Please watch Dum Laga Ke Haisha – where a man is asked to Please adjust and save his marriage.

When a Dulhan hi dahej hai then men are asked to make their marriage work.

Please watch Dum Laga Ke Haisha.

The movie is a warm, gentle story about a traditional semi forced arranged marriage. A hard working but dependent, thoughtless and a little insecure Gappu (Ayushmann Khurrana), 25, is forced to marry an independent and confident 22 year old Sandhya Verma, who he does not want to marry.

I loved the shades of grey, or rather a drab but beautiful brown of simple practicality in all the characters. Nobody is really a bad guy, and the good guys are real people not superwomen.

And there is humour.

The movie raises, very subtly, some of the issues we discuss on this blog.

Like, the low divorce rate in India, specially when marriages have parental approval. The movie would have been impossible if there was no semi forced marriage and two sets of parents wanting it to work.

Like, how education self reliance confidence lets women choose to marry someone they like and to leave them if they so decide. [is that a spoiler? Find out for yourself!]

After watching countless movies about men falling in love with a woman’s eyes, cheeks and hair – it’s good to hear, in a casual remark – that varjish (exercise) to win love doesn’t make sense, because when we like someone then these things don’t matter.

It was also change to see a woman being assertive, and not being demonised for it, or for not bending backwards to ‘win the love’ of her pati parmeshwar.

It was not unexpected to see Sandhya’s mother warning her not to attempt ‘baraabari’ with her Pati parmeshwar. Baraabari translates to – daring to compare oneself with someone who is understood to be Superior – like a husband or family elders.

It was unexpected to see her ignore it – casually 🙂

Sandhya Verma does not change her name when she gets married to Gappu – Prem Prakash Tiwari. She is not superstitious, a sneeze indicates an allergy to her – not bad luck. Her first goal in life – also shown in the trailer, is not to Get Married and Stay Married. She expects her husband to treat her with respect.

And she makes it clear to her husband that she does not like being told what she can or can’t do. This alone makes me want to watch the movie again 🙂

Sandhya lives is in a society where domestic violence is viewed as normal – her mother and mother in law remember, and remind Sandhya of this. Obedience in children is expected and enforced with violence and insults.

What would have happened if Sandhya was not so confident? Where did her expectation of being treated with dignity come from? Can a woman marry and change an uninterested (in marrying her) man into a responsible, loving husband? [Read what could have happened]

In one scene, she has gone back to her parents’ home and finds her brother has shifted into what used to be her room. She throws out his stuff saying something like, “Four days I was gone, and you took over my room!” Nobody tells her the room (or the house or family, or parents…) ceased to be hers when she went to her ‘own’ home – her sasuraal.  Or that she is paraya dhan. Sandhya’s parents reminded me of Rani’s parents in Queen [Please watch Queen.] – her happiness was not of no consequence to them, no matter how limited their dreams for her happiness.

Dulahn hi dahej hai is a popular anti-dowry campaign slogan – displayed on public transport and scribbled on walls (mainly in UP I think) –  to create awareness. It translates to ‘Bride is Dowry’ – i.e. don’t ask for Dowry, be satisfied with the bride. But one could also view it as – Acquire a bride who can earn, she will then prove to be her own dowry – a life long supply of dowry.

Perhaps since the dulhan is dahej she is treated well by the family – more when they realise she was capable of walking out of the marriage. How does Prem feel about this?

The movie also looks (without any judgment?) at how Patriarchal societies treat men.

Prem Prakash Tiwari is humiliated for his lack of academic qualifications. One could compare the father-son relationship to the more discussed mother in law and daughter in law relationship.

Though there is typical advice for men (never for women) to not marry at all, men in the movie are seen talking about getting married. So, the movie is a change in a sexist society where men ‘joke’ about getting married by comparing it to being chained (etc), ‘shaadi ka laddu jo khaye wo pachtaye jo naa khaye wo bhi pachtaye’ (Translates to: Shaadi is such a laddu that men who eat it regret it and men who don’t eat it also regret it).

And in how many Indian movies have we seen men expressing any sensitive opinion about their relationships? We expect either indifference, or hatred, or a readiness to die for a beautiful woman.

Prem is advised by all – including his peers, to adjust, accept and to make this forced marriage work. And it’s not surprising – remember it’s a forced marriage arranged with parental approval.

