Sharing an email. For all those who think women, as adults, should be able to fight back and walk out and live lives of their choices – please give some practical, workable suggestions here.
How do young victims survive in families where everything that concerns women’s happiness (wishes, freedoms, lives, dreams, self reliance and rights) is not taken seriously?
What do you think would her FIL, father and husband say if we were to question their control over her life?
What are the chances that she would give up?
What could help keep her going?
Can this be legally challenged? Is this cruelty (legally)?
In a culture that sees control as tradition, would these family members be seen as wrong?
Do we need a law against Semi Forced Marriages? And another law against women being denied education till the age of 21?
What kind of family values permit families that survive because some of the members see no way to get out? Why do some of us feel that keeping spouse/family members in dependence earns their respect :(
Here’s the email:
I am all alone. Nobody understands me. I want to study. My FIL says, today she is talking about studying, tomorrow she will ask to work. I will not give permission. My husband says he can’t go against his family, he cannot revolt. My father says study but not without your FIL’s permission. Nobody supports me. I have become totally alone/isolated. Somebody understand me. I want to be somebody. I want to be happy. Somebody listen to me. Atleast you listen. I don’t like it in my marital home. I don’t like to wear sari… I want to wear suit. FIL says he has no problem but what would the people in the samaj/society say. Husband also does not support. I have to follow (nibhana) so many rites and customs which have no meaning. Husband says if you start earning I will be ashamed of my being a man. … and when his OPD is not enough and pay for the rent of the clinic from my savings, then he is not ashamed. I have been saving from my childhood. When my mood is good my husband loves me very much, but when my mood is not good, then instead of pacifying/consoling me he starts getting angry with me. I have to forget my own unhappiness and pacify him. Then he tells me when you cry then I do not like it, you should always smile… Arre bhai, when I am not happy then how can I force myself to smile? … I will cry no? I am not able to understand anything. I think I will find peace if I die. But I don’t want to die, I want to live happily. What should I do, I don’t understand. Please talk to me. Somebody understand me.
UPDATED TO ADD:
In response to my email:
I am 24. I am from a very small town in Rajasthan. My marital home is in a small village. I have done BA and M Sc in Computer Science. In a small village there is no career with a Computer Science…. that’s why I want to do a B Ed…. I want to go in teaching line.
I can understand English, but just not comfortable in writing or speaking in English.
My husband is not a bad person… but he has been raised in a village so he is not so broad minded… he is afraid of he society…. so fare as I have understood him… I feel he is afraid of bing labelled a JKG. But he can do anything to be labelled a SHRAVAN KUMAR.
You will be surprised to know that the dream of doing the B Ed was shown to me by my husband… I am at my parents’ home at the moment… Just two days ago I have filled the form for PTET… before filling the form I had spoken to my husband… then he had said no problem, you fill the form… then he spoke to my FIL about this and he blew up… he started saying that, “This is not possible… today she is talking about studying, tomorrow will talk about working… if I wanted to bring a job wali bahu then there was the proposal (rishta) of Bank Manager… I might as well have finalised that rishta for you.”
Then my husband called me and said, “Where was the hurry to fill the form? Now Papa is saying no… atleast you should have asked him once. …now I don’t know, I can’t do anything in this matter… ”
When I went home and told my parents, then they started saying, “When he (FIL) is saying no then this is not possible… not possible without his permission…” After that my dad started convincing me that I should not be stubborn … he started giving me examples of other women …my sisters in law (brothers’ wives’) examples…. take a look at her, she is so educated but still manages house hold… ..blah blah blah…
I don’t understand why are people so afraid of the society… I had learnt in school that samaaj (society) is a support system… but my samaaj has made living difficult for me…
I don’t want to lose my husband… because he is good at heart… his only weakness is he does not have a mind of his own …he doesn’t have any views of his own, just the FIL’s opinions are his opinion. … what should I do, I am in a dilemma….
