Married daughters having sufficient means, are under an obligation to maintain their parents: Bombay High Court

A gender neutral law that requires all children to ‘maintain’ the parents would be accepted, even welcomed by many today. It could change the way Indian parents (and society) love, view and raise their children.

The primary reason for male child preference in Indian families is that only a male child is viewed as budhape ka sahara (provider of elder care), a duty that he is expected to perform by providing an obedient and/or dependent daughter in law as a caregiver for his parents.

The daughter in law may or may not be earning (or allowed to earn), whatever she earns or owns is generally not in her control; in traditional patriarchal families everything that is hers – her time, money, energy, children, name, social life, sleep, what she eats or wears etc may be controlled by her spouse and in laws. Then how is a married daughter expected to provide elder care to her parents? With permission and gratitude?

Story of a daughter trying to take care of her parents : An anonymous email. [link]

This would change only if parents of Indian daughters stop seeing their daughters as future daughters in law. A gender neutral law can enable and accelerate such a change.

Today there are many Indian families, where there are no male children. The daughters in many such families are raised, at the very least, as equals amongst some more equals – or equals who must compromise because there is no option, or even as budhape ka sahara. So, it is becoming – very slowly – the progressive, generous and the right thing for in laws to permit the daughter in law to support her parents. It’s often done unhappily, because it is difficult to give up unearned entitlements. Some parents in law  might feel victimised and resentful, like in this case: “My parents are not allowed to visit me at my place. None of my relatives are welcome either.- An anonymous email.”

I think this is just the time for such a gender neutral law. It would also be a step towards putting an end to the legal system treating girl children (and women) as liabilities and paraya dhan for the parents and the society to protect (etc).

Normally one would say, that justice and fair laws need not wait for society’s acceptance – in this case the social changes seem to be waiting for a legal stamp of approval. The law would simply smoothen the path of the much needed changes that are sure to follow.

Married Daughters Are Obligated to Maintain Their Parents: Bombay High Court

“It was contended that the married daughter is not liable to maintain her parents since after marriage she has gone to live in her matrimonial house in the other family i.e. of her husband. Married daughter has an obligation towards her matrimonial house, husband, father-in-law and her children and therefore she cannot be held liable to maintain her parents. Further contended that, it is the choice of the parents to seek remedy against one of the children and, in the instant case, the parents had filed the application only against their eldest son.

High Court rejecting the aforementioned contention held that, “in the instant case, married daughter proved to have been working as a Software Engineer in USA and having sufficient means, is under an obligation to maintain her parents.” [https://indianlawyersforum.com/news/?show=171]”

But what if the married daughter has no income of her own? Would she still be obligated to maintain her parents?

If yes, then this would convey that whatever a married couple earns during the period they were married is being considered Joint Matrimonial Property.

This would also convey that marriage need not make an Indian woman dependent and hence incapable of being a budhape ka sahara to her parents.

But what if only those married daughters who are working earning are obligated to maintain their parents? What does this signify?

That they do not have an equal share in what the couple is making during the period they are married? That they remain dependents unless they are earning? No equal rights in Marital property?

Then why mustn’t earning be a top priority for a married Indian daughter?

If marriage and parenthood makes some Indian children (daughters) less capable of working earning and providing maintenance for their parents – why wouldn’t the parents (in need of elder care) prefer single daughters, earning daughters or male children?

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

Related Posts:

How can the society ensure that marriage (and homemaking) does not result in women becoming financially dependent on their husbands?

A married woman does not have the freedom to spend on her parents and will have to request and hope for her husband’s permission to do so.

Married Daughters Are Obligated to Maintain Their Parents: Bombay High Court

Some basic questions on joint family finances and daughters in law.

So why don’t Indian women fight for their own ancestral property rights?

Should women be given a share in residential property of the husband, including inherited and inheritable property?

Haryana panchayat cuts off married girls from parents’ property

Should couples’ assets be treated as joint property?

An email from a Mother in law’

Reply from the Indian mother in law.

