“Women are forced by in-laws to get share in her parents property. This creates a divide between brothers and sisters.”

Sharing a comment I disagree with.

Our legal system is actually full of contradictions. Now just take a look at senior citizen law. The parents can demand maintenance from sons as they are their legal heirs but it is not guaranteed that sons will get the property as legal heirs. Daughters are eligible for share in fathers property but are not bound to give maintenance to parents. This creates a divide between brothers and sisters. Our social ethics are breaking due to the law. Such laws encourage greed. Women are forced by in-laws to get share in her parents property. Is money everything. We must not encourage this further and enforce a social system where everyone should be afraid of social stigma if his or her behavior is against the social values. Just think. –

And here’s why I disagree with this comment.

IHM: Elderly parents can demand maintenance from all their children, sons and daughters, and for sometime now, mostly, both sons and daughters are the parents’ legal heirs.

While parents are legally expected to provide for the children till the age of eighteen, nobody is guaranteed their parents’ property. If the parents have earned their property they have the legal right to decide what they do with it, save it for their sons or daughters, give it to charity or spend it on traveling or medical bills.

NS: Daughters are eligible for share in fathers property but are not bound to give maintenance to parents.

IHM: Legally, the daughters have the same rights and responsibilities as the sons.

NS: This creates a divide between brothers and sisters.

IHM: Such divides are caused by a sense of entitlement (to everything that is owned by the parents) that some brothers (male heirs) may have; and also by the concept of Budhape Ka Sahara (or Shravan Kumar or providers of elder care).

The idea that lineage, name and wealth must be passed on via a male heir  [Link] is why girl-children are unwanted, aborted, neglected, abandoned and expected to Get Married and Stay Married. Also why crimes against the paraya dhan are not taken seriously. [Link]

And how are divides between brothers and sisters worse than divides between brothers and brothers? Sisters are as human and as capable of being greedy, capable, self reliant, caring or irresponsible as brothers, they deserve the same responsibilities and rights.

NS: Our social ethics are breaking due to the law. Such laws encourage greed.

IHM: Such laws mean women do not have to be ‘greedy’ for or  depend on their husbands’ inheritance.

Such laws make it easier for women to stay unmarried or separate or divorce.

NS: Women are forced by in-laws to get share in her parents property.

If sisters and brothers inherit equally, it will become easier for Indian in laws to understand and accept that what women (or men) inherit is not dowry and it does not belong to the in laws.

NS: Is money everything.

IHM: Greed, denial of inheritance to daughters, financial dependence of women on male family members and dowry are directly related to women being forced to ‘save’ abusive marriages, because traditionally the parental home served as a shelter or a roof over their heads, and it belonged to male children. Sisters (widowed, unmarried, separated or divorced) who lived in the parents’ home were seen as burdens on their brothers.

NS: We must not encourage this further and enforce a social system where everyone should be afraid of social stigma if his or her behavior is against the social values. Just think.

IHM: Fear of social stigma silences abuse victims and works in favor of those who are made powerful by Patriarchy.

Fear of clearly laid out laws, laws that can be questioned, challenged and modified; and laws that do not deny human rights to any citizen, no matter what their age or gender; is bringing a slow social awareness that we have not seen before in Indian history.

For the first time in Indian history women are being seen as people who have feelings and rights. For the first time killing of daughters [Link], sex selection,  demanding of dowry, honor killing, domestic violence, child sexual abuse, sexual harassment of women etc are being acknowledged as crimes and human rights abuses.

Controlling crimes against women will become easier if women are not seen as ‘paraya dhan’ or liabilities, which is only possible if they are seen as equal family members not future-daughters-in-law; and that will only happen when parents-of-Indian-daughters stop seeing Indian-girl-children as elder-care-providers for their future husbands’ parents.

If Indian parents,

1. Do not deny inheritance to daughters only because they are not male heirs,

2. And if they stop saving for dowry to be given to the parents of Indian Budhape ka Sahara,

3. And if instead they support their daughters in becoming self reliant, and in choosing who and when they date, marry, divorce, live with, or have children with.

4. And if they also save for their own retirement – then they won’t consider sex selection in desperation for a Budhape Ka Sahara to bring home dowry and elder care giver.

5. Just think, if all children were acknowledged as equally likely/unlikely to provide elder care; and if parents did not have to worry about saving for inheritance for male children and dowry for girl children’s in laws, then they would be able to focus on saving for their old age.

Related Posts:

So what could make even the average, selfish, money-minded Indian family welcome baby girls?

