feet above sea level on a hilltop. It would be an understatement to term it as an arduous climb.
Why is the Social Media trend of young mothers of boys captioning their parenting video “Dear future Daughter-in-Law, you are welcome” deeply problematic and disturbing to me as a young mother of a girl?
I have recently come across a trend on social media started by young mothers of boys who share videos where they teach their sons to be sensitive and understanding and also make them actively participate in household chores.
However, the problematic part of this trend is that such reels or videos are almost always captioned, “To my future daughter-in-law, you are welcome.” I know your intentions are positive, but I would like to point out how you are failing the very purpose you wanted to accomplish by captioning the videos like this.
I know you are hurt—perhaps by a domestic household that lacks empathy, by a partner who either is emotionally unavailable, is a man-child adding to your burden of parenting instead of sharing it, or who is simply backed by overprotective and abusive in-laws who do not understand the tiring journey of a working woman left without any rest as doing the household chores timely is her responsibility only.
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