When a newly married Indian woman gives up her career, what else does she give up?

Cabinet clears bill: Equal rights in Marital property, Easier divorce.

So why don’t Indian women fight for their own ancestral property rights?

“A Delhi court has refused alimony and advised the wife to find a job. Now that’s Equality.”

“I am tempted to ask- does she mean girls who have no brothers should send money to their parents as well?”

“My parents are not allowed to visit me at my place. None of my relatives are welcome either.”

“Every time this issue comes up, my husband has just one ground – I can’t change my parents. I don’t agree to their behaviour… but they make my life hell. Please cooperate and manage, shanti rakho!”

Sharing a comment, by Rtag. 

I have my own story to share. I am not really sure what is it that I am looking for… reassurance or solutions!

I am a married woman. My father has been unemployed for as long as I remember. Because of this my brother, my mother and I suffered a lot.

Even though he had been unemployed for so long and never shouldered his responsibilities, by God’s grace and luck, I was able to complete my studies and find a decent job. My brother on the other hand went astray, but is now back with a decent job and I am supporting and encouraging him to complete his studies.

Because of my father, I started working really early, at the age of about 18 – tuitions, then receptionist, then Tele caller, and finally today I work for a consulting firm. I earn good income and considering my own background, sometimes I feel proud of myself that I have come so far.

Anyway, coming back to the point… I never wanted to marry. Reason being I knew that no one would marry a girl whose father doesn’t have a penny to spend and is dependent on her daughter. But as it so happened, I met a guy, fell in love with him and inspite of my background and condition that I will always support my parents and brother, he agreed to marry me. [A married woman does not have the freedom to spend on her parents and will have to request and hope for her husband’s permission to do so.]

“…inspite of my condition that I will always support my parents and brother, he agreed to marry me.”

I have been married for almost 6 years now and truly never had a fight with my husband because of issues between us. We have always been able to discuss and sort things out. But when it comes to his parents – everything goes haywire. Some of the issues I face with them:

1. My parents are not allowed to visit me at my place. None of my relatives are welcome either. As per my in laws it’s bad!

2. I cannot talk to any of my relatives or parents for long. It has to be short, crisp, and to the point. [IHM: This is not uncommon, Indian brides told to reduce mobile phone use.]

3. I cannot visit my parents or relatives when I want to, I need permission from my in laws. [IHM: This happens all the time, “She stayed with her parents for thirty years, now she is married so it’s an end to her relationship with her parents.”]

I have a two year old daughter. My parents have hardly ever spent any time with her because of these reasons! I feel I am cheating them out of something that’s their right.

While I was pregnant, I called my mother and dadi to stay with me for a few weeks. My in-laws didn’t want to stay or support me at that time for reasons of their own. My FIL called my father saying I don’t like you or anybody from your family residing with my son at their house. This is just one of instance. This has happened many times over the course of my marriage. When my father asked why don’t you like it, he had no answers.

Last year I called my parents to be with me for a month, so they can spend sometime with their granddaughter. My in laws threw a lot of tantrum on that as well, and today when I asked my husband if I can call my parents for a few weeks, he declined.

Every time this issue comes up, my husband has just one ground – I can’t change my parents. I don’t agree to their behaviour… but they make my life hell. Please cooperate and manage, “shanti rakho”!

He just does not want to stand up to them even if they are wrong… because he hates fighting (verbal or physical). But this had started to affect me badly now. I can see the hypocrisy and can’t digest it. Same things are right for him, wrong for me.

He makes plan to visit his parents as and when they call and he likes, but this is not applied for me. His parents can come and go as they please, mine cannot.

I have tried over and over to make my husband understand my plight, but it does not make any difference. I don’t want to end our relationship on these grounds, because we truly share a beautiful bond. But these are a few issues that just don’t resolve and I feel abused, deteriorated and lost.

Please advise. I really need third person’s insight on this situation.

Related Posts:

“I am trying to make a list of soooooooo many advantages a girl can have if she is born in a Western family as compared to being born in india.”

