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.