Edited to add: Turns out I am not the only one who loved this movie 🙂

Related Posts:

Please watch Queen. Feels like our country is finally changing.

Question about Sexuality in Indian Arranged Marriages

What about girls who are not very academic? Must they be condemned to forced marriages?

Mardaani

When a daughter refuses to go back…

Can dowry ensure happiness and security for a girl?

Can dowry be compared to inheritance?

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

‘My parents will be ignored and ridiculed. No one will let them forget my so called shameful behaviour.’

“… It will be like throwing them to the wolves.”

Why do we need family (or a community or a society)? What is the purpose? What is the least that you expect from a Society or a Community or Family that you belong to? 

How much would you be willing to compromise on your expectations? Would you permit blackmail or threats in return of whatever the community provides for you? 

(An average Indian is raised to understand all about what the more powerful members in a society/community expect from it’s members)

Sharing an email from a young Indian woman.

Hi,

I read your blog and I was able to relate to a lot of articles. You see I am also going through the same issue of convincing my parents for intercaste marriage.  I am a *** and the guy I love is a ****, from a lower caste. Personally I don’t believe in all this but my family does. They are opposed to the entire idea of marrying a non *** and that too lower caste. I am in a big fix.

Ours is a 8 year relationship. I tried everything to convince them but to no avail. It’s been more than a year now that I disclosed about my wish to marry that guy. All my family members, cousins, extended family are trying to discourage from my decision. Cousins who are only in their early 30s and may be even younger are against intercaste marriage. Its either choose that guy or your family.

My dad has taken an oath he will never accept me nor let my mom accept me. And I have seen examples where he has broken ties with a certain relative over small issues. I fear he will stand true to his oath. **** are a conservative community. Such cases are seen as very humiliating for the parents who then stop socialising and going out.

If at all my parents accept me, my family will not allow them. They say they will cut ties with my parents as well, if they support me. At this juncture I stand to lose the safety and security of my family. My parents will be ignored and ridiculed constantly by not just community but family members as well cos my decision will affect them also somewhere.  No one will let them forget my so called shameful behaviour. I can’t bear to see them like that.

Now I am thinking of giving up for the sake of my parents but the thought of life without that guy and with someone else of my parents’ choice is equally frightening. Here I stand to lose all my dreams and hopes for a future and life of my choice and liking. The guy has always been supportive and understanding. It not his fault to suffer so much. Thoughts of leaving him is tearing me apart. There is a lot of emotional upheaval going on with me.

I am out of my depth here trying to decide what to do. Please advice.

Second email:

They say with time you will forget him and get on with your life. Their argument is a woman whose spouse dies that women also moves on and marries somewhere down the line. She doesn’t die with him or stay unhappy for life.

The new development since 2 days is that they have already started alienating my parents. they have cut all contact and gradually breaking ties with them. Just because their daughter is maligning their name as well.

My parents, who don’t support me, blame me for their suffering. At a time like this it’s like throwing them to the wolves.

Related Posts:

Love Marriages spoil the Family System of our Nation.

How illegal bans on Valentine’s day and birthday parties are connected with dowry deaths and sex selection.

“When the time comes to support them, they back out and and blame the children for misusing their trust and freedom.”

Why do we hear concerned voices about ‘misuse of freedom’ the moment we talk about Freedom?

‘We grew up in a very liberal family. We knew what our limits were and our focus was our education. We never betrayed our parents.’

An email: I am 18 year old male from a traditional (read:backward) Indian family.

What about girls who are not very academic? Must they be condemned to forced marriages?

A Guest Post by Wordssetmefreee

Are freedom and fundamental rights only reserved for those who are academic or enjoy professional success?

Aarti brings up a good point in her comment in response to this post – How can forced marriages be prevented when the person being married off is dependent on the people forcing them to be married off?

What about girls who are not very academic? Must they be condemned to forced marriages? Are freedom and fundamental rights only reserved for those who are academic or enjoy professional success?  This does not make logical sense – every human being must have the same rights – but let’s look at how this is possible in other societies and what the barriers are in India.

In Western societies (I live in the US and can speak for the US at least), a girl who is not very academic can still be independent, make her own decisions, and enjoy the same fundamental rights (as others who are academically or professionally successful) because she can,

–      Work in McDonalds or Target or Walmart along with numerous other girls like herself, without anyone making unwelcome advances, passing rude remarks, checking her out, or making her feel uncomfortable.