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

These lines sum up the biggest reason for male child preference and skewed gender ratio in India.

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

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

हमारी बेटी संस्कारवान है और मंत्री बनने के बावजूद पति के पांव की जूती ही है।

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

Skewed sex ratio is not caused by sex selective abortions.

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

“I just don’t understand how girls like me (independent, modern) then agree to get married and live with someone and his family.”

“I will never live in a joint family, it has its roots in patriarchy and benefits only men.”

“She stayed with her parents for thirty years, now she is married so it’s an end to her relationship with her parents.”

That this email writer needs to justify her wish to visit her parents, is the reason why Indian families continue to prefer, sex-select, abandon, pray, fast and bless for male children.

What do you think should the email writer do?

Hello IHM,

Back again, today I am very depressed and that is why writing to you.

I feel bad about my self because I can’t confront or give back to my in-laws whenever they say something bad or throw a taunt at me and hurt me with their words.

This happens most of the times and I just hurt myself because of this.

Today when we all family members were together, my husband just said while general talking that I should go and meet my family and should stay there for a day or two. Before I could speak my MIL started and said a lot of things which were intolerable to me and I wanted to give back to her but I couldn’t. (I am so angry with myself now).

She said, “Ye nahi jayegi, hum nahi jaane denge, Unke sath 30 saal reh liya hai. or ab shaadi ko do saal ho gaye hai, ab unse rishta khatam ab idhar rishta hai. Or rehne to jana hi nahi chahiye 3-4 dino ke liye. Jyada se jyada subah milne jao shaam ko aajao.”

(No, she will not go. We won’t allow her to go. She stayed with them for 30 years and she is married from past two years so it’s an end to the relationship with their parents. And she should not go to stay for 3-4 days, she should go in the morning and come back by evening.)

I can’t tell you how I felt that time I really wanted to give back to her that time. But as we say kadwa ghut pee ke reh gayi and she spoiled my whole day.

If i should end my relation with my parents as I stayed with them for 30 years then same should be applicable on my husband as well. He also stayed with his parents for 30 years and now he is married and so he should end his relation with his parents and we should move out.

I don’t talk much to my in-laws often, I just do normal duties at home and general talk related to household daily stuff. As whenever I talk to them and try to become friendly with them, they try to control me. They say such things or throw taunts then I don’t feel like talking to them or sitting with them.

My husband doesn’t like this at all and asks me to sit with them, talk to them be as friendly with them as I am with my parents. Today we were on a small one day trip and it was going good, but while coming back this incident happened which spoiled my mood to the core.

I feel like they always try to pull me away from my parents, my family. Why so?

They don’t like me going and staying for a day or two with my parents. By doing this they are not pulling me away from my parents, instead I am going away from them and I don’t feel like staying with them anymore. I wanna run away from them.

When they do or say such things I crave more for my parents.

How can anybody think that getting married means end of your relationship with your parents, who gave you birth, who did everything for you, and because of whom you are and you have whether it’s professional or personal achievements. Shame on this thought. They don’t have a daughter and they can’t understand the feeling, how it feels when you can’t see or meet your daughter whenever you want to or whenever she wants to.

They don’t understand the pain I feel as a daughter when I can’t see my parents for more than a week or two, I have seen my parents too have the same feelings when they cannot meet me for long.

I never raised my voice against them and never said anything to them ever. I just discussed my problem and frustration with my husband every time. But I think I should raise my voice now as I can’t take this any more.

I don’t know what should I do at this stage, as my MIL is a spoilt brat being the only female at home having two sons and had been pampered by her husband and sons. She is such a dominating person that she doesn’t listen to anyone, does whatever she wants, says whatever she wants to. Even if someone at home says she is doing this wrong she never listens to anyone and just does what she wants to.

She wants to control everything at home, her husband, her sons and tries the same, every time, on me. I am frustrated now.

I don’t know what should I do. She is creating a mess for me every other day.

A second email in response to my email – IHM

I have stayed at my parents place for 3-4 days in general but I have seen their faces and can easily see they don’t like it. But yes my husband never stopped me from going and staying.
She said this all of a sudden and I think she wanted to let me know that they don’t like it and now I should not go.

