An email from an Indian father: I want to place on record my own story as a warning to anyone…

Sharing an email from a father of an Indian daughter.

Dear Indian Homemaker,

After stumbling upon your blog accidentally, I read with interest your post created on May 10, countering the so-called advantages of arranged marriage.
Although I have been happily married for nearly thirty years now, I have seen my own daughter suffer terribly in the arranged marriage system. While some might say that it is our culture, and love marriages are a Western import, I want to place on record my own story as a warning to anyone who might be considering the idea of simply going along with what everyone is saying, and isn’t following his or her own heart just because he doesn’t want ill to be spoken of his family in society. It is painful for me to write this, but I thought that I must use the internet forum to let people know how the system works.
I am retired with two daughters and a son.
It is my older daughter who has gone through hell on account of this horrible system of in-laws and dowry, and it is her that I want to write about.
About three years ago, my daughter graduated with her masters degree. She has always been extremely hard-working and being from a top college, she secured a well-paying job. Like any father, I was very proud of her and was happy that she was on-track to do very well in life without any help from me at all. The only thing left was to find a good groom for her, we thought, and after that she would be completely settled.
As my daughter had not selected any boy herself, the search began. We went all out. We published ads in papers, asked family friends, looked on matrimonial websites. Eventually, we found a boy, in the same city where my daughter worked a that time. He was from a good, well-settled family which owned a chain of businesses. He was well-spoken, confident and seemed quite modern in his ideas. We were forthright about my daughter being career-oriented and told the boy’s family categorically that she would not leave her job after marriage. We were assured that it was not a problem as the other daughter-in-law was also working and most of the housework was done by maids in any case.
My daughter, docile as always, simply went along and said okay to the proposal after only a few visits.
Within one month, the marriage was finalized and the ceremony was held in 2010.
At this point, we made the mistake of paying out a hefty dowry. It sounds very naive now, but I am being candid with you; I thought this might making things a little easier for our daughter . How could I have known what monstrous characters these people were hiding behind their smiles and laughter?
From the moment my daughter entered the house, these people began plotting to get more. At first, they were nice and gentle, but soon they began to show their true colours. It started with small hints, then moved on to broad hints, taunts, fights and finally, physical assaults.
I had no idea all this was going on. My daughter never told me; I used to call up every week and she told me that all was fine. Then one day, she said that she did not want me to call her anymore. She gave absolutely no reason for this request. It was completely out of character, and I was a little hurt, but reluctantly agreed. In Jun 2011, on her wedding anniversary, to my utter shock, the ceremony was held without us even being invited! By then, I had come to the conclusion that something was definitely very wrong.
I made a surprise visit to my son-in-law’s place. I told their family that I was there on business and had decided to pay them a visit. What I saw at their place made my blood boil over. My confident, beautiful daughter was treated like she was little more than a servant. When I entered, she was rudely told to get some tea, and the same people who had been so bubbly and smiley treated me as if I was a social inferior. I called out to my daughter, refused the tea, and simply stated that I was taking her out to lunch. They tried to protest, but I ignored them. It was only in the car that the whole story came out.
I have already told you the broad incidents, I won’t bore you with gory details. This fiend who called himself a husband not only hit my daughter, but he actually forced himself on her sexually. Imagine! My daughter, who I have NEVER hit till date. My daughter, who I brought up as the apple of my eye. How could this man have the gall to lay his dirty hands on her? How dare this rapist, this creature of filth, force her to bow to his perverted whims and fancies? The poor girl was so traumatized that she could not even cry! It was like talking to a shell, a dry husk of a person. It broke my heart to hear her speak like that.
I took her back to her marital home, told her to pack all essential documents and objects in a bag and come back with me immediately. The boy’s family created a scene of course, but at this time, I was so angry that I did not even look at them, let alone respond to their nonsense.
To cut a long story short, I got my daughter home and helped her file divorce papers and supplementary charges against the boy’s family. Although this terrible chapter is over, I am committed to personally ensuring that this man goes to jail, and isn’t just let off with a fine. I will make sure that he faces the consequences of his sins.
The points raised by the newspaper article (discussed in that post) seem so very shallow to me! It was written by someone who has no idea of ground reality and is floating in the dreams of a yesterday that does not exist.
Let me consider each point:
1. in a negotiated marriage, family support is a given.
What decent parent would not support their own child?
And if this parent does not want to support a daughter who had a love marriage, would he support her if her arranged marriage ran into trouble? What is the guarantee?
2.  If the marriage demands the girl to stay with her in-laws, it is more likely that they will make her feel comfortable as they have already ‘approved’ of her.
As you can judge from my story, the ‘approval’ is only skin-deep. There is no guarantee that these in-laws will ‘approve’ afterwards too. And because enough time is not usually provided, who knows what the in-laws are actually like? Serial killers can also seem very pleasant under normal circumstances, but they will show their true colours only after a certain time.
3. The process … involves understanding each other’s cultural interests apart from individual views and opinions about life in general.
Complete rubbish. The process only involves ticking off certain features, as if one was buying a car. This is not a feature of arranged marriage at all.

4.  Unlike a love marriage where financial security of the groom is not always a priority, in an arranged marriage, it is imperative that the bride’s family ensure that their would-be son-in-law is career-oriented and has a steady flow of income.
If financial security is not a priority for the couple, then how is it important in any case? If it is a priority, then the couple will ensure it.
5.  Each day is a surprise wherein the couple learn about the nitty gritty of the relationship and also take an effort to nurture it.

But are all surprises pleasant? Some things should not be a surprise. There are things that one must know well about one’s husband beforehand.

6. Once the alliance is arranged, the boy and girl are officially allowed to meet and know more about each other
I do not understand what this means. Are the girl and boy not allowed to meet otherwise? If not, then how will they get married in any case?

7. Ever heard of Swayamvar, an ancient Indian practice of choosing a husband from among a list of suitors?
Do all ‘Swayamvars’ turn out blissfully?

8. Since both the parties are way too involved in finding the right match and also the actual activity of marriage, it takes the load off the bride-to-be and gives her time to get comfortable in her new surroundings.
I can only laugh at this, seeing how things have gone with my own daughter.

I hope I’ve not made this overly long. I really wanted to share it, and I hope your find it useful.
Regards,
Related posts:
The burden of Honor. – By Moonbeam

160 thoughts on “An email from an Indian father: I want to place on record my own story as a warning to anyone…

  1. My heart goes out to you and your daughter, Indian Father. Also commend you on taking your daughter home with the level of urgency you did. Several Indian fathers seem to value honour more than their children, asking them to ‘adjust’. Awesome job on supporting your girl. Agree on your answers – that newspaper article seemed like a whitewash job, presenting a better than real picture for a uninformed audience.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. a heart rendering story!!! even I had heard of a girl in my local area who was physically assaulted and got a divorce within an year of her marriage…its really pathetic that some humans can stoop to such levels just for money and their own fancies!!!

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    • what you said is correct Bhagwad.. he is the best dad indeed.. i have seen my grandma telling my aunt not to come to her with any complains.. in-laws house is her house and family.. she has to be there what ever happens..

      there is a tamil saying
      ” kal annalum kanavaun, pull annalum purusan”

      which means, even if its a stone, its ur husband, even if its a grass it is ur husband.. u need to be with them.. i totally dont agree with the saying , and people using it in wrong sense and making their daughters stay with her in-laws even if they are rude to them..

      i am glad that IF had brought you this to everybody’s knowledge. hats off to u sir..

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  3. Your daughter’s story is really a tragedy. She’s lucky in a way to get out before they might have tried to do even worse things to her. It’s a good thing you do not belong to those legions of parents who tell their daughters to ‘adjust’. I really hope that her ex-husband sees the inside of a jail cell for a good, long time. And his family should face that too for their part in the abuse. Good luck to you in getting justice for your daughter.

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  4. If only all fathers could be like you. With the support of a father like you, her education and work experience, I’m sure your daughter will put this behind her and make a wonderful and fulfilling life for herself.

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  5. My father did something very similar recently. I have been through something on the similar lines and I can totally understand what you and your daughter must have gone through.
    My regards to you for being there for your daughter.

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  6. Thank you for showing what a Father is supposed to be. Your daughter is lucky to have you for her father. I wish your daughter strength to put this episode of her life behind and move forward with confidence. There is more to life than being a slave in marriage.

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  7. I wish more Indian parents thought like you. A lot of parents would have asked their daughter to adjust and sent her back.

    Wishing all the best for your daughter. And hoping that her ex husband pays for his behaviour.

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  8. i agree with Jeannne above. if only all parents were like you. i have seen that even where parents bring their girls home, they are so sad about it, that the girl ends up feeling miserable and guilty inside. its just not fair. you have saved her breath, now pls give her some confidence.

    worst of all are ppl who see these girls and say to themselves , “girls these days just dont know how to adjust. tch tch.” i honestly feel like asking all such uncles and aunties to STOP wearing the abuse they suffered or made others suffer like bravery awards, and to stop thinking that anyone who refuses abuse is responsible for the breakup of the great indian family.

    My parents, like most indian parents, were happy with my acadmic and professional situation, and one day, my mom came visiting to the small one bedroom house i’d rented and made own. she saw the upkeep of the house and said, “now, all we need is for u to go to ur own house, and then we’ll be happy.”

    i sat her down and said, “ma, the house i grew up in, was yours. the house i marry into, will be shared with someone else. THIS, where you now are, is the ONLY house that will ever be realy mine. i am in my house already. ”

    luckily for me, she understood completely.

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  9. Hi.

    This letter goes to show that all arranged marriages are not ‘successful’ as is a concept in our Indian society. All the respect to the father who stood by his daughter instead of giving up.