–       She can work as a nanny, babysitter, or tutor or a cook without fear of getting harassed by the kids’ dad or other male members of the family, who could get reported for harassment.

–       She can clean houses without relatives and family judging her to the point of disowning her for bringing shame on the family.

–       She can deliver pizza, drive a bus or work for a limo service, because the companies that hire her are focusing on the business not on her physical attributes and they want reliable drivers with a clean driving record, so again because she can be safe doing what numerous other women are doing.

–       She can work on an assembly line along with hundreds of other male and female workers.

–       She can work in multiple part time jobs.

–       She can work late hours along with numerous other people who work the night shift to make ends meet, and not have people think she’s ‘asking for trouble’.

–       She can go out by herself in public places, shop, spend her money, use the ATM, etc., without street harassment.

–       She can rent out her own space without landlords and landladies giving her a hard time.

(For all those who think I’m trying to say Western society is perfect and devoid of sexism or misogyny, I’m not.  I’m only talking about work options, public spaces, and non-academic work environments for women.)

Now, why can’t an Indian girl or woman who is not academic or professional do this? 

I keep asking myself this question – why is this email writer in the grip of her parents/relatives/family etc?  Why can’t this email writer have the same freedom and fundamental rights that Nina (my baby sitter when my kids were little) or Steph (the lady who cleans my friend’s house) or Amanda (the 20 something girl who works at the McDonalds near my house) has?

Trying to answer some of my own questions here.  Indian women don’t have the same options because –

–       No safe working environments in non-academic jobs

–       A sense of ‘shame’ (‘Such jobs are only for the poor.  Middle class women, if they are not professionals, must get married to be financially supported’)

–       Lack of acceptance among families who will actively oppose a daughter’s decision to take up a job in a factory or as a nanny or at a restaurant.

–       Lack of employers who will focus on the business and productivity and will  be interested in hiring productive workers regardless of gender etc.

–       Lack of supportive work environments (even if the employer is supportive, male co-workers can engage in sexual harassment and get away with it).

–       Lack of strict laws against sexual harassment or lack of proper judicial process in such cases.

–       General resentment when women enter unconventional fields for the first time (‘she’s taking away jobs from families’)

The above barriers are twofold. One set of barriers are created by our society and our way of thinking.  Another set are created by our government (judicial processing of harassment cases).  The latter are much harder to overcome.  We could at least start with the former?  We can start by changing our attitudes, perhaps?

In changing our attitudes, we must,

–       Overcome class differences and class feelings.  Respect anyone who has a job and is using an honest means to make a living.  Respect every job.  Respect every human being, no matter what their job is, because they are doing what they need to do to survive.

–       Be willing to be uncomfortable and not always expect a cushy life supported by parents (here in the US, kids who grow up in middle class families, when they finish high school, some of them go to college, others go on to jobs.  Both sets of kids struggle on their own initially to pay bills.  They may not have a lot of comforts until about 5 to 7 years later.  They expect to go through this struggle before they stand on their own two feet.)

–       Make public places and work environments safer for women.  Speak up!  If you are being harassed, yell at the person, shame him.  Then that person is somewhat unlikely to harass someone else in the future.  Nothing is gained by remaining silent.  ALSO – Stand up for other women being harassed.

Not sure what else we could be doing to make our country better for women.  Any further ideas and suggestions are welcome.

Related Posts:

This 27 year old woman could not be forcibly married off or silenced or shamed.

A comment: One more thing, had I been financially independent I would have never got married.

“You can listen to your parents and be unhappy or you can go against them and feel guilty – those are your choices?”

Please watch Queen. Feels like our country is finally changing.

At what point should educated, 21st century women who can think liberally for themselves, take responsibility for themselves…

“This man is openly threatening his daughter and is instigating others to burn alive their daughters.”

“I know my dad is short tempered but he was never this aggressive until my relatives started making him over think about my marriage.”

My father says study but not without your FIL’s permission.”

 

“Her husband has told her she can leave if she wishes, she does not have a steady income of her own.”

How can forced marriages be prevented when the person being married off is dependent on the people forcing them to be married off?

How can forced marriages be prevented when the person being married off is dependent on the people forcing them to be ‘married off’?

What can make it easier for those who are being forced to get married, to fight back these pressures? 

Sharing an email.

‘But I am scared that I would be forced to marry and by force. I mean it.’

