Raise Your Daughters Well So That They Aren’t Crushed By A Rejection In The ‘Marriage Market’!

Raise daughters with a sense of great self-worth. Tell them daily that marriage is merely a stage and a part of life, not its goal.

Trigger Warning: This deals with dowry harassment, suicide, and death, and may be triggering to survivors.

9th December 2023 17:01 PM

Somehow the mentioning of the date feels as though we have progressed. But the more we move ahead the more it seems we are still shackled to the same unyielding stakes Let me tell you a story before proceeding further.

In the Grade X English textbook of CBSE, there is a tale of a young pockmarked stuttering girl. She was christened Sulekha but everyone called her Bholi, the simpleton. Uncared for and untended, she is sent to the village school.

As she grows up, her marriage is fixed with a lout older than her father, who demands greater dowry on seeing her marked face. As the parents beg the man not to put them through shame by walking off, Bholi stands tall and calls off the marriage, promising to look after them because she was now educated and capable.

By this very daring action, she becomes Sulekha, the writer of her own destiny.

Education is expected to empower women, but it is not always so…

Education, one expects is a leveller, that sets you free. Especially if you are a girl. But apparently not for a Kerala girl. That too a Doctor. Not just any doctor, but a Post-graduate student in Surgery. That too in a government college.

Can you imagine how intelligent this woman could be?

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This girl who is so accomplished by normal Indian standards, got a marriage proposal from another doctor, who was incidentally the state president of the Kerala Medical Post-Graduate Association.

This Bas#$@% then walked out of the marriage because the girl’s family fell short of his exorbitant dowry demands. Over a BMW!

The girl and boy knew each other for long. Broken-hearted, that her beau after promising love and wanting to cement the same with marriage, still made undue monetary demands, she took her life.

Forget the reel animal, this was the real deal in flesh and making.

On whose dirty hands does this young blood lie?

The friend turned fiend? His uncouth parents who felt no discomfort seeking the price of their boy? Or the girl’s parents who should have ideally refused to kowtow to the groom’s dowry clamour, telling him off?

What a waste of a precious life that could have touched so many, cured multiple and made a difference because they say an educated girl is a generational shift in fortunes. Not only does she rise, she takes the family along!

Yes, one isn’t expected to speak ill of the dead. But I am angry. Sure, there was a demand for gold, but how did she not understand she was THE gold? Was she not brought up with that unwavering belief?

Yes everyone wants money, but should one forget how valuable one is!

Raise your daughters right and ready to fight! Fill them with a sense of great self-worth. Let them flower knowing they are the game-changers. Tell them daily. They aren’t just the sum total of a title change. And that marriage is merely a stage and a part of life. Not her whole definer, her existential marker So that even in this day and time, we don’t see such tragedies!

Image source: by Champa Bangari from Getty Images Free for Canva Pro

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About the Author


Anupama Jain is the author of: * ’Kings Saviours & Scoundrels -Timeless Tales from Katha Sarita Sagara’, listed as one of the best books of 2022 by @Wordsopedia. Rooted in the traditional storytelling of Indian legends, warriors, read more...

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