Why Do Most Indian Daughters-In-Law Need To Struggle For Acceptance By In-Laws?

Women in India often find themselves in hostile waters once they are married. They struggle to get validation amidst misogyny and often end up  losing their own identity.

Women in India often find themselves in hostile waters once they are married. They struggle to get validation amidst misogyny and often end up losing their own identity.

Do women really have acceptability, is a question to reckon with. The point of acceptability is graver a concern when she reaches another household (by virtue of a wedlock) with a culture starkly different from hers. Most often than not, to avoid sounding misogynistic, her new folks claim to call her their daughter.

The perfect ‘sanskari’ daughter-in-law

This “too good to believe a deal” wears off soon when she understands her acceptability is not remotely connected to the humane individual she is but, because she seems to have adapted to the new culture. This means how well she can rustle up a meal that she has learnt to cook, for she needs to appease the new roommates who also happen to be her new family. And very soon she turns into a trophy daughter- in- law whom the new household can flaunt of.

This also fulfills a sadistic pleasure when the mother- in- law can boast about her in the presence of her friends/family/relatives, basically all those who are either cursing or cribbing about their own daughter in law!

She is measured by the shape of her ‘roti’

In this tussle of which household is a winner, a woman finds herself soon losing the identity that she had. She starts identifying herself with the different roles and responsibilities that she is deemed to fulfil besides living her own aspiration (if at all that is “allowed/permitted” ) of a working woman of the 21st century. More often than not it is seen, and it is quite sad that no matter how much her accomplishments at work are, she is still measured by the shape of her “roti” or the amount of “tadka” (spice & condiments) she adds in her lentils!

The husband who gives ‘permission’

Men/husbands these days feel extremely proud about how progressive they are in their minds but prove it otherwise when they make statements like how cool or normal it is in their house for the woman to be “allowed” to follow what she wishes to. Firstly, in a progressive environment the question of “allowing” “permitting” or even “sanctioning” a need or request does not arise.

It is extremely disheartening that women need to put up an extra round of fight to achieve the slightest of things. The fact that she wishes to enter the kitchen but is shunned while menstruating is still unbelievable. Likewise a woman post marriage is expected to play to the tunes of her new roommates, the repeated use of the word roommate is because a woman never finds her space among her new family. We seem to have reached outer space but still fail to bridge the space that is created between a daughter- in- law and her new family.

Women and her acceptability is like those fairy-tales that our grandmothers narrated to us in our childhood- we have heard about them but never know if they were true or a figment of imagination!

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A version of this was first published here.

Image Source: YouTube/2 States

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