Hi,

I just turned 26 last week. I worked for three years in an IT company. I have my GMAT scheduled in a week. I am being pestered for marriage at my home. The whole day I hear my mother cribbing about me to relatives. They have got this whole squad behind my ass. My only aim right now is to get admitted to a reputed college in us for MBA. Its got so ugly at home that there is no emotional support for my career. That’s fine I never needed that but there is so much of negativity at this time. I have postponed my exam twice already. This time I know I am going to give it and apply soon. But I am scared that I would be forced to marry and by force I mean it. I have no clue how far the emotional blackmail would go it has already crossed most of its limits. They keep saying stuff that they paid for my education brought me up etc etc but if I had known that the cost would be living my whole life their way even if you don’t like it I would have never grown up lol. Times like this … I really feel like giving up. But I had so many dreams and I try so hard to fill myself with positivity. I try too hard. I can’t find words to pen down that would explain how troubled n lonely I feel right now. I don’t even believe in arranged marriage.

Should I start meeting guys so that at least I land in US?

Related Posts:

“Only thing I can can think of now is to take a spoon of boiling oil and put on my cheeks. I will see then who marries a girl with a burnt face”

“I am betraying my parents, country and culture by not having an arranged marriage, people are talking, younger sisters not getting married.”

Why is abuse by parents taken so lightly by Indians?

Indian family values are good for Indian daughters?

Only when raising ideal daughters in law is not their goal, would Indian parents be able enjoy having and bringing up girl children.

Marriages are sold to Indian women in a glossy cover…?

This 27 year old woman could not be forcibly married off or silenced or shamed.

I see this news as a positive story.

The young woman had a job. She valued her self reliance and was in a position to refuse to give up a job that her brother (and I am sure many others) did not consider ‘suitable’ for her.

And she was in a position to refuse to submit to a semi-forced marriage.

Man-attacks-sisters-hair

One Question: Do you think we need a law that bans Forced or Semi Forced Marriages? And another that makes seeking opportunities for Self Reliance a legal  right…  but since that is a fundamental right, maybe a law that  legally forbids preventing other adults from seeking lawful opportunities to make themselves self reliant.

Because, what use are the rights to Equality or Freedom without the power to fight for them? And that power can only come from Self Reliance.

What if this brother had not done something as obviously unacceptable as this? What if he had threatened her with some other more popular (and acceptable) means of controlling – like social boycott or shaming?

Her hair will grow back and now that the case is public, it will be seen as a warning by other ‘brothers’ who harboured similar ideas.

Link shared by Abhishek Oza

Man ‘attacks’ sister’s hair for refusing to marry his pal

 

BANGALORE: A 27-year-old woman who refused to marry the man chosen by her younger brother was in for a shock: her sibling punished her by forcibly daubing hair-removing cream on her head and leaving her with a partially bald pate.

Santosh was also upset with his sister for working in a bar. Jayanti, who was earlier working as a bartender in Mumbai, had moved to Bangalore a few months ago to take care of her family. She alleged that Santosh never stuck to one job and hardly took care of their parents.

How do some TOI and Navbharat Times commentators view this news?

We continue to excuse the use of silencing of victims to deceive those who might condemn or provide/find support.

Who does this Silence empower?

Comment: It is their business and public has no right to know that, unless the family relents.

Not just Domestic Violence by husbands, but all violence by family members is excused as a ‘Personal Matter’.

Comment: भाई बहन का निजी मामला है (it’s a personal matter between the brother and the sister) Link

And here – Is this even relevant?

Comment: लड़की भी कोई अच्छा काम नही कर रही थी (the girl was not doing exactly a nice job) Link

This is a possibility,

Comment:… इस लड़की के भई ने अपने उस दोस्त से कुछ पैसा लिया होगा तभी वो जबरदस्ती कर रहा था की वो शाद्दी कर ले … (Maybe he had accepted money from the friend that is why he was trying ot force her to marry him.) Link

Shame, honor, freedom and controls are all linked.

Comment: What a shame young girls working at bar for living and our businessmen, politicians and officers earning in lacs n crores. On the top such brothers with no responsibility and barberic nature’

What I found shameful is that the brother thought he could control where she worked and who she should marry.

Related Posts:

Letting an outsider see or comment upon our imperfections is washing dirty linen in public?

By lodging a complaint the girl would get undue publicity and that would adversely affect her marriage prospect.

Dad knifes girl for speaking to lover

How many women would dare to say this?