    If it’s ok with you, I would like to share this letter on my blog so that more people can read it.

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  10. Honestly speaking, I really didn’t agree with the whole “The only thing left was to find a good groom for her, we thought, and after that she would be completely settled.” Not judging Indian Father, but I find that whole concept of ‘married, ok done’ sick.

    On the other hand, though, I’ve got to commend this man for not being like the typical parents who would probably tell the girl to ‘adjust’ because divorce would ‘bring shame on the family’ or whatnot.
    I agree with the girl’s father – I hope this rapist piece of scum goes to prison and stays there.

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  11. From what I can reflect from the letter by the father (with my limited perspective), I think, in short, he has screwed up his daughter’s life. First by arranging it, second by not checking his judgments in the selection, Third by giving the dowry (which by the by is unlawful and this letter/post will make him look lame if he is taking the issue to the court as proof against himself by accepting himself as the giver), Fourth by persistently interfering in his daughter’s life despite her request not to, Fifth by making his own decisions yet again without listening to the other side of the story where he proclaims that he “did not even look at them” when taking his daughter back to “his” home, Sixth by not giving a chance for understanding the real issue through professional support like counselling or traditional support by bringing elders to discuss this issue and rather jumping into the conclusion that all is well if he makes his daughter sign papers.
    It is father’s like these that are the real trouble makers and the cause for divorce that is in the rising in India today. If his daughter is really smart enough as he claims, it would be obvious that he should have trusted her smartness and supported her to find solutions and provided her with choices than make her situation even worse.
    Remember, everyone has problems, some just don’t amplify it and live in its noise… as they say, a ship is safe anchored in the shore and thats not what it is made for, relevantly, marriages do have its ups and downs and it takes 2 good captains to sail it… parents just let go, mind your own business and help your children sail…

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    • Marital rape, domestic violence, treating a family member like a slave/unpaid servant, stopping her from calling her parents, not letting her visit them (i.e. isolating the victim), stopping her from working – these are non-negotiables and the safest and the most sensible thing to do in such cases is for the victim to be removed from the abusive situation.

      //parents just let go, mind your own business and help your children sail…//
      This traditional attitude isolates the victims, and the abusers use this mindset to their advantage.

      //marriages do have its ups and downs and it takes 2 good captains to sail it//
      Abusers like to minimize verbal and physical abuse as a ‘couple’s fight’ or ordinary ‘ups and downs’.

      //It is father’s like these that are the real trouble makers and the cause for divorce that is in the rising in India today.//
      Such fathers are the ones who in the past have created ‘trouble’ for abusers and got widow burning, infanticide and child marriages banned.

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      • Think I will agree to disagree and take it as a case of difference in perspective. Ironically, Raja Ram Mohun Roy, the social reformer who you have incidentally quoted has no reference of being a father and was married three times. I reiterate, it would not be wise to make a decision listening to one side of the story… we need to give the benefit of doubt to the other side before making our sacrosanct judgements. Whilst donning the role of a counsellor, I have been tried to be tricked more than once by lines like these and have learnt to listen better and hence I say… do understand.

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        • irrespective of tricked or not, a daughter told her father horror stories? what would you do in this case? listen to the other side ? seriously!!!! i have 2 kids and if one child came to me and claimed rape and abuse I’d for sure not ask for the other side, at that point it doesn’t matter EVEN if it is a false claim. The daughter wanted out, maybe she was lying or exaggerating, so what ? she wanted out , she told her dad the horror stories, and as a parent that should be enough, heck as a human being that should be enough, listening to the other side comes when you try to punish the other person, not when you try to get the victim (or perceived victim) out of the situation…

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        • Dear god, are you a professional therapist then? I can only imagine what you’ll tell rape victims — “You must have imagined it. Stop trying to malign an innocent man. No, I will not be tricked by these lines.”

          You send shivers down my spine. What do you think Indian Father should have asked the “other side”? “Why are you raping my daughter? Could you maybe not beat her up?”

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        • No Father in his right mind will want his married daughter back in his house unless there is an issue. This Father has done the right thing and nothing justifies your feeble attempt in painting a different picture.
          A Father can sense a daughter’s plight.. If not why did she agree to get far away from the this monster husband? Do you find any other particular reason since you claim to have a wealth of experience in such relationships.
          Every Indian Father ought to have his ears, eyes and heart open after marrying off his daughter. Chuck the pride out and act when needed.

          Kudos to this father. I am sure his daughter will find one worthy of her once her scars are healed.

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      • While what you are saying is absolutely correct, but I am personally disappointed in this father. He raised a woman he was docile enough ( his own words) to be married off to a stranger and was taking all this abuse by mere strangers with her mouth shut until this guy arrived on the scene. How very much angry it makes me to think that this is what you have achieved in your kids after all your raising and years of education.

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        • It is easy said than done. You will never now how it is unless you experience it yourself. It’s easy for you to ‘talk’. Why don’t you focus on the abuser and stop talking against the victim!
          Oh and all of us know how great our education system is.

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    • Third by giving the dowry (which by the by is unlawful and this letter/post will make him look lame if he is taking the issue to the court as proof against himself by accepting himself as the giver),

      It seems that you are clueless about the ground realities of Indian dowry culture.

      Yes, it is illegal to give dowry in India. Which means nothing in practice.

      Nobody buys stuff, stamps ‘dowry’ on it and hands it over to the groom’s family. It is all done in the form of ‘gifts’, which is something that no law can prevent you from giving to anybody you please.

      It is illegal to demand dowry OR gifts.

      In any case, the charges which will be framed here are far more extensive than simple dowry harassment. From the description, it’s likely to pan out into civil remedies through multiple-count violations of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005, as well as criminal remedies through IPC violations of section 354 (outraging the modesty of a woman) and section 498-a (perverse sexual conduct, physical and mental torture).

      For what it’s worth, I think people who leave their kids alone and helpless are the ones who are the real culprits, not people who proactively protect their kids from harm.

      Sometimes, interference is not just beneficial but absolutely essential. This story is case in point.

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    • If he had not ‘interfered’ then it’s possible that his daughter may have ended up as another statistic on the list of the ultimate tragedies in domestic violence…

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    • yes, yes – “understanding the real issue through professional support” – one needs a tremendous amount of intelligence and deep-digging to “understand” things when one’s daughter is being physically abused.

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    • ‘Parents should mind their own business?’ Are you for real? So a daughter is not parents’ business eh? I do agree that sometimes parents’ interference causes drift betw the couples and all that. But in this case they put the poor girl through hell… but yea of course parents shudnt have interfered. So what if shes abused or raped. Its all in the job description eh? I hope to goodness you will never have a girl child…

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    • I confess that I am one of the two people who’ve liked fredjeev’s comment. Somehow the first paragraph seems relevant. I absolutely do not support a patch-up in this relationship and also do not condone such heinous acts as marital rape, assault, etc. being passed off as everyday problems, but the first paragraph struck a chord. The rest of it seems to support patriarchy and thus justifies the 32 thumb-downs.
      Everybody seems to be vindicating Indian Father whereas he is the one who has created the problem. There are always going to be rotten people (in-laws) out there, but as abohemiansrhapsody has stated, the notion of a marriage as being the equivalent of a woman (who is already financially stable) being ‘settled’ raised my doubts about this outwardly concerned father being a bigot and a chauvinist. He seems to trying his best in trying to minimize his faults which are not at all small. My doubts were reaffirmed by his subsequent remarks about how ‘we made the mistake of paying a hefty dowry’, please note the use of ‘we’ whereas when he ‘rescues’ his daughter from her in-laws it is made amply clear that ‘he’ is the doer.
      I have a feeling his daughter ‘couldn’t even cry’ because she secretly blames him for her misfortune. His grave crimes CANNOT be passed off as naivete. So sorry but I cannot get myself to commend this father for his actions no matter how well he handles the problem later on because HE is the one responsible for this mess (understatement) to begin with.
      And as Natasha S has stated, this ‘devoted’ father is liable to being prosecuted no matter how hard he tries to downplay his part in putting his daughter through her harrowing and horrible ordeal.

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      • So the parents made a mistake. After d daughter’s education, they like most average Indian parents thought the next step is marriage. They gave into the dowry system too. Again wrong! But is it d parent’s fault that they have been hoodwinked by d smiles and pleasantaries of the in-laws? How are they supposed to somehow use a nonexistent ESP and know that these people r foul?
        But what is commendable is that he realised his mistake when he saw his dauighter’s plight and IMMEDIATELY removed her from there. He doesnt attempt to defend or make excuses. And I love the Indian Father for it.

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        • I think dowry demands from otherwise smiley in-laws are a strong indicator of things to come, no need for ESP here. And the problem of patriarchy lies in most ‘average Indian parents’, and that doesn’t absolve them of such mistakes no matter how common and trivial these mistakes might seem.

          I had hoped that at-least a few people would see things as they are and not as how Indian Father wants (needs?) them to, but alas!

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      • I have not stated that he is liable to be prosecuted. I have stated that dowry is a minor factor in this case. Physical and mental cruelty to a wife is a grievous criminal offense, whether or not dowry is a factor.

        Giving dowry is technically a crime but it is exceedingly rare for courts to even take cognizance of it as an offense, because dowry is almost never given formally. If I want to gift my daughter an apartment as a marriage gift out of my own money, can any court in the world stop me? Absolutely not. If I give the same gift as formal dowry, it would be illegal. That is how it works in middle-class/upper-class India. It’s all done through ‘gifts’.

        I see nothing in the post which bears out your description of this man as a ‘bigot and chauvinist’. His attitude towards marriage is a lot more progressive than what is the norm in this country. How many Indian parents would even think about divorce when they hear of abuse in a marriage? How many Indian parents would refrain from spouting out different versions of the tried and true ‘please adjust’ formula, just like fredjeev here?