A daughter in law’s legal rights in her in law’s house are the same as her husband’s rights. Whatever is his, is hers.

Do you think this video can make Indian parents want to have daughters?

Another email. When an Indian daughter-in-law has no brothers.

If u r doing good to ur parents-in-law then ur own parents r being treated good by ur brother’s wife.. Its a ‘Chain’.

An email: My principal fear is my wife is not going to be able to love my parents as much as I do.

Should couples’ assets be treated as joint property?

Can dowry ensure happiness and security for a girl?

Can Dowry be compared to Inheritance?

Haryana panchayat cuts off married girls from parents’ property

36 thoughts on ““Women are forced by in-laws to get share in her parents property. This creates a divide between brothers and sisters.”

  1. “NS: Our social ethics are breaking due to the law. Such laws encourage greed.”

    A man expecting to inherit everything is not greedy, but a woman seeking her fair share of the property is? Classic double standard.

    I wonder how NS would feel if both children, boys and girls, were expected to give maintenance to the parents. Why does he (or she?) feel that women shouldn’t seek their share of the property as opposed to women paying maintenance (just like the brothers) and getting equal inheritance rights.

    As for “NS: Is money everything.”

    No. But it is very necessary for day to day living standards, especially when you live in a country that doesn’t have social services like universal health care etc, and a country where land prices are insanely expensive (exponentially more expensive than even most of the ‘developed’ world), electricity prices are insanely expensive, and fuel prices are insanely expensive. I can definitely see why land/property inheritance creates so much drama over here. Even someone earning a ‘good salary’ can’t really afford to buy a nice house without selling some kind of inherited property first.

    I’ve never had an electricity bill (with central heating/ air conditioning/ temperature control/ washer and dryer unit/ and electric stove) over $100 CAD in Canada. My electricity bill last month in Gurgaon was over $300 CAD. The whole purchasing power parity is a joke.

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    • “I’ve never had an electricity bill (with central heating/ air conditioning/ temperature control/ washer and dryer unit/ and electric stove) over $100 CAD in Canada. My electricity bill last month in Gurgaon was over $300 CAD.”

      Off topic, but I do not understand how this can happen, unless you are being ripped off somehow. My monthly electricity bill in Bangalore is ~600 to 800 INR. Even if you have a large household and use lots of electricity on air-conditioning etc, I don’t see how you can reach 300 CAD which is nearly 15,000 INR!

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        • Exactly. We get mostly ‘prepaid/ private electricity’ here because the local government is extremely incompetent at providing these services. I don’t even live in a house, I live in a three bedroom/three bathroom apartment. We use the washing machine daily, but have no dryer. We do use the air conditioners pretty much all day–it’s impossible to live here without air conditioning in may/June/July at the very least.

          I don’t really mind that the bills are so high, I just tend to find it ridiculous when people bring up ppp–saying that living expenses in India are so much lower.

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        • Wow, it appears that Gurgaon itself is the rip off! And I have never heard of private and prepaid electricity providers, I’ll have to read up more about them.

          But back on the topic of the post, IHM, I agree with you completely!

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      • I live in hyderabad and my EB bill standard touches 6K during summer due to use of AC, without which it is impossible to stay at my house(it is the top floor). Purchasing power parity is indeed a joke. I find it ridiculous that ppl say cost of living in India is oh so less

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    • Woah, I am shocked at how high the electricity bills have become. India seems to be getting more and more unaffordable as time passes on. I imagine the pay I will get and with these kind of bills, I would be dead meat

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      • It is insanely expensive–I can definitely understand why people would be fighting over property rights. Real estate prices rival Manhattan and the posh areas of London without [remotely without] the same quality.

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        • True tat Kay- off topic but, without the same quality or infrastructure(rather complete lack of it), the prices are so high. And despite paying such high bills for electricity, power cuts are so frequent and one needs to depend on inverter all the time.

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  2. Girls are entitles to equal rights to eduaction and work and then property and families need to recognise not only their daughters’ rights but those of their daughter-in-laws who must of need be care and support their parents.
    Boys have no natural entitlement to all resources of the family and parents must try not to be financially dependent on their kids whatever the gender and then decide independently if all or one or some of their kids would inherit their wealth.

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  3. In one popular Kannada movie there is this dialog – that if the protagonist becomes the President, he’ll pass a law that no children will inherit their parent’s money.