“Girls need to be little bit aware of the consequences. Men – will enjoy …”

Please watch Queen. Feels like our country is finally changing.

“10 years ago, the girl would have been counselled on how to change her dress sense for the boy, how to do as he says.”

So where did I see this happy Indian bride …and her delighted daughter?

“I am glad that my parents never thought of raising us as ‘future daughters-in-law’.”

Why is it misogynistic to promise wives from Bihar to Haryana men who are not able to find wives?

Why is it misogynistic to promise wives from Bihar to Haryana men who are not able to find wives because of the skewed gender ratio in their state?

1. It implies that the biggest problem with the skewed gender ratio in Haryana is the men who are not able to find wives.

2. It implies that bringing wives from Bihar is the answer to the unwillingness of Haryana families/communities to have and to raise daughters.

3. It implies that we can continue to pretend that skewed gender ratio is caused because of Dowry demands alone and can be controlled by banning Sex Selection.

It lets us continue to not-ask –  Why don’t the people of Haryana (India) want to have and to raise daughters? Why does our society see daughters as unwanted burdens? Answers here.

4. But most of all – what about the women they are ‘bringing’?

Do these women have the option of choosing to marry men from elsewhere, or not marrying at all? Do these women feel entitled to freedom, equality, justice, reasonable safety, self reliance and equal opportunities?

How does providing single men with wives from other states help/affect the skewed gender ratio in Haryana?

Why ‘bring’ innocent women into a dangerous, misogynistic, sexist society, where, if they were born there, they would possibly have been killed in the womb or a little later?

Also, where, they would never be as powerful, entitled, self reliant, free, happy or fairly treated as the men are?

So what can be done for these young, unmarried men in Haryana? 

They are adults and they need to be informed that women are people, they are not born to be future-wives for men. That the men are not entitled to ‘wives’.

They should be encouraged to find out, question and challenge the Patriarchal norms that have lead to this unwillingness by an entire society to have girl children.

Maybe they will find out for themselves that banning sex selective abortions is not the answer because – 

But maybe they will not. Because they are being seen as victims and being ‘promised’ wives.

 

“…those youths in many villages who are roaming without brides will get one.”

Addressing a Kisan Mahasammelan (farmers’ meeting) at Narwana in Jind on Friday, Dhankar asked the gathering to strengthen the hands of BJP in the state, saying, “Making BJP strong also means that those youths in many villages who are roaming without brides will get one.”
Dhankar, who is BJP Kisan Morcha president and had lost the Lok Sabha polls to Congress’ Deepinder Hooda from Rohtak, said when he was touring the constituency, he used to hear tales that some youths were bringing brides from Bihar and other places.

“I told them that Sushil Modi (senior BJP leader in Bihar) is a good friend of mine. We will ensure a compatible match and do away with the practice of bringing brides from any other place,” he said.

Related Posts: 

Skewed sex ratio is not caused by sex selective abortions.

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

How illegal bans on Valentine’s day and birthday parties are connected with dowry deaths and sex selection.

India leads in sexual violence, worst on gender equality: Study

Response to “Koi Baap Apni Beti Ko Kab Jaane Se Rok Paya Hai”

Can we blame everything on patriarchy?

An email: If I am around people who think that having or giving birth to sons is everything in life how should I behave?

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

‘I have grown up and gotten used to the fact that my parents are considered less fortunate since they did not have a son.’

“I don’t see the point of forcing parents to give birth to unwanted girl children.”

“When the time comes to support them, they back out and and blame the children for misusing their trust and freedom.”

What exactly is Misuse of Freedom and Trust? Why is choosing one’s life partner seen as a ‘betrayal’ by many Indian families/parents?

Sharing an email. 

Dear IHM,

I am back again asking for your help regarding a problem. Would be grateful if you could post this on your blog – I would like to know what people who have been in such situations have to say.

My husband and me had a love marriage – we are from different religions/caste/language and different states. We waited and fought for 3 years for approval from his side – which never came. He was given an ultimatum to go and lead his life or forget me and stay in the family. My husband chose the former and we have been so happy ever since. His folks (mom and 3 sisters & their husbands) gave more importance to society and relatives approval and “what will people say” rather than his happiness. But within a few months they back tracked and accepted him back into the household because his mom couldn’t be without seeing him. He lost his father a few years before we even became good friends… (and that also was brought in as a reason to oppose our union). His 3 elder sisters and family are cordial and warm to him. It’s going to be 10 yrs since we’ve been married, but I have not been accepted into the family. His nieces had not been told about his marriage, but as 4 of them grew into adults, they came to know of of the matter. But no one talks about it and the family prefers to brush anything regarding us under the carpet. “We” are never talked about, but assumptions are made by them on how we lead our life. We are more than happy to be away from all this family politics and orthodox values, superstitious beliefs etc.