        Everybody seems to vindicating Indian Father whereas he is the one who has created the problem. There are always going to be rotten people (in-laws) out there, but as abohemiansrhapsody has stated, the notion of a marriage as being the equivalent of a woman (who is already financially stable) being ‘settled’ raised my doubts about this outwardly concerned father being a bigot and a chauvinist. He seems to trying his best in trying to minimize his faults which are not at all small. My doubts were reaffirmed by his subsequent remarks about how ‘we made the mistake of paying a hefty dowry’, please note the use of ‘we’ whereas when he ‘rescues’ his daughter from her in-laws it is made amply clear that ‘he’ is the doer.
        I have a feeling his daughter ‘couldn’t even cry’ because she secretly blames him for her misfortune. His grave crimes CANNOT be passed off as naivete. So sorry but I cannot get myself to commend this father for his actions no matter how well he handles the problem later on because HE is the one responsible for this mess (understatement) to begin with.

        Was the daughter forced into the marriage? From what I can see here, she wasn’t even pressurized to any great extent. She went into it of her own free will.

        What grave crime has been committed, Swarup? What grievous faults? What horrendous sins? Why, pray, is the father being held responsible for this entire mess?

        Do you think it’s that easy to judge a person, a family beforehand? In relationships, mistakes happen. Even a choice marriage can end up being abusive. I’ve personally been in an abusive relationship (although not marriage), and I can attest to how easy it is to fall in the trap. I was not pressurized to be in this relationship at all. I went into it completely of my own accord. Am I responsible for being abused, then?

        Abusive relationships are nobody’s fault EXCEPT THE ABUSER.

        What is important is how you DEAL with an abusive relationship. In my case, I was given huge support by friends and family, and I am eternally grateful to them for it. In this case too, the father has been completely supportive, and has responded promptly and effectively. In my opinion, he deserves every single word of praise and respect he gets.

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        • This relationship could have been nipped at it’s bud, long before it got abusive had the people involved been more wise and prudent. I have no doubt that the in-laws are the abusers but I have a problem with you blaming only them and not the other players for the abuse.
          Their is a reason why Indian Law terms dowry takers as well as givers as criminals, and that is because any ‘average’ person should take cognizance to dowry demands as being an outright OUTRAGE and it strikes me as odd that this otherwise seemingly ‘modern’ and ‘loving’ father could have overlooked this little fact.
          Now if people still want to see him as a saint who rescues his daughter (seen the accolades in the comments) and not somebody who failed to do his duty (complain to the police about dowry demand and immediately break-off the wedding) they can keep doing that. Or they can see the bigger picture where patriarchy is not just as blatant as in marital rape and physical assault but also something a lot more subtle as in an otherwise ‘loving’ father thinking his daughter needs to get married in order to ‘settle’ down and giving in to dowry demands. I am in no way saying that the husband and in-laws are not to blame… I’m saying the father is too.

          Now who’s with me? Anyone?

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        • This dad had the option of pretending all was well with his daughter, or of taking an action that was right but required a lot of courage, because there was every chance that he would be blamed for not taking perfect decisions earlier. Do you realise there are many who would still blame him for ‘interfering’ and not bringing up the daughter well by teaching her to ‘cooperate and win over’ her in laws?

          Swarup, not just this father, thousands of young women also fall into the trap of wanting to Get Married and Stay Married – if they dare to walk out, they are applauded and encouraged for finding the courage.

          We all take decisions that we think are best at that moment, what matters is a willingness to acknowledge a problem and take concrete actions to repair the damages.

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        • In your response you said ‘I have stated that dowry is a minor factor in this case.’- please realize that dowry is NEVER a minor factor.

          There was a time not so long back when parents subscribing to the ‘adjust karlo’ paradigm used to be considered loving and caring as well. They would curse and threaten the in-laws but also coax their daughters to ‘go back’. ‘What could they do?’. ‘What would society say if their daughters were to come back from her marital homes?’. Such behaviour used to be considered sad but acceptable.

          I don’t see too many people here towing that line anymore. Remember, there are going to be dowry takers only as long as there are dowry givers. And giving in to such demands only invites SUBSEQUENT ABUSE. Any ‘compromising’ with such in-laws is comparable to ‘adjusting’ of yesteryears. It only perpetuates this hateful system. As they say: Ek hasti se taali nahi bajti.

          You say ‘Giving dowry is technically a crime but it is exceedingly rare for courts to even take cognizance of it as an offense, because dowry is almost never given formally.’- I agree, but as Indian Father has stated he’s going to court with all of these. And as soon as he states that there had been dowry demands which were given in to, he DOES render himself liable to being prosecuted and also weakens his daughter’s case against her in-laws in the process.

          Indian Father is not manifesting this monsterous face of patriarchy but he IS doing his bit to instigate and perpetuate it by taking the first step in resigning to the in-laws unjust demands. You say ‘Why, pray, is the father being held responsible for this entire mess?’- maybe now you realise that the father IS being held responsible for this entire mess but not being entirely held resonsible for this mess.

          And all I see here is adulation for a perpetuator (dare I say perpetrator?). So no! I still can’t take a liking to this father inspite of all his shenanigans.

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        • I have no doubt that the in-laws are the abusers but I have a problem with you blaming only them and not the other players for the abuse.

          Then we are in fundamental disagreement.

          I will stick to what I said.

          Rapists and abusers must take sole responsibility for their actions. It is absolutely NO ONE else’s fault. It does not matter one whit what anyone else did. If you hit your wife, it is solely your own fault. There is no other player in the abuse other than the one doing the abusing.

          Paying a dowry does not mean that you are okaying abuse. I do not condone the practice, but I can certainly see where the man is coming from.
          The practice is so widespread that it is not considered a warning sign at all. It is expected, and is treated as routine in most Indian communities. We have every reason to believe that the father had the best of intentions. He wanted to make things easier for his child, and tried to ensure this the only way he knew how.

          I fail to see why we must crucify him for this honest mistake.

          If the father had ignored a plea for help, it would’ve been a different story, and he would have shared the blame.
          He did not do that. He got her back, no questions asked, and did what had to be done. He placed the welfare of his child ahead of any personal/social considerations.

          What else would you have wanted him to do?

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        • . please realize that dowry is NEVER a minor factor.

          Of course it can be. Compared to raping and beating your wife, simply demanding dowry is a pretty minor offense. Let’s keep a sense of proportion here, eh?

          And as soon as he states that there had been dowry demands which were given in to, he DOES render himself liable to being prosecuted and also weakens his daughter’s case against her in-laws in the process.

          Fortunately or unfortunately, things do not work this way in such cases. This is not a court of law, but since you are talking legalities, let me give you a legal perspective too.

          Demanding/giving dowry is a separate offense from HARASSING someone for more dowry.
          The latter is a far more serious offense that can result in major jail time.

          Giving a dowry is simply not in the same class of offenses as beating somebody up because you want more dowry. Comparing the former with the latter is like comparing a routine fine with killing someone on the road. The fact that the other guy has a parking ticket will not absolve you of manslaughter in a court of law. Nor will the existence of the parking ticket strengthen your case to any degree.

          No one’s condoning dowry-giving. But let’s not get carried away by that one detail. Let’s not make it out to be the sole reason for the sh*t hitting the fan here.

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        • Replying to Swarup’s comment below. Yes, you have a point.

          Probably disaster could have been averted if Indian Father had seen the red flag and backed off.

          However, it’s not clear if he offered dowry unconditionally or in response to a few broad hints.

          Completely agree with your point about patriarchy being mostly insidious (get daughter married by age 25, with or without dowry).

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      • I don’t think that this father by any chance was trying to make himself sound good or anything. i think he feels if he speaks up in this forum others may not fall into the same trap that he and his daughter had fallen and that others may not make the same mistake that he had made .I understand why he wrote this e mail and I commend him for that . It must have been quite painful for him to write all this down. And he must have known that people would condemn him first. Yet he wrote the mail so that others may be helped. Who knows maybe another father read this mail and decided that he would not do the same mistake.

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      • Swarup, I wanted to reply to your comment later in this thread, but can’t find the reply button on that so I am doing it here.

        Yes, the father felt his daughter needed to be married for her to be complete. Yes, the father was at fault for giving dowry. Yes, the father was at fault for not saying no to the in-laws.

        But he was being an ordinary father, no? Not a bad father, not even an indifferent father, just a father who thought he was doing the best for his child – his definition of best being defined by his thinking at that time, by thinking that is common to his contemporaries across the country.

        But to call that a sin, and a crime, and to blame him completely for making a mess of his daughters life – that seems extreme. What comes across in this letter is that he is a man who has made mistakes of judgement, because at that time he didn’t know better. But he is also a man who has realised that what he did was a mistake, who is willing to admit he was mistaken, and is now willing to take a brave, firm stand to ensure his daughter’s life is back to normal.

        He could have continued to not questions accepted societal norms, and asked his daughter to adjust. Heck, I know lots of men who don’t even acknowledge marital rape as rape. Instead, here is a father who understands that he has bowed into accepted social customs once, and it has caused his daughter immense harm, and is willing to defy those same social customs again. That, I think, makes him a very brave man, and a good father.

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        • I would have commended him as well had he made a PROPER APOLOGY for the part HE played in this sad story. I don’t see him doing that, instead he touches very lightly on his misplaced belief in the efficacy of the dowry system.

          “At this point, we made the mistake of paying out a hefty dowry. It sounds very naive now, but I am being candid with you; I thought this might making things a little easier for our daughter . How could I have known what monstrous characters these people were hiding behind their smiles and laughter?”