My husband is supportive but he also keeps mum in front of his mother. Though he confronts but only sometimes.  He knows she was wrong at this point. I was sad the whole day and he surprised me by taking me to my parents that too chupke se. My in laws don’t know about this.

Related Posts:

A married woman does not have the freedom to spend on her parents and will have to request and hope for her husband’s permission to do so.

“I am trying to make a list of soooooooo many advantages a girl can have if she is born in a Western family as compared to being born in india.”

Indian family values are good for Indian daughters?

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

These lines sum up the biggest reason for male child preference and skewed gender ratio in India.

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

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

Indian brides told to reduce mobile phone use.

हमारी बेटी संस्कारवान है और मंत्री बनने के बावजूद पति के पांव की जूती ही है।

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

Skewed sex ratio is not caused by sex selective abortions.

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

“I just don’t understand how girls like me (independent, modern) then agree to get married and live with someone and his family.”

“I will never live in a joint family, it has its roots in patriarchy and benefits only men.”

An email from the Accused Guy: ‘I would request all to respond once again after reading the other side of it.’

Sharing a comment from The Accused Guy where he attempts to give ‘the other side’ of the story. 

The comment was made in response to this email: “He became more distant and sometime would verbally abuse me, call me names and then slapping and wrist twisting started happening.”

Please note,

1. The ‘only son’ in the email is not ‘only child’. 

2. The ‘only son’ is raised to understand that he would provide for his parents. (Which is why we Indians pray, fast, bless, sex select etc).

3. The only son’s parents in this email are expected to provide for the other adult child, the married daughter (possibly to ensure that she is treated well by her in laws and hence Stays Married).

4. The average male child does not question this, though sometimes he might expect his wife to demand from her parents what his parents do for his sister. This seems to transfer the victimisation to the daughter in law. 

This is not questioned or seen as evil although this is the biggest reason for India’s Skewed Gender Ratio.  

5. Violence, physical and verbal, in the email, is being tolerated as a part of conflict resolution. 

6. Indian women (and men) feel they must marry the first person they are in a relationship with.

In case of a break up, men risk being accused of ‘using’ the woman [Link]. Women risk being accused to having been used (and hence dishonoured and no longer marriageable).

And here’s the comment from AccusedGuy.

After reading the blog post, I would have reacted the same way as everyone. But this is what one sided stories do. So I would request all to respond once again after reading the other side of it.

Which is as following:

Me and “XYZ” were together for around 6 years before marriage. We first expressed our love for each other during college days. Of course I was in love with her because I hadn’t seen anyone so innocent and pure of heart. Hence our relationship started.
Start of relation was very bubbly-bubbly as every relation is but with time I observed that that innocence started to disappear (Only for me) and I was bombarded with jealousy, insecurities and expectations. This was first time relationship experience for both of us and being naïve about it, we left things on time to improve.
Things didn’t improve even after a couple of years of relationship (Mostly distance relationship during college projects), I decided to talk to “XYZ”. But before any kind of relevant talk, I was immediately tagged as “someone who used her for a couple of years with no intentions of marriage” (which was automatically assumed since we were in “relationship”).  I tried to talk to her that cheating her was never the intention but continuing a relationship which is full of issues is also a mistake. But she never agreed to split and assured that she’ll do everything to correct her limitations and I didn’t want her to hurt her like that so we continued our relationship.
After college, we took our jobs. She was in Gurgaon and me in Noida. We met occasionally on weekends and spent 3 years like this (having major fights all the while). One fight got so worse that we decided to take a break for a couple of weeks from each other and re-think our relation. After that time we sat together and I communicated to her that we shouldn’t be together because we can’t resolve our issues. She again disagreed and told me that she’ll make all the adjustments but insisted on maintaining the relationship.
After that it’s correct that I had feelings for some other girl. But “XYZ” was aware of that before marriage. We talked about this and I assured her that no external factor will come between us (I have maintained that always and have fulfilled that to this date) but I still maintained that getting married was a bad idea because we can’t resolve our issues. But again I was accused that I wasted her six years and now was simply ditching her for some other girl.