Now coming to the real issue – his 1st niece is in the USA. She went there 3 yrs back to do her MS and is now working there. She is in love with her good friend there. He is of a different caste-and that is the only difference. She has known him for the last 3 years and they have been going steady for the past 1 year. He is a good boy, with equal education, a great job and from a good family. The last couple of months her parents have been pressurizing her with proposals and when she could take it no more, informed her mom about her love last month. The nightmares have started since then, her mom doing the crying, lamenting, not talking phases, emotional blackmail, threatens and everything else.

They are playing the caste card, the boy being a non-Brahmin. They claim that relatives will desert them, no one will talk to them, marriages of the other 5 girls (her own sister and 4 cousins) will be a problem, how will they face the world etc etc. Another important fact – “how can we agree for this when we opposed your Uncle’s marriage?”. The same accusations and reasons and fights that took place 13 yrs ago is repeating itself. Horoscope, society, caste and everything else matters more. None of them have changed even a bit. It’s like living through all that emotional abuse all over again. She has tried in all her conversations to explain that he will keep her happy and her happiness should be important for them and how their interests, goals and likes match and how they will make a good couple. But none of this matters – the parents say “our happiness should be more important to you than yours”!!!!

Another problem – this girl’s younger sister just got her visa for her MS and will be going to the same city that her sister stays. The parents and aunts (mother’s sisters) have started to blackmail and brainwash the younger one asking her how is she going to stay with her sister because she has fallen in love, she will not take care of you. Why can’t you not go there now, do your PG here in India”, etc etc. They are trying to turn the younger one against the older stating that “she is doing a favour by spending for you, because she wants our approval in return. She has become rude because she in earning in $’s in the USA” etc etc. The sisters are very close to each other and are stunned by this divide and rule and lies and twisting of stories from the parents side.

Both of them are not putting up their views very strongly fearing that their parents will not allow the younger one to travel. It’s another torture to listen to all the arguments and emotional abuse and blackmail and not voice their opinions.

A few days back the parents laid down conditions to the younger one – that if they send her to the USA

1. You have to go and try change your sister’s mind
2. You have to come back after 2 years of studies
3. You have to work and repay your study loan yourself (as in not take money from the elder one)
4. You cannot think of having a love marriage.

The parents are in a fix because the elder one will not be coming down to India anytime soon, because she just had her visa status changed. They feel she is so far away and is out of their hands, so they are trying to guilt trip her into accepting that because of what she did (falling in love) she is responsible for spoiling her sister’s future if her parents decide not to send her to the USA.

They are definitely not going to accept this and I fear the boy’s situation would become the same as mine – a son-law who’s not accepted though they might accept the daughter back, in case they go ahead and get married by themselves.

All the years of growing up, achieving in studies, being a good child – all this apparently becomes of no use because you fall in love and choose your own partner. Why is it that parents think that their happiness lies in only whom their children marry whom they are told to marry? They do everything for their children, but when the real time comes to support them in their happiness, they back out and and blame the children for misusing their trust and freedom.

I want your readers to please advice on what they should do and how should they react to all this emotional drama and assumptions and mental torture. There might be many who have been through such situations…..I need their expert advice.

Note –
1. These are not some illiterate, from the village type parents. These are educated and young parents in their 50’s.
2. The boy’s side is very liberal and broad minded. His sister also had a love marriage and there is no problem from the boy’s side.

Thanks in advance to you IHM and all your readers.

Related Posts:

LOVE – Is it a Crime?

Against your child’s happiness

An email: I want my parents to know the real me, why do I have to lie?

Why do we hear concerned voices about ‘misuse of freedom’ the moment we talk about Freedom?

‘We grew up in a very liberal family. We knew what our limits were and our focus was our education. We never betrayed our parents.’

“I know my dad is short tempered but he was never this aggressive until my relatives started making him over think about my marriage.”

Indian parents seem to continue to believe that their children’s (only girl children’s) self reliance and happiness is less important than creating a good impression on the relatives/neighbours/peer group/colleagues. 