    I believe in it – no inheritance, no problem🙂

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    • Except, of course, when the children need that inheritance, and moreover someone who will honestly use it for their well-being after the parents have passed away. For example, when children who might suffer from a mental or physical handicap which leaves them unable to fend for themselves. (Generalizations are dangerous.!)

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    • This is what is wrong with how leftists see the world: this is why the Soviet Union collapsed and why Greece is a disaster. The left doesn’t give a damn about economic reality.

      The urge to leave money behind for children is a strong human emotion that drives economic growth. Basically, inheritance, is the only way in which people can continue to exercise some form of “property rights” after death. A society that cannot guarantee property rights will never see wealth creation.

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    • What about the property which parents have not earned but themselves inherited from ancestors? Do children have no right on that too?

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      • Indian men (as shown in the video shared above) have the right to disinherit their daughters from ancestral property, it seems. I believe this is no longer valid, at least in Haryana, and that was shown as one of the reasons why families in Haryana do not want to have girl children – because the Paraya Dhans can now claim equal rights on their ancestral property. Do watch the video.

        Let me find the link to the post about girl children being selectively killed to avoid having to share the property with them.

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    • Well, the point I was trying to make was – children, once grown up, should focus on earning money themselves and not bank on inheritance, and parents, after taking care of their responsibilities, should focus on spending money on themselves and not saving for their children!
      The point the movie was trying to make was – corruption that is prevalent in the Government offices could only be reduced by taking such a drastic(?) step.

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      • Yes, I got that, Sushma🙂 I chipped in with my point about children who’d need some inheritance to help ’em out, thinking that others might hop in with their opinions / experience from this perspective. I was curious because I know at least a couple of families with children in such situations and wonder how they would manage to provide for their kids after the parents are gone.

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      • BTW, anyone read Warren Buffet’s take on this? Wikipedia quotes this: [His children will not inherit a significant proportion of his wealth. This is consistent with statements he has made in the past indicating his opposition to the transfer of great fortunes from one generation to the next.[116] Buffett once commented, “I want to give my kids just enough so that they would feel that they could do anything, but not so much that they would feel like doing nothing”.]

        And then there’s this too: [ http://www.businessinsider.com/warren-buffett-is-leaving-more-and-more-of-his-money-to-his-children-2013-5 ] But I do agree with the idea that each individual should be taught to be self-reliant, and value whatever wealth that comes their way through inheritance.

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  4. It is only sensible for parents to divide their property equally between daughters and sons… It makes more sense for parents to raise a strong willed independent girl.. so that she cannot be forced by anyone to demand more than her equal share.

    On a different note, Social progress should stop this practise of wealth passing down to generations. Let each person be independent and live on what he makes or earns. When this passing down wealth stops, it will make our society more balanced.. for both men and women

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  5. When we first plant o become parents , we save, plan , plot to have enough money to raise our children til lthey are independent nd self sufficient , like wise we should plot and plan to the time when we are retired.
    and plot and plan to what we want to do with our left over assets after we have spent them and gone. and if giving it to children, does it matter if its a boy or girl, arn’t they all our children???

    If parents are idiotic enough not to plan for post retirement then kids have no choice but to help them i suppose. again it should be ALL kids .
    If parents were to unfortunately fall ill and require care, and if they didnt plan for sucha future ( we all know we will fall sick one day ) then all kids should help. is there any other choice?

    having said that. my grandmother before she died decided to split her assets equally among all grand kids. she lived separately and was hugely enjoyinglife. and decided that since her kids were all old that grandkids should benefit from her money🙂 she felt the young needed the money an so could use it to do something enterprising !!!
    By that time i had walked out and decided to marry whom i pleased, and my parents and a brother were not in favor of me getting anything from grandma. she ofcourse thought my dad was an idiot and told him to mind his money and business .
    i realized she was such a fair and wonderful person, who held such strong views one equality and didnt have ot open her mouth once to show it .

    i couldnt get myself to usethe money. so we opened a trust in an orphanagae in her name and spend it on those kids. boys and girls and just kept her bangle with me as a memory. i’m sure she’s appalled at todays india…

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  6. I don’t understand where ‘ women’s in-laws’ come into the picture. we have no sense of personal boundaries at all …
    if parents need help , all the kids pitch in to their ability and the parents can decide what to do with their assets. if they don’t decide anything then split it equally .
    If kids have enough to sustain themselves then take it all give it to charity – do your bit for the helpless and move on.

    more than siblings fighting and writing laws as to whom should inherit what, i’d say get all the folks and train them on how to be self sufficient after retirement. no need for ‘ budape ka sahara’ and no need for discrimination. seriously we need to train parents before they start having kids.