So we got married.

After marriage everything changed.
“I’ll do everything to correct my issues” changed to “you push me for everything”…
“Lets resolve our issues” changed to “my parents will talk to you on this issue”…
“let’s stay together” changed to “we should split up” …

Parent’s issue:
Before marriage I told “XYZ” that since I am the only son to take care of my diabetic parents, they’ll come live with us. And “XYZ” seemed fairly OK with that. After marriage, before my parents were to visit us, I asked “XYZ” if she has any concerns then I’ll love to address them but she didn’t discuss anything that night… But a few days she started saying that she talked to some of her friends and she’ll like to discuss some issues.

Conversation was as following:
XYZ: Who’ll pay for their expenses?
Me: Since I am only son, there’s no segregation of money. So it doesn’t matter who pays. Even if it does, I’ll be happy to pay for my parents stay and eatables.
XYZ: What if parents leave some part of their wealth to your sister?
Me: Then it’ll be their wish. But I can still pay for their stay and eatables.
XYZ: fine. What’ll happen to us? Our alone time?
Me: We come back from office at around ~7 PM. we can join them till dinner time.. after ~9 PM we can have our alone time till we sleep (usually ~11 PM).
XYZ: fine. But I want to control kitchen my way.
Me: Sure, adjust with mum till she’s here after that you can resort to your ways again.

When parents came, she was friendly for a day or two but then she started ignoring them. Didn’t go to their room until I asked her to come along or didn’t left our room till it was exact office time during morning. I found this odd and asked if she has any issues with them. Her reply was “It takes time for me to accept and love people. So don’t push me till it happens itself”. To me, it wasn’t lack of love it was more about lack of respect that she chose to ignore my parents. [IHM:Link] That became one of our constant issues even after my parents left. Things kept getting severe on this front every time my parents visited afterwards.

I never asked/pushed her to do “Seva” of my parents and I did expect her to atleast respect my parents enough to acknowledge their presence.

Physical Abuse issue:
I’ll not defend myself here because I believe under no circumstance it should be a resort. But I’ll just add complete picture to this.
We were never good at resolving our issues and mostly it would turn into loud arguments and heated shouting. One time during such shouting I slapped her. But the moment I hit her, I realized what I had done and said sorry to her. Next day too I felt so bad that I called up mother and confessed that I slapped my wife and I was really sorry for that.
XYZ didn’t take it lightly and accused me of physical abuse. She made it a family issue and finally I apologized to her mother also for same.

In our subsequent fights, she started hitting me(Not on face but all over various body parts in her fury). I pointed that out to her that is this not physical abuse. Her response was “come on you are a guy, “itna lagta be hai tumhe??”.
First time I twisted her arm, she took a jadu and beat me with it. After her anger dissolved she said “Come on, deere se tou mara tha”
Another time, during the argument I made a gesture of raising hand and she scratched skin out of my arm. Later she said “itna bi ni lga tumhe”.

And yeah Kut*a, haram**ada were commonly used to address me during these fights.

Bangalore:
A couple of days before I was to travel to Bangalore, we had a fight. But on last day, we put that behind us and hugged. I asked her to join me as soon as she can so that we can settle our new life their together.
4-5 days later I reached Bangalore, it was her birthday so I called her and wished her (No call from her prior to that). During another call later that day we again had an argument. Next day I called her and her response was “pls stop interfering with my life and leave me alone” So I didn’t call her after that. She had medical issues, she left for her home town (without telling me).

Now it’s been around 50 days..

Related Posts:

An email. Aren’t the sons supposed to have their own family lives?

Display of respect to those in power, in Indian culture.

‘I am not really sure why is it the duty of a new bride to adjust no matter what you feel?’

“I have met a lot of Indian guys who say their parents have done a lot for them so they can’t leave them now…”

“I will never live in a joint family, it has its roots in patriarchy and benefits only men.”