All the news about women being harassed, abused and even killed by in laws/spouse doesn’t seem to make some Indian parents question the idea of Get Married Stay Married as the only goal for some of their children (daughters). 

Such is the power of established norms. 

And short temper continues to be seen as a rational reason for inexcusable behaviour – with those who can be forced to tolerate it.

Hi IHM,

I am in a fix and i thought of contacting you and your readers for help.

I am a  24 year old girl working in an IT firm in Mumbai  for the past one year. My family lives in another town. I graduated In B.E and got campus selected in the same firm. Due to some issues I was given my joining date after two years. In the meantime I was working in another firm.

My father started asking me to get married when I was 22. I always wanted to work and be independent because i never wanted to be a housewife. He brought one proposal and when I said no to him, he didn’t talk to me for a while and started creating issues to his health. Some how people made him understand and he was alright after a while.

After about a few months he again brought a proposal and asked me to consider and when I said ‘No’ again, he asked me to never come back home and we didn’t talk for a month or so. I am someone who is scared of my Dad because he is a very short tempered and controlling kind of guy. I have always been a good daughter and have never had any different views from my father. So I always try to give in rather than fighting with him. I always made it clear to him that my career was the most important thing in my life and until and unless am stable, I won’t be getting married. This somehow my dad is not very comfortable with. He wants me to get married ASAP because apparently if a say no to a guy, Thats an insult to him. I have tried making him understand but he never gets it and whatever discussion or point I throw in, he ends up humiliating me and never listens to me. He is a man who you cannot win an argument with.

Now he brought a proposal again and when I said it clear that this marriage stuff is not something I want right now, he again started scolding me and told me that he will meet the guy and his parents and if i say no, he will make sure to make me resign the company am working right now. I am a career oriented girl and I would never sacrifice my job for anything, and my dad is aware of this. I told him that I want to focus of my job and be independent and then we can talk about this stuff. I just joined my company and it will take a minimum 2-3 years for me have a decent money and savings. But he did not get this and said that he will make sure I don’t work in the firm if I create a scene or say no to the guy.

I love my parents and I know my dad is short tempered but he was never this aggressive until my relatives started making him over think about my marriage. My parents will be forcibly making me meet the guy in about two weeks without my approval and the more I talk to parents about this, the more they become aggressive towards me. What do I do.. please help me.. I don’t wanna fight with my dad, I know he loves me but this marriage bullshit of him is something I cannot stand.

Related Posts:

At what point should educated, 21st century women who can think liberally for themselves, take responsibility for themselves…

What Khaps need is a strictly implemented law against Forced Marriages.

“My husband says he can’t go against his family. My father says study but not without your FIL’s permission.”

At what point should educated, 21st century women who can think liberally for themselves, take responsibility for themselves…

Sharing a question Kay asked in a comment in response to this email: “My husband gives me the usual ‘you have not just married me, you have married my family..’ sermon”

At what point should educated, 21st century women who can think liberally for themselves, take responsibility for themselves and perhaps forgo the arranged marriage institution? I’m pretty sure the internet is rife with these stories wherein any person (you don’t need to be highly educated for this) realizes that an getting arranged marriage is like stepping into a field full of land mines. Sure you may be able to navigate your way around the mines, but odds are, you’re probably going to step on one and blow yourself up.

Surely, it can’t be surprising that the complete stranger you married turned out to be someone different than the person you expected him to be (and speaking to someone on skype for 6 months doesn’t count).

In addition to setting up marriage prep courses for the socially challenged who can’t seem to find their own spouses, perhaps we can also make women aware that they can date, have relationships, break relationships, do whatever they please.

I think these posts give an idea of what young Indian women, who allow their parents to pressurize them into semi forced marriages, face:

“Only thing I can can think of now is to take a spoon of boiling oil and put on my cheeks. I will see then who marries a girl with a burnt face”

“This man is openly threatening his daughter and is instigating others to burn alive their daughters.”

A comment: One more thing, had I been financially independent I would have never got married.

“A clandestine, and irresponsible, affair may prove dangerous. A city girl learnt it the hard way,”

An email: An Old fashioned boy friend and a Liberal girl friend.

How illegal bans on Valentine’s day and birthday parties are connected with dowry deaths and sex selection.

What Khaps need is a strictly implemented law against Forced Marriages.

Girls morally bound not to have sex before marriage, says fast track court judge

“let me ask – how many girls in city remain pure till marriage ?”