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  7. I almost thought he was trolling (I assume it’s a man).

    Fully agree with IHM.

    “The parents can demand maintenance from sons as they are their legal heirs”
    What about parents that don’t have sons? Does Indian law really say that only boys are heirs and girls are chattel? As IHM pointed out, it doesn’t. Both are legally the same. It is misguided people like NS who insist on believing and propagating this difference.

    “Is money everything.”
    Here is a man ranting about women getting an equal share in inheritance and then he says ‘is money everything’. Well, if it isn’t then why so much angst over equally sharing the inheritance? Talk about irony!

    “and enforce a social system where everyone should be afraid of social stigma if his or her behavior is against the social values”
    This is why I almost think this person is trolling. We have this system already and it leads to honour killings and acid attacks. ‘Social values’ are often unfair, driven by greed (like not wanting to share inheritance) and should absolutely be questioned. Slavery, apartheid, dalit oppression, patriarchy etc were/are all ‘social values’.

    It’s fair to say that if make children and female children are to have equal inheritance then they should have equal responsibilities towards parents. It would be logical for a person with such views to say that men and women should both be considered ‘heirs’. Instead he says women shouldn’t get inheritance.

    I ventured in a ‘male rights’ blog recently where a commenter was saying that dowry is much better than alimony. Apparently ‘dowry helps settle homes and alimony breaks them so we should keep dowry and give up alimony’. Sure, between being burnt alive if you don’t bring enough and having no way out, ‘settling’ down in a perverse sense of the word would be your only choice.

    I mean.. do people not hear themselves saying this stuff?

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  8. Totally agree with your points IHM…
    Comments like “is money everything?” serve no purpose in a logical discussion other than put sentimental value to the comment.. If money was NOT everything (or at least an important thing) then women would have got equal share ages ago.
    And fear of social stigma?!! Am I reading this correctly..this person wants ‘fear of social stigma’ as a sustainable way of maintaining decorum in a society?!!! Enough harm has been done and is still done in the fear of social stigma.. I shudder to think of the consequences if this is made a norm.

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  9. Is “maintenance” for parents actually legally required. Could parents actually take their children to court for financial support in India.

    That just seems ridiculous to me. Im a woman and i have never given my parents a portion of my earnings and never will. Thats my money that i earned. I do like to give extravagant gifts for special occasions and if they were ever strapped for cash I would definetly help them out. But I remember a email where a mother in-law was upset because her daughter in-law wanted to give her parents 20% of her income. I think that people in india are too obsessed with their parents, what happened to forsaking all others why do people even get married. It seems like every email is a fight over taking care of parents.

    Anyways, my parents saved for retirement and paid into CPP their whole lives. Me and my brother dont give them money. At the same time we are expected to be independent and make our own way. In their will everything is split 50/50 between me and my brother. We are both extremly grateful for this; inheritance is a gift not a right.

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    • Legally Indian parents have a right to demand elder care and support from their sons and daughters. I think this law was made because we have no other elder care support system. Let me find the link, I have shared related links on this earlier.
      //The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Bill, 2007 seeks to make it a legal obligation for children and heirs to provide maintenance to senior citizens. It also permits state governments to establish old age homes in every district. //

      It makes it very clear: http://socialjustice.nic.in/oldageact.php?pageid=2

      //In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires –

      “children” includes son, daughter, grandson and grand-daughter but does not include a minor

      Maintenance of Parents and Senior Citizens

      A senior citizen including parent who is unable to maintain himself from his own earning or property owned by him, shall be entitled to make an application under section 5 in case of –
      parent or grand-parent, against one or more of his children not being a minor
      a childless senior citizen, against such of his relative referred to in clause (g) of section 2
      The obligation of the children or relative, as the case may be, to maintain a senior citizen extends to the needs of such citizen so that senior citizen may lead a normal life.
      The obligation of the children to maintain his or her parent extends to the needs of such parent either father or mother or both, as the case may be, so that such parent may lead a normal life.
      Any person being a relative of a senior citizen and having sufficient means shall maintain such senior citizen provided he is in possession of the property of such senior citizen or he would inherit the property of such senior citizen:

      Provided that where more than one relatives are entitled to inherit the property of a senior citizen, the maintenance shall be payable by such relative in the proportion in which they would inherit his property.//

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  10. How can sex-selection be a crime or an act of human rights violation??? And how does it relate to being a crime against women? Please explain.