* * *
Here’s the original email in Hindi:
Me akeli hu. Mujhe koi nahi samajhta. Me padhna chahti hu. Mere FIL kahte h ye aaj padhayi krne ka bol rahi h…kal job karne ka bolegi..me to izazat nahi doonga. Pati bolte h ghar walo k khilaf nahi ja sakta…bagaawat nahi kar sakta. Papa bolte h padho lekin FIL ki permission k bina nahi. Koi mujhe support nahi karta h. Me bilkul akeli ho gayi hu. Koi to mujhe samjho . Me kuch banana chahti hu. Me khush rahna chahti hu. Koi to meri baat suno. Aap to suno. Mujhe sasural me kuch bhi accha nahi lagta. Mujhe saari pahanana accha nahi lagta…me suit pahana chahti hu FIL kahte h mujhe dikkat nahi h samaz k log kya kahenge. Pati bhi support nahi karte. Mujhe itne ulte seedhe riti riwaz nibhane padte h zinka koi matalab bhi nahi hota h. Pati ese to bolte h ki agar tum kamane jaogi to mere mard hone p sharm aayegi mujhe…aur jab kabhi inki OPD kam hoti h to clinic ka kiraya me apni savings me se deti hu tab inko sharm nahi aati. Me to bachapan se saving karti aayi hu. Jab mera mood accha hota h tab to pati mujhe bahut pyar karte h. Lekin jab mera mood kharab hota h to mujhe khush karne ki zagah ulta khud gussa karne lag jaate h…mujhe khud hi apna dhukh bhool k unko manana padta h…phir mujhe kahte h k tum roti ho to mujhe accha nahi lagta h …tum hamesha hasti raha karo… Are bhai me khush hu hi nahi to zabardasti kaise hass sakti hu…rona to mujhe aayega hi na. Mujhe kuch samajh nahi aa raha h. Sochti hu mar jati hu to shaanti mil jayegi. Per me marna nahi chahti me khushi khushi jeena chahti hu. Me kya karoo mujhe samajh nahi aa raha h. Plz mujhse baat karo na. Koi to mujhe samajho na.
UPDATED TO ADD THE SECOND PART:
Me 24 saal ki hu.
Me rajasthan k bahut chote se shahar se hu.
Mera sasural ek chote se village me h.
Mene B.A. Kiya h…aur computer sciense me M.Sc. kiya h…chote village me computer sciense me koi career nahi h….isliye me B.ed. karna chahti hu…teaching line me jaana chahti hu.
I can understand english but just not comfertable in writing or speaking in english.
Mere pati bure insaan nahi h..lekin gaon m pale bade h isliye itne broad minded nahi h…wo samaz se bahut darte h..jahan tak me unhe samajh payi hu..mujhe lagta h k unhe dar h k kahi unhe JKG ka khitab nahi mil jaye…ye unki nazar me bahut hi sharm ki baat hogi…lekin wo SHRAVAN KUMAR ka khitab paane k liye kuch bhi kar sakte h.
Aap ko ye jaan k aashcharya hoga k B.ed. karne ka sapna bhi mujhe mere pati ne dikhaya…me abhi apne mayake me hu…abhi do din pahle mene PTET ka form bhara h…form bharne se pahle pati se baat bhi ki thi..tab vo bole k koi dikkat nahi h tum form bhar do…fir unhone mere FIL se is baare me baat ki to wo bhadak gaye…kahne lage k “ye to sambhav nahi h..aaj padayi ka bol rahi h..kal ko job k liye bolegi…agar mujhe job wali bahu hi laani thi to tumhare liye to bank manager ka rishta aaya tha..me wo hi kar leta”…uske baad pati ne mujhe phone karke kaha k “tumhe itni kya jaldi thi form bharne ki…abhi papa mana kar rahe h ..unse pooch to leti ek baar..ab mujhe nahi pata…me is maamle me kuch nahi kar sakta”.
Ghar jaake mene apne mummy papa ko bataya to vo kahne lage k “jab vo (FIL) mana kar rahe h to ye sambhav nahi..unki permission k bina to nahi ho sakta…”..uske baad se mere papa mujhe hi covince karne me lage huye h ki me apni zid chod du..mujhe doosro k example dete h …meri bhabhiyo k example dete h…use dekho itti padhi likhi hoke bhi ghar sambhalti h…blah blah blah…
Mujhe ye nahi samajh m aata k log samaz se itna kyu darte h…mene to school me seekha tha k samaz ek support system hota h…lekin mere samaz ne to mera jeena mushkil kar diya h…
Me mere pati ko khona nahi chahti …kyu ki vo dil k bahut acche h…bus kami yehi h k unki khud ki koi soch nahi h…unke khud k koi vichar nahi..bus jo FIL k vichar vahi unke vichar…kya karu badi duvidha me hu.