          Why no warning to immediately back out in case there are demands for dowry? Did he not have ANY premonitions? Amiable and ‘smiley’ folks who GENUINELY RESPECT women would never have made such demands. Also fathers who GENUINELY RESPECT their daughters would not make dowry payments. PERIOD. He could’ve written that earlier he didn’t have proper regard for women in general and his daughter in perticular but now after seeing what went down he repents for what he was and believed in, yada yada…. THEN his initial actions (mistakes) and subsequent reactions (commendable steps to overcome the problem) would make sense. As I have already mentioned earlier, claiming naivete just DOESN’T SUFFICE!

          What he otherwise did is indeed very good and I honor him for doing that.

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      • Swarup, while Indian Father may have erred in thinking that marriage was required for his daughter to “settle down”; this is a mistake many Indian fathers make, mine included.

        My own father urges me to remarry despite acknowledging that my first marriage was a disaster and a second one may go the same way.

        According to him, all Indian women are vulnerable to this particular risk and well, one just takes one’s chances.

        I think, for most Indian men, a daughter, no matter how financially secure or self-sufficient, is still a “burden” as long as she’s husband-less.

        At the root of this anxiety is the fear that single women are vulnerable in our society
        (which they are).

        That’s what prompts Indian parents to coax their daughters to “please adjust”. Indian Father was exceptional in his refusal to say “please adjust”.

        So, despite it all, I still honour Indian Father (and my own) for not condemning their daughters to a lifetime of misery and suffering. For now, that is enough.

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      • Absolutely agree. I have a 4 year old daughter. Can’t think of handing her over to some strangers when she grows up in the name of “settling down”. This is pure chauvinism and nothing else. I for one don’t see a martyr here.

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      • ”have a feeling his daughter ‘couldn’t even cry’ because she secretly blames him for her misfortune”…seriously dude ..do u have sisters atleast good friends (girls)…the daughter may not have wanted her parents to know abt the marital problems coz she dnt want her parents to get all worried or even heartbroken that the daughter they raised as thier lil princess had to live with so called well settled family…u might nt knw it but ask any indian girls parents- one of their biggest wishes is to see thier daughters happy in the after marriage just d way dey cud be in their house for 24/25 years…

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        • How many sisters would I need to understand this?1 or maybe atleast “good” girl friends?! hahaha! if we cut down all this emotional dramas and uncalled for irrational assumptions and soap-opera like reactions, we might be able to see the bigger picture and hear the other side of the story… every truth is only half the lie and here we have it illustrated…

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    • I read your comment twice. I cannot believe an educated person can even think on these lines. This is what i understood – you support rape, domestic violence, mental harassment, and basically any kind of abuse meted out to a woman in the name of marriage.
      I hope to hell you are single; and you’ll do a favour to womankind by remaining single.

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    • @fredjeev : Your comment sent shivers down my spine, because all you wrote is exactly what my (soon-to-be-a-past) husband has been saying to me/ my family and almost everyone he comes across.
      I say so because I have been in almost the same situation as the daughter of the e-mail writer and my father had to literally fight back my husband and my inlaws to protect me and my infant daughter.

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      • I agree that desperate times requires desperate measures. Everyone’s situation need not be the same as yours. Lets not hurry till we hear the other side of the story. I still insist…

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        • What would you have done? Asked the in laws’ side of the story (like most Indian parents)? What if they said the girl was characterless, disobedient, lazy, disrespectful, frigid, bad cook, didn’t clean the dishes properly, left streaks when she wiped the floor and had given up her job on her own?

          Why was it not enough that the daughter was unhappy? What should have been more important for the father?

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        • Fredjeev, what is the other side to rape and violence?? Unless the husband raped her in front of someone, how is the father or anyone to judge that it took place, or do we follow Islamic law and get the evidence of 4 men as witnesses to a rape. Your arguments are absolute rubbish! The father did what any father would or should have done-accepted the word of his child. The reason everyone is praising the father is because what the father did is unfortunately rare in our society. You can insist on hearing the other side all you want or you can start using your brains.

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        • fredjeev,
          This is not a court. If might have not realised this yet but there was no need for the father to write this email to IHM. There was no need for him to accept the fact that he gave dowry. He could have easily omitted the first paragraph of his mail.
          Secondly,
          You can turn all logical when you are not a part of the story but if a daughter comes to her father telling him that she has been raped, his first instinct would be to protect her, not to run towards the rapist to confirm.

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    • //by not giving a chance for understanding the real issue
      Wait a second before I scrap off my jaw from the ground.
      If you read the post carefully, he did take her out and she told him that she was being raped and tortured. And then I guess you expected him to go back, sit with the in-laws and politely ask them what the problem is? Why is their blessed son raping his daughter?
      You basically represent the ugly face of our country, the reason why such in-laws are encouraged in our society. *Shudders*

      //marriages do have its ups and downs and it takes 2 good captains to sail it
      Exactly, but what if one captaion starts treating the other as a dog? How do you go back to normal after that? How do you go back to normal after the first rape? After the first slap?

      //It is father’s like these that are the real trouble makers and the cause for divorce that is in the rising in India today
      No, its people like you who try to preserve abusive marriages. If that is how marriages are supposed to be, then more the divorces happen the better.

      Sometimes its amusing when people like you drop comments at IHM’s blog. YOu are a reality check. Sometimes, we get too optimistic here.

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    • Indian Father is explaining his case to a blogger using a generic pseudonym, not trying to explain his position to a jury in a courtroom. I don’t see why he should be lambasted for making mistakes (which he confessed to) and for trying to put things right after making the mistake.
       
      He is a father and a father’s instinct to protect his kids. Besides, physical and sexual abuse are non-negotiables. I am sure the conversation he had with his daughter gave him enough reasons to go ahead with his decision to take his daughter back. And she agreed, which means she wanted out. That should be good enough. If it was as minor as you make it out to be – what Indian father would have wanted to get his daughter divorced and what Indian woman would have wanted to be divorced? They are traditional people, not P3 socialites.
       
      Trying to ‘adjust’ and ‘sort things out’ just to keep her married is playing the culturally sanctioned Russian roulette that Indians know just too well. It is a pity that there are people educated enough to write in this blog who think that way.

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    • “Remember, everyone has problems, some just don’t amplify it and live in its noise…”

      Also remember it also happens a lot of time that most people simplify problems and suffer in silence NEEDLESSLY, believing that’s the way it is.

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      • From when did we start living in the utopia?! Silent suffering is hard, I agree. Is loud wailing easy then??? I think I am the one here who believes in the intellect of the girl more than anyone and pray that she might be able to find a way out if the issue is left to her to confront.

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        • Watch this weeks satyamev jayate. Sexual abuse leaves you scarred and scared. Ive been there, I know what its like. Doesnt matter if its a child or an adult. Intellect gets overpowered by fear and shame. She may be a smart woman, but getting out of such a relationship requires a lot more than intellect. You need real strength and in a way..”selfishness” or self respect..to think of your own happiness and not what the world will say. If you saw a woman being raped, would you ask the man for his side of the story? Or think the woman must have enough intellect to get out of it? It doesnt matter how smart or stupid a person is, you step in when someone is vulnerable and needs your aid..be it your brother, sister or a perfect stranger

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        • Once again an extreme comparison, to personalize with anything and everything. Duh! The problem I still sense is that many still dont let go the umbilical cord. Thus making the children dependent and vulnerable instead of being independent and everything else that is positive that comes with it. No one is a “victim” unless they feel so.

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    • Wow Fredjeev! I hope you are never in any position in life where someone depends on you for common sense solutions to any problems. The father was told by his daughter that she was raped and beaten and harassed. Why should he listen to the husband’s side of the story? This is not a court of law. He knows his daughter, and he presumably knows how truthful she is. Is he supposed to ask the husband whether he has raped his daughter? And do you think the husband or his family will admit to violence against the daughter? I am sure the father also used his instincts and looked at the in-laws behavior when he made the decision to remove his daughter from the situation. You write “It is father’s like these that are the real trouble makers and the cause for divorce that is in the rising in India today”
      Not true! It is father’s like this who will save Indian society from muddled thinkers who dismiss rape and beatings as “everyone has problems”, and “marriages have problems”. There is a difference between “interfering” in someone’s marred life and saving someone from violence and misery. There is a difference between the two.
      As far as giving dowry is concerned. Yes it was a wrong move, but apparently he has learned that happiness cannot be bought.
      What India needs is more father’s like this and less gutless apologists.

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  12. This was so sad. But your daughter must be very proud to have a father like you. Too often we hear parents telling their daughters to adjust and deal with it, because they are worried about what society will say. Applaud your firmness in dealing with this. Hope justice is served.

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  13. Thank you for sharing this Indian Father. It must have taken a lot of courage and stamina to write this email. I cannot imagine the trauma the poor, poor girl went through. Bravo for all the support you give her even as we speak – many parents wash their hands off. It will probably take a long time for your daughter to recover from the trauma. Of all the injuries, the injuries of the mind and heart are hardest to heal – and in this case, they’ve wiped out the most essential ingredient of a person’s character – self respect and dignity. Utlimately this is the true crime, the basest crime – even worse than money exchanging hands.

    I am so happy that your daughter has you as a parent – with enough love and support, I am sure she will emerge stronger. At the same time, unpalatable as it might seem – this is my observation. I wish I could tell this to ALL parents. We have an exalted notion of parents in our country. They are supposed to be infallible, ever-dutiful, ever-sacrificing till their last breath. It is this untrue portrait of a parent that causes no end of suffering, from generation to generation.