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    • Sex selection directly affects women, women and girl children who do survive are treated worse, crimes against women are not taken seriously, because their only value is seen in providing male heirs.

      It makes eliminating a girl child seem like an option. Sex selection after birth has been a part of Indian culture, in mythology, folk lore and history, baby girls, girl children, women and older women were killed or almost killed (abandoned, neglected, not provided nutrition, over worked, married off where they were miserable etc) in most parts of India. Some Indians count only their male children. When we make eliminating someone an option, then the survivors rights are compromised, because they are expected to be glad they are alive, and ofcourse if they do get killed for honor, shame, dowry, unrequited love or sexual assaults, it is taken less seriously than an Indian male heir dying. Unbelievable? Take a look, https://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/2013/02/06/keeping-her-maiden-name-can-save-an-indian-womans-life/

      In Haryana baby girls are wrapped in wet blankets and left out in the open (during winters, with temperatures like 2 degrees) and when they catch pneumonia, they are taken to hospital (to indicate that the parents did try to prevent death) but once home no medicine is given and they are allowed to die a natural death. Other methods are also used to eliminate them, like neglect and malnutrition etc. This is done to prevent having to share wealth as dowry or as inheritance (which so far as I am aware is a girl-child’s legal right in Haryana). Sex selection does the same thing, it creates an environment where girl babies are seen as dispensable, brides can be bought and sold (and then told, “Don’t demand rights, we bought you for INR 30,000/- and we can buy and sell more like you if we want.”)

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  11. This is kind of true in my case. My sister-in-law is constantly gifted from her parents, brother(my husband), she thinks it is her right, and parents/bro think it is their duty. They also think it is not her responsibility to do anything in return, she is a ‘daughter’.
    This includes share in property, jewelry etc. Son on the other hand is only to provide, take care of his parents, and make sure his sister is well provided for. That is his ‘duty’ as a son

    It has created rift in my mind because I believe that both son and daughter have equal responsiblity towards their parents and equal rights towards the property of parents. It should be made mandatory legally, only then son-in-laws will change too.

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    • quite true.
      while many helpless women are being made victims in cases of dowry harassment, there are some women who feel they are entitled to take as much as they can from their parents but its her brother’s responsibility to look after them.talk about double standards.
      its true that women should have equal rights.but with right comes responsibility.if you are sticking to the age old norm that its the duty of the son to take care of parents..then legally u may be a heir but morally you are denouncing your rights for your parents money and their property too.

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  12. Pingback: Should women be given a share in residential property of the husband, including inherited and inheritable property? | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  13. Pingback: Instead of eyeing their husbands’ ancestral property, why don’t Indian daughters in law make their own homes? | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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  15. I fully agree and emphasize on the need to amend the l the law on daughters right on fathers property because it creates troubles and enmity between brothers and sisters. The law should be fair for both. The present scenario in all the Indian houses due to this false law is that the daughters are leaving their husbands and staying forcibly in fathers house and troubling their brothers and this creates a rift between sons and mother and father. The unnessary intervention of daughters in brothers marital life has increased to large extent and there are breakups and family life is disturbed. Often there is quarrel between mother and son due to daughters. Instead the married daughters should be given more rights in the husbands property including husbands ancestral inherited property since marriage is done to spend your life with husband with utmost care and love. And when u marry a girl there is big responsibility and the in-laws agree that they cannot cheat a girl who they brought in their home after convincing her that she will be happy and satisfied and all the luxuries in the house including the property they inherited in future belongs to her as promised before marriage to show that the son is rich. Also daughters are married with dowry and ornaments. And then the family will survive or else there is huge chaos in the society.

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  16. This law discourage marriage and incourages divorce and quarrels between brothers and sisters. I agree with the comment that sisters are become greedy and their husband encourage them to interfior in the affairs of brothers family life and create tensions between mother ,father and son. Instead daughters should be given more rights in the husbands property including the husbands ancestral and inherited property because marriage is not a joke. It is a responsibility. After marriage daughters should not be given any right in fathers property because she is already given dowry and ornaments and marriage is not done to return back. Only daughters without brothers should be given right to fathers property. Extreme cases can b understood. Like sudden death of the husband, physical tortures, etc for which the financial assistance can b provided by her parents and also shelter if required. But most and full of the compensations should by done by in laws which can b claimed legally including the inherited property because before marriage they show that their son is rich and will treat daughter in law like princess. But troubling the parents and brothers and interfioring in the brother affairs can prove disastrous and the family fabric is disturbed.

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