I Believe, Bidaai Is An Extremely Regressive Ritual That Leaves Women With No Choice!

The one-sided ritual of bidaai has always left women with barely any choice over their lives. Women deserve more autonomy over their lives!

The one-sided ritual of bidaai has always left women with barely any choice over their lives. Women deserve more autonomy over their lives!

What is bidaai? Well, it’s a one-sided ritual where only the woman (bride) has to go live with her husband’s family after marriage. It is something that is still blindly followed in India under the garb of tradition. But why? Apparently, because men are superior to women. Do you agree with that? Well, if you don’t think any gender is superior to the other, please read on.

Sometimes, unknowingly, women defend rituals like bidaai. However, we all know that deep down, this is just a power that men have abused for generations for being the ‘bread-winners’ of the family. And at some point in time, it was understandable too.

Earlier, with no means to earn while being dependent on their husbands, it was obvious for women to move to the man’s house. But still, how does society expect women, especially homemakers to forget their own parents while taking care of their husbands’ families like robots? Women are humans too!

Why do we still have such an unfair mentality?

Also, today if a woman is financially independent, why does she still have to move to her husband’s house? Why can’t he move to her house? And why are people still hell-bent on illogically following these regressive rituals in the name of tradition?

Times are changing and people seem to prefer staying in nuclear families more now, the fact remains that the couple should take care of both sets of parents. Both sets of parents deserve love!

Why is a man always given more importance than a woman and that too, blindly! Don’t women also have emotions or feelings for their parents? Women also want to take care of their own parents and not just their husbands’ parents! What is this illogical and unfair mentality?

No wonder female foeticides are still a common occurrence! I think they still happen because people expect their sons to stay with them while their daughters cannot. People kill their unborn daughters (even the wealthy and educated Indians) because they want a son. I often think bidaai is the root cause of a lot of evil that women face in society.

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This is what the Indian society’s rigid mindset, according to me, is:

A son equals to a bank or an insurance policy. Meanwhile, a daughter is a liability or someone else’s property. How is this kind of thinking or tradition good for any gender?

Here’s what I think might help

Are men really only banks to keep earning all their lives while being sandwiched between their family and wife? And are women mere emotionless robots who will simply forget their families and take care of their husband’s families all their lives? Are they doing this only to end up being oppressed and be tortured in return!

How can we make society happy and egalitarian one? What needs to happen is hidden in the word ‘choice.’ It should be the couple’s choice to live with/away from either set of parents. They should take care of both sets of parents, both emotionally and financially.

Meanwhile, rituals like bidaai need to stop since they degrade the position of the woman. They simply make her a commodity to be passed on from one man to another.

Men also need to be given the choice to not be the sole breadwinners of the family. They need to be able to be stay-at-home husbands without judgements. Men aren’t born banks, are they? (I know it’s too far fetched in the current society. However, I do believe the future is ever-changing!)

In the end, it’s all about choice!

If both the partners earn, they should both be doing the housework equally since the finances are being taken care of equally.

Women should also be given the choice to be the sole earning members of the family if they want. We need to remember that women aren’t simply cooks or baby-making machines. And most importantly, both genders need to respect each other in the relationship.

So, I request everyone reading this article to just forget the propaganda and beliefs that we have been fed since childhood. And to look into the importance of the word ‘choice.’ Let’s let men and women and humans choose what they want or don’t want to do!

Picture credits: Still from Bollywood movie Raazi

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About the Author

Shivangi Singh

Doctor , Feminist, Revolutionist, Traveller & Moviebuff

1 Posts | 2,931 Views

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