    Especially during these tough times, it is easy to lose track of yourself and ignore the tremendous stress you and your wife are going through – because you’ve been conditioned to think ‘a parent should suffer silently for the child’. Remember that you too are just an adult like billions out there. Don’t allow guilt, bitterness, wagging tongues to sap your energy: just as your daughter heals – you TOO should heal – it is IMPERATIVE, for your sake, for her sake.The helpless anger, frustration will threaten to consume you – it is good to a certain extent – but don’t let it rule and ruin the rest of your life.

    You will also be tempted to shelter your daughter, smother her with your love, care, affection and attention – a natural parental response and also a release for your own perceived guilt. Don’t do that. She will be extremely dependent on you emotionally – the only way you can heal her is by helping her gain emotional independence – this will help her re-carve her identity, love herself, and yes – she will not take shit from anyone in future.

    As time passes, you and your wife will come under pressure by people around you to ‘settle’ your daughter once again. All this will be through ‘helpful’ family member and friends. Swat them away like flies. No matter what anyone says – always remember that your children are ‘settled’ once they are independent in every which way – financially, emotionally, physically, mentally and NOT because of marital status.

    I apologise if I’ve sounded harsh – but I only have good intentions. I wish you and your family lots of love, happiness and smiles. You deserve it!

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  14. I just wish that there are more fathers like u sir. The misplaced notion of “family honour”..i think is more a matter of convenience. .Get her married …and then wash ur hands off..mean while keep doling out the platitudes of “adjust karo”. Hats off to you. And not just for the promt action, but also for sharing it. Who knows where some poor dad reads this and gets inspired to rescue his some unfortunate child. Godbless.
    Deepz40

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  15. It is heartening to hear from the older generation on this blog. And this particular gentleman, I bow deeply to. If only all fathers were as strong (and I don’t mean physically) and supportive.
    I love what you did 1) surprise visit to your daughter’s home 2) taking her out for lunch (god knows how liberating that must have felt for her) and then taking her back to get her important stuff and bringing her home. Hats off to your clarity and your resolve.
    Please tell you daughter never to forget what she was before she met these “people”. She’ll slowly but surely come back to “life”, sir. I’m sure of that. Just keep being who you are…

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  16. I really feel sorry for her, and while my daughter is just 3 years old, I can just wonder how could you be so patience by just ignoring them because a person like me would just create a blood bath and then worry about consequences. But again, that shows your true maturity.I certainly agree that love marriages cannot be taken for granter as failures and arranged marriages cannot be taken for granted as success… Follow your heart and then your instincts are the best thing you can teach your child. Don’t leave that son of a * …. make sure his ass rots in jail … But unfortunately judicial system in our country is also rotten which makes things worse…….

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  17. First of all, Indian Father, I salute you for doing what you did. For getting your daughter out of there before anything worse happens. So few parents have this courage. Good luck to both you and your daughter to restart her life and heal from this wound. I hope you are able to spread the message around to as many people as possible that there is no honor in keeping your daughter in an abusive marriage. Honor is in acting as you did.

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  18. Kudos to the Indian father who brought his daughter home, right away ! Thank you! This piece itself is missing so blatantly in our society and they will always ask their daughter to sacrifice and compromise and live a filthy life.. and keep pumping the greedy in-laws with more dowry!

    The biggest take way is – support your daughter in times of her need irrespective of how she came into the situation !

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  19. Ppeople make mistakes. Parents re only human. This dad heard hi heart and took action. He did his job. Congrats you daughter will lead a happy life , she just needs to feel your support. You are indeed a wonderful man. Get the scum in jail. Nothing to satisfy you like a bit of revenge.

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  20. Really applaud you for the quick action that you undertook in your daughter’s case ..reminded me of my cousin sis in 1980’s (who was mentally and physically tortured by the husband for small issues) had to be taken away from her house by her brother and uncle (ie my dad , her parents were no more). Here there was no Dowry harrassment and no inlaws involved. It was an arranged marriage, but we were unaware that a slight lunatic problem ran in her husband’s family. He appeared well mannered to all of us before and during the marriage ceremonies.

    I believe, as long as the guy is spineless (with his parents) and does not consider the equality, respect and happiness of his wife as priority, it does not matter HOW they got married , Arranged or Love (They could have got into a love marriage as well as they put their best foot forward before marriage) ..the marriage is doomed, anyways.

    All the best to your daughter to get the smile and confidence back to her. The in-laws do not deserve to be even discussed about, so hope she looks to her future with hope ..

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  21. Thanks for sharing your story dear Indian Father. We need more fathers like you.
    Dont blame yourself , or give in to guilt and regret. Your daughter will get past this with your love and support, and move on live a happy , fulfilled and complete life.

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  22. Well done, sir.

    That is all I can say.

    I hope that if, by some twist of fate, I land in a similar situation, I will have the intestinal fortitude to act as you did.

    Mad props to you.

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  23. I have always felt, that it is the women’s parents who are responsible for the state they are in post-marriage. If only more father’s were like you Sir. If only they would recognize their daughter’s in-laws for the criminals they truly are, instead of asking the daughter to ‘adjust’. Your daughter is truly blessed to have a father like you.

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  24. >> “Fourth by persistently interfering in his daughter’s life despite her request not to”

    How glad I am that he “interfered” and was worried enough about his daughter to actually go see for himself! We need more fathers like him.

    >> “Fifth by making his own decisions yet again without listening to the other side of the story where he proclaims that he “did not even look at them””

    What could he have possibly listened to ? Their explanation as to why they hit and abused his daughter ? Is there ever a reason to hit/sexually abuse anyone? NO – THERE ISN’T.

    >>”It is father’s like these that are the real trouble makers and the cause for divorce that is in the rising in India today.”

    NO – the cause for divorce are such husbands and in-laws who bring home another human being and treat her like dirt, because they think they are entitled to. Such people deserve the worst fate there is – I hope that this Indian father can get them harsh, rigorous punishment.

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    • How I wish that getting punishment was that easy. What if after the punishment was given it is realized that the boy was framed??? What if the girl did all this to get with someone else the father did not know and hence this effective drama??? possibility?! Thats why the court takes time to listen to the other side of the story… got it? Respond rather than react.

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      • Fredjeev the doubts and the views that you express are what most Indian parents raise their daughters with and we are seeing the results, they all choose to ‘respond’ instead of reacting. (They do react if it’s the in laws’ complaining about her or the neighbours are pointing finger at the way she dresses).

        And just supposing a daughter does not want to live with a husband for any reasons, even if his family does not make her give up her work, and does not treat her father like a ‘social inferior’ when he visits them (I hope you don’t believe that ‘ladki-wale’ are social inferiors?) – should the father force/persuade/convince her to live with with a husband she does not wish to live with?

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      • What if?

        What if it’s realized that she’s framing the guy?

        What if it’s realized that it was a joint conspiracy to get a quick divorce?

        What if it’s realized that a vindictive ex was behind all this?

        What if the CIA was running the whole show?

        What if this is just the culmination of a long and bizarre argument over a matchstick and a donut?

        A parent is NOT a court of law.

        As a parent, your primary duty is NOT to hear all sides of the story and deliver judgement.

        Your primary duty is to protect your own child!

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      • What if after the punishment was given it is realized that the boy was framed???
        What if the girl did all this to get with someone else the father did not know and hence this effective drama???
        Thats why the court takes time to listen to the other side of the story… got it?
        What if, what if, what if? My question to you is, why are you so determined to give the husband all the benefit of the doubt and none to the girl or her father? You wrote earlier that it is father’s like this that interfere and cause problems in a marriage. Funny how you have no hesitation in rushing to judgment on that. Now you say that maybe the girl is lying in order to be with someone and creating drama.
        At some point it becomes an exercise in futility to argue with people like you fredjeev, because when all else fails people such as yourself get into conspiracy theories (ie girl has an ulterior motive in accusing the husband of rape and violence, maybe because she has a boyfriend). If you are an adult Indian with any degree of sanity, you would have realized that situations such as this girl’s are so so common. I know dozens (no exaggeration) of stories like this. Bad arranged marriages, brutality the hands of in-laws and even murder of girls because of dowry (a sister of a girl I was in college with, and a neighbor’s daughter were both murdered by their husband and in-laws). The only thing unique about this case is that the father has acted differently than most Indian father’s in that he put an end to the situation at soon as he became aware of it. Most Indian father’s would have tried to save the bad marriage and preferred the daughter to remain married rather than get divorced.
        If all this was a conspiracy by the girl, I’m sure the father would have found out by now since the incidents happened yrs ago, and presumably the father is a somewhat intelligent person. Also why would he write about it as a cautionary tale about arranged marriages, rather he would be writing about duplicitous daughters and false rape allegations?
        But as I said, it is pointless arguing with conspiracy theorists, because I’m sure you will throw something else into the mix now (probably relating to false identities and comas).

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      • Aah! These “what if” kind of people make sure that there are many more women out there who think they have no one to turn to and suffer abuse in silence. Indian Father did the right thing. He had no time to respond. It is high time Indian parents looked at making their daughters independent and confident about what they do and ensure that they do not seek refuge in an abusive marriage. Let Indian Parents and their daughters opt for dowry-free marriages. Let marriage not be the ultimate goal for all girls instead let them live their dreams.

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    • i noticed that ur display name is fedup DIL. If u r fed up and miss ur dad after reading this, just leave. Food always comes. Really.If you can type on a computer, you will be able to get a job.

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      • Yes. agreed. however, I would like to try everything I can possibly do before I give up on the relationship. I have a daughter, and I would like her to have, what I had – a set of parents who loved each other. My husband and I , we have an understanding to an extent about each other. It is the in-laws who keep making things complicated … so, Im trying to get the husband see what we will miss out, if we decide to part due to his parents. The day I realise that this effort is futile, will be the day i walk out. and food, well. not everything works only for food.