“Both boy and girl were responsible, who had done marriage without informing their parents.”

No second chances for an Indian daughter.

Boys and Girls Holding Hands …

And what might help:

18 questions for young women (and men) of ‘marriageable age’.

“Here’s what I would tell my future/potential daughter, if I ever have one.”

A detailed check list of conditions from modern young women of marriageable age.

What would you not change for love?

“Why didn’t these women find life partners by dating?”

If your boyfriend is abusing you physically…

Response from the email writer accused of betraying her “parents, country and culture by not having an arranged marriage”

Sharing the response from the email writer who was accused of betraying her “…parents, country and culture by not having an arranged marriage”

Hello IHM,

Many hanks for posting my email on the blog and for your kind supportive words. I am very grateful to you for doing that. I would like to thank everyone who has responded too for their very empathetic responses. I will follow the advice and not speak with my parents till they treat me like an adult and respect my wishes. That is the only sensible solution to this and giving up my life for this is not worth it. Like one of the respondents said ” that would be an easy way out”. I would also like to take this opportunity to address some comments made by some respondents:

1. Yes, I would like to get married but I want to choose my own partner.

2. I have spoken to my parents on numerous occasions directly and through my siblings to explain what kind of guy I would like for a partner. They refuse to listen and claim that they don’t understand what chemistry, compatibility and similar outlook to life means. If a guy they pick is fair, 6 feet tall, earning more than me in a decent job, has well educated parents with good financial background then what is my problem?

3. My parents have been to see me in UK once but they are refusing to come again because the society in India will think that they are “having time of their life by travelling instead of thinking about getting their 3 daughters married”.

4. I did think about not speaking to my parents but then thought what kind of life would be that and it’s better therefore not to live to relieve them of all the pain I have caused in 11 years.

5. When I came to UK all those years ago, I was staying with very close relatives initially, who paid for my first degree . One of them in the family (who was married) tried to sexually abuse me. [IHM: Study finds 98% of India rape victims knew their attacker.]

I was worried that he would attack me again as he was always following me around, so in-spite of my parents asking me to not say anything, I told other members of that family about him. No one believed me. I was beaten up, called names etc etc and the abuse didn’t stop for 6 months. I finally found the courage to leave that house and have not spoken to these people again. I went through 2 years of intensive therapy after that. All this happened between the age of 21 to 25. Long story short- my parents decided to stop speaking with these people. I did not ask them to but they did. I also offered to pay back what this relative spent on my education. So now my parents are calling me ungrateful and blaming me for breaking this relationship. My dad also insinuated in his rage that perhaps I bought all that pain on me, even though he knows the truth.

6. After I left the terrible house I mentioned in point 6, I told me parents then that I don’t want to marry yet because I need to sort myself out emotionally after what I have been through. But no one understood it and kept still going on about marriage. I actually fainted at my work and they though I was having an heart attack, which was a catalyst for therapy fully sponsored by my work. After I met my ex boyfriend, I didn’t have the energy to start thinking of defying my parents and loose them too. So when I said I am tired and I see no way out, its because I feel like I have been fighting one battle after the other ( with no fault of my own) and I just can not do it anymore. Not being alive seems like the easy way out to end it all. Yes I am content with my life in UK, if I ignore all this and I am proud of what I have achieved on my own but I just never thought it would come to all this with my own family. Thank you very much again. Hopefully one day I will write again to tell you that I have found a wonderful man of my liking and my parents are very happy for me and enjoying my happiness with me. Here is to hope and staying positive. Happy New Year.

Related Posts:

An email: Is it fair for parents to say that their happiness depends on who their kids marry?

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

An email: Would you see this as an example of ‘Irresponsible Feminism’?

An email from an Indian Husband… and a Good Indian Son.

The Young Indian Woman’s response.

Where is the opportunity for Indian men to learn the most natural thing in the world – finding a mate??

Supreme court has made it clear that a girl above 18 can marry or live with anyone of her choice.

“Why didn’t these women find life partners by dating?”

Parents should choose the boy for a girl aged below 21, as it is they who bear the brunt of an unsuccessful marriage – Karnataka HC

18 questions for young women (and men) of ‘marriageable age’.

What did Sharad Yadav mean by, ‘Who amongst us has not followed girls?’

How illegal bans on Valentine’s day and birthday parties are connected with dowry deaths and sex selection.