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Did you bring your daughter up to teach her to stay silent even when things go out of hand? To blame her if the man you chose for her tortures her?
The girls are always called the princess’ of their house but only until they’re married. ‘Betiyan jo biyahi jaaye, mudti nahi hai.’ (The daughters once married, do not return)
We have been following this for years and hear the same even today. Once you are married, your husband’s yours, not the one you were born in. The where your father called you a princess, where your brothers treated you like one ceases to be your own.
But I don’t understand this concept. Why can’t she just get married and still be as important and precious? And why are daughters made to feel that after marriage, the doors of their house will be shut for them? If you think it doesn’t happen today, think again.
From an early age, girls are fed the idea of ‘adjustment.’ However, they are never told what and how much of adjustment is okay. They aren’t taught how much is okay to tolerate and how much isn’t. Neither are they taught about what their options are if they face trouble after marriage.
They are never given the assurance that they can always come running back to their mother’s lap and rest for a while. Or that they can run to their father’s arms and pour their heart out. We never teach them that they don’t need to tolerate stuff when it goes out of hand. What we do is, we teach them to tolerate it because ‘log kya kahenge!’ we ask them to adjust for the sake of their ‘khandaan ki ijjat.’
I am not saying that women need to end their marriages and complain to their parents about every little issue at their in-laws. No. That is not what I am trying to say. What I am saying is that, it is about the emotional and physical abuse; it is about ‘beta thoda seh lo,’ (Adjust to it.) You need to understand that she is alone as you have closed the door to her own house.
Where will she go? Whom will she share these things with? Why is she blamed for telling you about the reality of her in-laws or how her husband beats her up? And why do daughters have to hide their bruises under make-up or pretend they fell when they are bruises of having being beaten up?
We see it everywhere- in TV serials and even movies. Why do we promote this tolerance? When you call your daughter, she tells you she’s fine. She tell you happy even while she’s being tortured everyday. Your daughter stays quiet because she feels sharing her problems will lead to her divorce and that no one would accept her. And, not to forget, ‘what will people say?’ Who people? The ones who hardly turn up when things actually get bad?
Your daughter can’t tell you the feeling of suffocation she feels because she thinks she needs to adjust. She doesn’t want to make ripples to save her parents’ reputation and because she knows all she will hear is, ‘Beta thoda seh lo.’
Both men and women need to adjust in a marriage. She will have to give up certain things and mould herself in accordance to the environment. But all that is fine, only to a certain extent. Not beyond it.
Is that why you brought her up- to teach her to stay silent and to not return home when things get out of hand? To blame her if the family and the man you chose for her torture her? Did you bring her up to blame her for coming home alive and not being dead?
It is time we taught our daughters the extend to which they need to adjust and to tolerate. Tell your daughters when they are getting married that even though they are getting married, you will be there when they need you. That, ‘Dad will be here, right beside you, listening to you and accepting you with open arms, always.’ Tell them that, ‘That may be your new house but this is your house too and whenever you feel unsafe there, these doors are forever open for you.’
At the same time, teach your sons to obey, honour, and respect women, just like they would want someone to obey, honour, and respect their daughters. Tell them that their anger needs to be controlled and that their wives are not their punching bands. Make sure they know that if they get angry so often, they better get themselves a punching bag or punch their own selves, but not their wives. Never their wives.
Picture credits: Still from Bollywood movie Raja Ki Aayegi Baraat
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