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  25. there are many comments here that say that the father’s thinking was not right. wanting to get his daughter married or wanting to provide her with a good dowry ” though i dont agree with the reason given. but one needs to remember that is has been our social conditioning for ages, it can’t change overnight even if there are a few radical thinkers around. all i can say is his daughter was a very lucky girl. the moment her father realized that she was not being treated well ( an understatement in this case) , he simply took her back to her home, complete support. no questions or talking to her inlaws family. no ifs and no buts. no wanting to consult his family. no sir, he simply picked her essential stuff and took her away from her living hell. i would say kudos for being the kind of father he is. hats of to you Indian Father.

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  26. 1. I am glad you have taken the courage to put up your experience on a public forum. it takes tremendous courage in our society with its wall of silence in all matters like these to openly write about al this
    2. I am glad you supported your daughter and took swit action to get her back and supported in her divorce which many families would not do.
    3. Also, this raises somethings in my head – We should teach our children to speak up and out. We cannot go on pretending certain things do not exist. Our society relies too much on collectivism and doing things to save our face in society rather than being true to ourselves. Elders, husbands everyone must be respected irespective of what they do. We need toteach our children that marriage is not the ultimate aim in our lives.

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  27. @father of an Indian daughter

    Briefly:
    Sorry to hear about your sad experience.
    I commend you on the steps you have taken.
    I agree with nearly all other commenters.
    I particularly laud Sumana’s comment.
    I deplore fredjeev’s comment and laud Ihm for a fitting response.

    Regards
    GV
    (Busy today. Unable to send a detailed comment)

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  28. Giving dowry is as much a crime as taking dowry. Being educated and child-loving as you were, you did a mistake by paying dowry. That is the first mistake. People should be made to understand that not a paisa will be given to them during wedding. You are sending away your precious daughter to their place, what more do they want?
    Second mistake is, not taking a hint. When she asked you not to call, which is so out of character for her, it should be a cue for you to probe.
    But I’m glad you didn’t make a third mistake and took back your daughter.
    All parents should not only give love to their children, but also teach them to stand up for themselves and fight back. Make them realize that you will always be with them no matter what. Only then will they dare to share their feelings with you. Don’t ask your child to simply adjust. Why should she when others are not ready to do the same? Please support your children.

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    • I think he made the same mistakes like millions of other Indian parents. The difference is his daughter paid much higher price for those mistakes than other “more lucky” children.

      I’m sure those millions of Indian parents would not see the hints and clues of a problem either. What’s more, I’m pretty convinced the majority of Indian parents are pretty unalert to issues like unhappiness in a marriage or exploitaion of their daughters in the in-laws’ household. They just care more about what society will think.

      In many regards this father did much more good than all of those parents who preferr to sit quietly instead of helping their unhappy children to get out of sick marriages.

      Not all women in arranged marriages are raped, but I’m sure the vast majority is simply forever unhappy. And none of them can count for any parental help.

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      • I agree EM. This father here has done more than what others do, but that still is not enough. We all have to for once agree and accept that dowry is crime. Don’t give or take dowry even if you think you are giving it for your own daughter. You can transfer your whole property on her name, but not at the time of marriage, not as dowry. And we need a shift in parents’ mindsets too, that wedding is not be-all and end-all of life.

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    • //All parents should not only give love to their children, but also teach them to stand up for themselves and fight back//
      I completely agree Wanderer.
      I think its the attitude in daughters that needs to be changed. I feel sorry for the poor girl to have not only suffered abuse but to have suffered it silently.. I feel sorry that she was unable to seek her parents help in the first place.. That conditioning which made her not seek help, or not speak up is what needs to be changed/undone.

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  29. Dear Sir,
    My highest regards to you for the steps you took to ensure your daughters safety. In a country where parents treat daughters as burdens, this is a refreshing change. I know of a couple who have refused to bring their widowed 28 yrs old daughter back to their home because they insist that once married the woman belong in her husband’s house and is their “burden”! Wish everyone had this courage to defy norms and do what is right.
    Regards,
    namratha

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  30. Sir i have all due respect for you..We girls need people like you to change our pathetic, rotten, obsolete indian concept of marriages..where in a girl once married becomes a property of in laws and then parents tell their daughters that now your place is at your inlaws and that the parents dont eat at their daughter’s home. Sadly my father is one of these though we live in a modern town, all are educated still this is what my father keeps telling me even if i protest..But my mother is a very strong lady..she herself has suffered a lot throughout her life so she is the one who has made me stand on my own feet and i have made this principal of my own life that i will not suffer like this at any cost just for the sake of what my parents/father would say….
    Wish thinking changes..and inlaws (Mother in law) stop giving examples of how they suffered and still didnt utter a word to her parents and that they were strictly told not turn up their door steps..and they believe this is how marriages become successful..blah blah..
    Just be strong and let go of the things..concentrate on the good things to come and yes let them suffer so a message is sent across that they cant do whatever they feel like just because they are inlaws

    Like

  31. Sir,
    I respect you for not only ensuring that your daughter is out of the hell but also for the fact that you had the guts to accept where you went wrong by this post.
    This should be an example for all the parents who despite seeing that there daughter is sufferng keep insisting her to give it another try.

    Like

  32. I’m deeply sorry for the woman and her father.

    But there is light in the tunnel. Because this father opened his eyes finally and understood what was happening and what had to be done. And he did the right things, most importantly:

    – he took his daughter back home, away from that pig (ex-husband)
    – he was/is searching for LEGAL JUSTICE, drawing legal consequences and a FORMAL PUNISHMENT of the rapist.

    Mind you, this is not the most obvious thing many Indian parents would do. He did not discuss anything with the rapist’s family, he did not care about ‘societal look of the situation’, he did not try to minimize or hide the problem. He just did, what every normal father should do.

    And yes, he had made mistakes like paying the dowry and not cross-checking the guy after the wedding, BUT, he eventually UNDERSTOOD what the complexity of the issue is.

    And I’m sure, he will be alltogether a different person now.

    Like

  33. I do not understand as to how this is an indictment of the arranged marriage system. A bad and sad marriage is a bad and sad marriage, nothing more. For every example provided and pointed as an example of ‘bad bad arranged marriage’, there are thousand others which succeed. Love marriages fail a lot, even in the west. One in two marriages fail or one in two marriages succeed. Whichever way you look at it. A traditionalist would say that is a low rate, while a modern would say well half succeeding is a good figure. Secondly, picking the worst example of a cultural institution to decry it is foolish. It is like highlighting a failed marriage in the West to condemn “love marriage”. There is hardly any analysis as to why institutions which have withstood for so long, crumbling. No reasons as to why marriage seems to be crumbling as societies modernise, economies expand etc etc, except for simply shouting ‘partriarchy–partriarchy’. Many here would not even be able to identify a matriarchal society — very few which exist in the world (eg the Mosue of China). Most so-called martriarchal societies are matrilineal with the mother’s brother playing an important role. Secondly, most women would not be able to accept the role that males usually have in matriarchal societies — basically as that of stud bulls and warriors. Women do most of the hard work (cultivation, commerce etc etc). Many such societies are found in West Africa. There are also ecological explanations as to why one mating system arose and not the other. There is nothing unique about so-called love marriages or choice marriages. What often passes for love is nothing more than physical attraction or lust. (For the record, there is nothing wrong in it as nature intends us to breed).
    I would be happy to see a post which also tracks the metamorphosis of dowry from simple gifts given at the time of the wedding to apartments, cars, motorcycles etc. Something, which links the rise of dowry to greater consumerism and changing lifestyles. Secondly, the issue is more nuanced than its shown here.
    1)Nobody gives dowry for free. He could have got his daughter married to a simple school master instead of a businessman. No dowry, no trading. The dowry problem would not have arisen if he had not paid in the first instance. If his daughter had come back with a smile on her face, the issue would have been forgotten. The dowry problem arises often when marriages fail.
    2)In many of the issues discussed here, nuances are forgotten. I do not hold this against the writers as this is a layman’s blog written from the perspective of a homemaker. But often reality is not the black and white as it seems. There are shades of grey in each of the topics discussed.
    None of what I wrote is against the father. If his daughter was mistreated as he claims, a divorce is the only way out. But I am trying to take a leap from the general from the particular.
    There is much more to relations between the sexes than patriarchy or matriarchy. A post on how marriages itself is being rendered obsolete for many by changing socio-economic factors, technology is needed. I hope you write it IHM. Long rant but could not help it. .

    Like

    • To be honest, I didn’t see this post as an indictment against the arranged marriage system per se.

      I thought it was more of a rebuttal to the goody-goody image of arranged marriages created by the news piece which was featured here earlier on.

      In that regard, I think the story is very relevant. If people think arranged marriages are a surefire way to minimize in-law issues (as the article claimed), they are much mistaken, and this story bears it out. Many of us already know this, but others don’t, eh?

      Like

    • “Many here would not even be able to identify a matriarchal society — very few which exist in the world (eg the Mosue of China”

      The Mosuo are matrilineal, not matriarchal. Then again, Mosuo nobility was always patrilineal. They have no concept of “marriage” as we know it, and practise what are called “walking marriages” which probably explains their being matrilineal.

      The Minankgabau of Indonesia qualify for what can be called a “matriarchal society” although anthropologist Peggy Reeves Sanday explains why this is a problematic and inaccurate term in her book “Women at the Center: Life in a modern matriarchy”.

      The West African societies you refer to merely appropriate female labour and are often polygynous. Ownership of property, land and resources is firmly in male hands, even though women provide a substantial amount of agricultural and domestic labour (sounds familiar to me).🙂

      I think marriages are foundering in India because increasingly, women are refusing to accept the status quo, which is extremely unfair to them and their families.

      “Secondly, most women would not be able to accept the role that males usually have in matriarchal societies — basically as that of stud bulls and warriors.”

      Why don’t you leave it to us to decide whether we like them stud bulls or not?😉

      “In many of the issues discussed here, nuances are forgotten”.

      Which nuances do you think IHM’s blog has failed to highlight/discuss? Would you care to elaborate on those “shades of grey?”

      Like

    • “He could have got his daughter married to a simple school master instead of a businessman. No dowry, no trading”
      Seriously? You think a simple school master gets married minus a dowry?!! Take a better look around please.

      Like

    • May I add that those of us who decry patriarchy are not looking for a matriarchal society. We are looking for a society that is fair to everyone.

      As you said, there are many reasons why marriage is failing and a big one is equality, not patriarchy. The institution of marriage, being historically largely patriarchal and unfair to women, cannot survive in a world in which women expect to be treated as equals without transforming drastically. Till this transformation is affected, marriages in the patriarchal mode will fail in egalitarian societies. And there is nothing bad with this. Better no marriage than an unjust marriage.

      Agreed that there are other reasons for marriage failing too, but the crumbling of patriarchy (not yet extinguished though) in societies in West and some in the East like Hong Kong, is a big one.

      Like

      • agreed..the real problem lies in the fact that we girls today are not ready and we cant really sacrifice silently just because this is what our MILs and our mothers did it to survive their marriages.
        Time has changed and so has our priorities. Today surviving a marriage is no longer our priority if there is no equality and if we dont have a say in what we like and we dont.
        But i think something needs to be done to bring this BIG change so that we can atleast save lives of other girls and minimize its effect. We can start with letting our brothers, male friends know how its so difficult for a girl. As sometimes a boy will understand more quickly if a friend tells him this than his own wife.Whichever way we cant sit quiet we will have to speak up and let them know of our untold sufferings.
        Suggestions invited………🙂

        we cant simply surrender.

        Like

        • I think most men know that traditional marriages are tough on women. I think they plead ignorance because the system benefits them so much.

          Men have so many privileges and advantages in traditional Indian marriages that they are loth to give them up.

          If a man truly loves and respects his wife, he will work towards an egalitarian marriage no matter what, because he cares for her well-being and happiness.

          I think patriarchal, traditional marriages are unnatural because it assumes that one spouse MUST have authority over the other. How can love flourish when respect is missing?

          Like

  34. Giving in to dowry demands is indeed minor when compared to beating and raping your wife IF the perpetrator is the SAME. And since everybody here (including I) is already convinced that the husband is a horrible person to have inflicted such abuse on his wife, I was trying to point out that the father is also at fault here. I was not trying to put the blame squarely on the father and absolving the husband/in-laws.

    And since we are (again) talking legalities here I am sure you would be in the know that:
    A person accepting dowry demands is not comparable to another having traffic violation tickets.
    Neither is a rapist/assaulter comparable to a murderer.

    It seems like I am drifting away from from the core concern here so I promise not to keep harping on this point any further (peace!).

    Like

  35. No one is absolving the father of his mistakes. Since the father admitted it (read the letter again) and is now repenting for it, people aren’t blaming him. It is unfair and unethical to blame a repentant person who he/she has admitted his mistake and has been pained for it. It is very painful for a father, who sees his daughter as the ápple of his eye’, to be treated so horribly.
     
    I can’t understand why some people are insistent on blaming the father, like a typical Delhi Police cop. This type of attitude is why a lot of people in India hold on to their stance even when they know they have made a mistake. They are afraid that the society will castigate them for making mistakes, rather than applaud their decision to make reperations. The father IS NOT the rapist or the abuser, it is the daughter’s (ex)husband.

    Like

  36. The depth, breadth and the intensity of the discussion in the comments thread is an indicator of how strongly people feel about the situation. Nothing new to add to the discussion but appreciate the steps taken by you, sir. It might not be right to look at either the dowry practice or the arranged marriage system as the culprit, since many a marriage that involves neither goes the same way, including false criminal charges. Neither is it fair to see the woman as the victim. The root of the problem lies in women’s position in society, and though many women readers might not agree (if you are reading this blog and the ensuing discussion, rest assured you are in a minority, regardless of gender), women are as much part of the problem as men. Mothers pass on to their daughters the concept of the ideal woman and ideal man (somewhat similar to ram and sita) and the myth is perpetuated. Mothers take greater pride in their sons, grant them greater liberties, and encourage risk taking, while daughters are reprimanded for behaviors “unbecoming” of the gentler gender. When men and women both grown up with this conditioning, it is only natural that marriages will go in this direction. What is needed is a re-look at parenting itself, and hope that in a decade or two, this will be history. Wish you and your family all the best, Indian Father.

    Like

    • Well said Subhorup.

      One gender gets too much respect and affirmation and is indulged and celebrated. The other gender gets too little respect and affirmation and internalises society’s low opinion of itself.

      This gender is then expected to transmit these warped cultural ideals to the next generation and viola, we get mothers who pamper sons and discipline daughters (if they haven’t aborted them that is).

      Like

    • “Mothers pass on to their daughters the concept of the ideal woman and ideal man (somewhat similar to ram and sita) and the myth is perpetuated.”

      That’s one of the problems with our society. Even religion/epics we blindly follow and worship are full of faults.

      How can Lord Ram be considered ideal if he threw out his pregnant wife just because a ‘dhobi’ wasn’t entirely happy about her character ??? Isn’t the ill-treatment of the wife something we have been shown through our epics all along ?

      Like

      • Shobhit I so totally agree with what you are saying and this was also discussed in the previous post at IHM’s blog where one of the commentators talked about how their Brazilian friend understood Ramayan. Dashrath the henpecked husband exiled his sons and DIL to the forest to please his Favorite wife. Laxman let his newly wedded bride behind for 14 years. Sita then gets kidnapped and it takes Ram 14 years to get her. Then Ram leaves her because of what a Dhobi said. The poor woman has to go to the forest again and live there for god knows how long bringing up her two sons alone. Ram then gets her back and makes her go through an Aginpariksha to prove she was loyal to him. Seriously Ram was not an ideal husband. Nor was lakshman. It is high time we stop giving examples of couples – Ram Sita ki jodi. Patriarchy and abusing women is deeply ingrained in our Indian system.

        Look at poor Drupadi. She had to share her bed with 5 men who then gamble her away and then just look on while she is being molested in front of the entire kingdom.

        Really what Indian culture do we talk about. We are bunch of hypocrites and our tradition teaches us to be that way.

        So Indian father hats off to you from breaking away from this tradition. Why should any daughter suffer after marriage. Why you should parents ask their daughters to adjust? When will we raise our daughters to believe that they are a human being and they should learn to stand up for themselves.

        We need more parents like you.

        Like

        • Well, going off at a tangent, but there are more than a 1000 Ramayanas, you know. Including the one where a fed up Sita finally dumps Rama and leaves at the end. Along with the Mahabharata, it’s my favorite epic, so many stories within stories and so many possible interpretations (yes, despite the right-wing goons trying to impose a single story on all of us). Interestingly, most Hindus don’t name their daughters Sita because the Sita of the epic had such a lousy married life and no one wishes that on their daughter. Instead, the version that we name our girls remembers Sita as the much loved-daughter that she was – Janaki, Vaidehi, Maithili, etc.

          Like

    • “Mothers take greater pride in their sons, grant them greater liberties, and encourage risk taking, while daughters are reprimanded for behaviors “unbecoming” of the gentler gender.”

      Very good point Subhorup. My grandmom did this (discrimination) to my mom and her brothers. My mom was very particular in not doing this with me and my brother. And I can not thank her enough for that. She always let me express my radical and strong opinions and felt proud about them. She felt I could do something that she couldn’t. And that is the only reason I can hold a strong image in front of my traditional in-laws, who are learning to change with time. They know they don’t have a choice. (In the honeymoon period of my marriage, I did have roseate notions about a Bollywood-esque marital family but I was brought back to my senses soon. That’s when my upbringing helped me)

      Like

      • //In the honeymoon period of my marriage, I did have roseate notions about a Bollywood-esque marital family but I was brought back to my senses soon. //

        Happens to the best of us, STF🙂

        Like

    • Subhorup well said.
      And yes i too believe that time will change for good and that we will have to contribute for it too by not suffering silently, educating the illl-minded boys that they are not ‘Gods’ anymore and we girls are also humans and demand equality…So all the sufferers around here stand up, get your confidence, share your problems with friends, convey your wishes and what you can do what you cant do..we will have to do something about it else our whole life will be a waste..

      Like

  37. I applaud you India Father,for taking a stand and getting your daughter out of that hell hole. One thing I don’t get though with reference to ‘At this point, we made the mistake of paying out a hefty dowry.” Why did you pay a dowry at all? Dowry to me almost seems like a sale or a bribe.
    I ask only because you seem like a person who is not given to caring about the world or societal demands. Why then did you pay a dowry?

    Like

  38. Reading through the comments, a couple of things stand out.
    – no point blaming any one gender, it is clear that both genders count amongst the lists of victims and abusers;
    – a crime is a crime….dowry and rape. When one figures out the path better off after taking a worse one, we will still quibble over who is more wrong, regardless of the fact that a person’s life was at stake.
    – we are pretty badly (completely) conditioned and it will take a LOT to get us all deconditioned; and
    – how we meet the people we marry isn’t foolproof. Choice marriages also fail for similar reasons and until we get our young people the life skills to make better choices, this arranged marriage versus choice marriage debate is only a smokescreen, as useless as the stay at home versus working mom debate!

    It is apparent that people like to pair up for several reasons, personal and therefore unimpeacheable. I fail to see how ‘reining’ in our youth in the interests of ‘bharatiya sanskriti’ and then telling them to either run out and find a spouse who is ‘acceptable’ or arrange one and tell them: ‘now go sleep with a complete stranger’ is any base for any social fabric!

    Like

  39. Wow, Kudos to the Dad for doing the right thing. He admitted he was wrong in giving dowry, but the way he barged in there and stormed out with his daughter, is the stuff Movies are made of.
    What a Great Dad!! With a dad like that, girl you dont need a wimp of a person to call husband!

    Like

  40. Am so glad to hear that the dad did what he was expected to do, instead of asking her to adjust coz of the parents’ choice of man. It’s happened around. and hence mentioning it.

    She will take a while to get over it, but she will. God bless.

    Like

  41. They say – “In the country of the blind, the one eyed man is the king”!
    Such is the sorry state of our affairs that we applaud what every parent must be doing by default.

    But we have to applaud, because it takes strength to go against the tide and stand up for something that is right. We have to applaud because others need to realize that there is a choice and they dont have to do what they have been doing all along.

    Kudos to the father who realized that his daughter is more important than “honor” or society. I hope the daughter finds happiness again in whichever was she chooses.

    Like

  42. Indian Father, I really applaud you for what you have done for your daughter. I also appreciate your coming out to give a warning to other parents about how things could go wrong.

    We all crave for brownie points; whether it’s working late to impress your boss, giving presents to teachers for Christmas or showing your best behavior to the person you are attracted to. I don’t really blame you for giving dowry. You obviously had no clue how you were contributing to a social evil. You just knew an algorithm (that didn’t work) for making your daughter happy.

    I am glad that now you know how cruel patriarchy can be. I am sure you won’t offer dowry for your other daughter nor accept dowry for your son. Please publish this story in as many ways as possible to create awareness. And man against patriarchy always can make a huge impact on society.

    Like

  43. You know what, the practice of dowry bears an uncanny resemblance to the practice of mafia dons shaking down small business owners for “protection” money. The only difference is, small business owners in that situation know that the people extorting them don’t have their best interests at heart, while Indian parents somehow delude themselves that their exploiters are decent, upstanding people. I don’t fault the father who wrote the original e-mail, since he just did what 95% of other Indians do, but why can’t worldly, educated people like him see that handing their daughters over to people who have the same ethical standards as Don Corleone is the absolute worst thing they could do?

    Like

  44. Just wandering, are we waiting to be raped, beaten, humiliated, isolated, frightened and depressed enough … to be saved/rescued by our own family and then feel grateful for it?

    What if the husband was not a rapist but was a philanderer? What if all the other people in the family loved the woman BUT her husband? What would the father’s reaction be?
    I am assuming, the daughter would have been asked to comply and adjust some more. I may be wrong.

    Yet I still wander, why is mental abuse so undermined in our society? Why does a husband have to be this hateful character/a demon for the wife to want a divorce? He may just be a normal person, but not be compatible…or be controlling/manipulative/addicted to porn and it just may be that the woman is unwilling to waste her precious time trying to work out a hopeless marriage, living with someone she doesn’t feel comfortable living with?

    Why can’t people be in normal circumstances and still talk to parents about wanting to walk out of a marriage?

    Bringing back your own daughter home, whom you have found to be in deplorable conditions…is an endearing act, but nothing unusual. I feel for the father who had to witness this terrible incident. And I want to believe that there are many many many more fathers who would do the same…even if we constantly hear otherwise.

    Like

  45. I wish we had more parents who thought along the same lines as you, Indian Father. I commend you for supporting your daughter and taking the much needed step of bringing her home from those traumatic environs. I hope you are able to ensure the strictest punishment for that wretch of a man and his family! Thank you for sharing your story with us..it sort of underlines the true hypocritical-side of our society!
    Heres wishing your daughter all the luck for a bright and happy future! With a father like you beside her I am sure she will be happy and raring to make a worthy life of her own soon🙂

    Like

  46. @fredjeev

    I think everyone here agrees that cutting the umbilical cord is a part of the healthy evolution of a parent – child relationship. Would that help in dealing with abuse in a better way? I dont know and I hope I never have to find out.

    But, no matter how long ago I cut the cord, if I see my child in mortal danger, or in a situation I perceive as abuse, I will not just walk away. I will talk to my child. And if my child wants to escape the situation, I will help. If my child does not want to talk to me then I would atleast make sure a councellor is brought in. I have cut my umbilical cord, not ended my relationship with my child.

    No matter what the age, I will always have a “are you happy” conversation with my child. I know that their source of happiness may not be the same as mine, but if they are unhappy and want my help, I will be there.

    Like

  47. No one should adjust to abuse. A father does not need to confirm his daughter’s story with her in laws. We need more fathers like Indian Father who brought back his daughter from the hell hole as soon as he smelled a rat.

    Like

  48. Dear Indian Father,

    Hats off to you.
    Sumana above gives excellent advice.

    You have taken a step that seems very tough right now. You might think what next. I have seen a similar situation at very close quarters and hence say this – it will all turn out fine.

    Like

  49. Thanks for sharing this !

    I really wish all mothers and fathers in India could understand and support their daughters the same way.. unlike the ones who think that once their daughter is married, they get rid of the burden and all their responsibilities are over forever..

    Secondly, one can adjust with a few problems, one can make some compromises, but one cannot and must not stand crime ! Dowry, marital rape and domestic violence are all crimes and nothing can justify them, no matter what !

    Wish all people rebel against these crimes, and support women suffering from these.. I can’t believe some people still think that, ” a woman must always live with her husband, even if she is not able to survive in the pathetic, lifeless atmosphere, suffering everyday..” How can people value society more than their own children?

    I really really wish all fathers could be like you, sir.. May God bless you and your family🙂

    Like

  50. I am glad that something like was shared. It is high time that parents stop asking their daughters ‘to adjust’. My father too helped me move out of the hell, my marital home. I can quite relate to the trauma of the father and his daughter. All the very best to them!

    Like

  51. Pingback: Daughter in law locked in cowshed, raped by spouse, neighbours and others. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  52. Sir,
    I completely get your pain. Our so called Indian
    culture society and false sense of pride only makes victims of females. All arranged marrages are not 100% gr8 not all love marriages are failures and vice versa! Whoever wrote the article to which u gave the reply is wearing blinders like a horse and cant see the world around him. I wish all dads would b understanding like u. 1000s of women wud b saved!!

    Like

  53. Pingback: “Wives..well they are awesome! They will cross heavens to make you and the family’s lives happy.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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  58. Pingback: An email from an Indian father: I want to place on record my own story as a warning to anyone… | Impressions

  59. I saw this article reblogged on tvraj’s site. Thank you for posting this– it calls out domestic violence for what it is. This man is a great father and other men should follow his example by recognizing the warning signs that their daughter is being abused and helping her escape from that life of slavery.

    Like

  60. Pingback: “Very early on, protecting and ensuring safety of women pretty much determined survival of our species as a whole” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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  66. You really did excellent work for your daughters happiness. And protect her future to becoming worse.
    you are a golden father who thinks for his child happiness.
    l thanks to your efforts to encourage.
    Mainly in Indian society there is a blind faith in arranged marriage.
    No parents happily allow their son or daughter to do love marriage. They only thinks caste must be same and nothing else.
    The change must be come in our society to make it better and a more happy future of the generation.

    Like

  67. Pingback: ‘She believes that her husband has got into job troubles since marrying her (he tells her this) and that she has been unlucky for their entire family.’ | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  68. Dear Indian Father,

    What your daughter suffered is so common that we may find many cases in our own families suffering through various degrees of similar behaviour. I commend your courage and hope that daughters do not continue to suffer in silence and wait to be rescued. I hope that the next victim has the courage to tell her family –
    that she will not get married because she should get married if she senses any trouble
    that she will not allow dowry/ gifts to be given in the hope that the ILs will treat her well
    that she will not accept any derogatory treatment, violence or abuse of any kind
    that she will not worry about her parent’s so-called honour over her own
    that she will know when standing up at whatever cost
    that she will know that life after this horrible marriage will be better
    that when she has lived her life, she will feel proud of her decision not to suffer in silence

    You are a victim of the unfair and terrible societal systems we so dearly follow. Social conditioning and societal expectations have resulted in even parents thinking of themselves before their children. I am glad you did break the chain and acted on your most natural instinct. And I hope that you will reverse the system when your son gets married.

    We get one life and we all have the right to live it happily.

    Cheers
    NC

    Like

  69. Pingback: The Changing Role of Dads | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  70. You are the right role model for son. A parent who puts society’s remarks before his/her children, does not deserve to be a parent.

    Like

  71. These societal expectations and conservative mindset is probably why our country is going into ruins just to protect “culture and tradition”..which I find is effed up in many cases. There’s nothing but blaming and criticizing others, and there’s nothing but misery and depression, especially for the women and girls., Except for the metros, people do not know how to be open, cannot be pursue their own interests and just follow the society says to avoid ridicule and blame. There’s no concept of respect each individual and their unique differences. It’s always a posing a show that you are proper Indian, regardless how miserable you are. Patriarchy is destroying relationships within families, look at Kerala for example where suicide is rising because women and youth are imprisoned and cannot do anything but to confine traditional roles. At least in some parts some women are standing up and are willing to end the shit they have deal with even though it ends in divorce. They cannot voice out for help if they are being mistreated..etc. Isn’t India supposed to show the example of the goodness of family and such, and show dignity and respect? By seeing this, it shows that everything India appears to show is fake. How ridiculous !! I have gone from loving India to now having a strong disdain for it..I like the beauty and atmosphere but cannot help but HATE conservative crass fundamentalists who need to shove down their beliefs down others throats. I have no issues if a person chooses to be conservative, but it’s a problem they show utter disrespect for everyone else with different beliefs.

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