An email from Pakistan: “There is a feeling among my parents that I don’t want to spend on them.”

Loving husbands who spend day and night to create harmony in Patriarchal Joint Families.

“My husband would tell me to stay with my in laws for some more time and that he didn’t want any discussions.”

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

The Men in Our Lives – Priya

From the modern, Indian woman to Shravan Kumar.

‘Last month, my sister’s husband picked a fight with her as he felt she was not doing enough for his parents.’

“I have no other option than to move in with my very orthodox in laws. I need tips to not get hurt.”

‘How can we change the socialization of boys and the definitions of manhood that lead to these current outcomes?’

Of how men’s masculinities are connected to their wives taking their names.

27 ways in which Patriarchy harms men.

So why do some men compare and compete with other men?

What do men need liberation from?

Not touching feet after a year of marriage is disrespect to MIL?

“Practically, what can an introvert DIL do to communicate that she means no disrespect by wanting her own time?”

Relationships – Making Someone Happy – By Priya

An email: ‘He made it clear to them he will not marry me without their support. He will not leave them behind… ever.’

And here’s what seems to complicate it further…

The Groom pleaded with the Bride, telling her that he would not be able to face friends and neighbours if he returned without her.

While we oppose anything that could make it possible for women and men to choose their own partners (since it is against Indian culture) we seem less intolerant to outright lies, withholding of information and demands for money, during matrimonial ‘negotiations’.

Some comments expressed suspicions that the bride in this case was looking for an opportunity to marry the other man, Rampal Singh. 

Groom unwell, bride weds guest in fit of rage

The young bride, angry that her family had been kept in the dark about Kishore’s medical condition, promptly changed her mind and announced that she would happily marry at the same ceremony a guest at the wedding, a man called Harpal Singh. The latter, incidentally, turned out to be her sister’s brother-in-law.

Kishore pleaded with Indira, telling her that he would not be able to face friends and neighbours if he returned without her. His relatives, too, tried to intervene on his behalf. Where persuasion failed, violence was used — spoons, plates and dishes became weapons as wedding guests tried to force the bride to change her mind. But all in vain. The young woman stood firm.

Most of the comments wanted to know what would have happened if it was the groom refusing to marry the bride.

What do you think would have happened? 

I think, it’s possible that the groom’s family would have demanded compensation (more cash or gifts), or they would have demanded that the bride’s younger sister/cousin/niece be married to the groom. (Desi Girl blogged about one such case). 

The girl’s family here probably would have found more support if they had requested for some relief in the cash/gifts to be given. 

It’s very telling that the groom’s biggest concern here was, ‘he would not be able to face friends and neighbours’.  

Related Posts:

Four kinds of marriages in modern India. Which ones would you ban?

Bride goes on horse to groom’s house.

Rapist groom should have waited a little to satiate his lusty desires without problems which he has got into.

Love Marriages spoil the Family System of our Nation.

5 Real Reasons Why The Right Wing Hates Valentine’s Day – Arushi Kapoor

Simple methods, recommended to anybody else, coping with any other kind of abuse, are forbidden to Indian daughters in law. Forbidden by whom?

While I agree with everything in the video shared below, I hesitated in sharing it because the discussion leaves out the one person without whom such abuse would not ever be possible.

I believe Indian women would not have to deal with most of the in laws issues if they were permitted (or just left alone) – mainly by their spouse, to cope with them in their own ways.

Some of the methods (simple, common sense) that are recommended to anybody and everybody else coping with any other kind of abusive relationships (or healthy relationships), are forbidden to Indian daughters in law – by whom? Mainly by their husbands.

Most women who do not face abuse by in laws are those where the husbands do not demand that they get along, impress, compromise, display ‘respect’ or obey their parents/extended families. (Such men risk being labelled Joru Ka Gulaam) The parents and extended families realise that abuse would not be silently supported by the JKG. [link]

That’s all it really takes. Letting adults deal with each other as equals.

What kind of coping methods are forbidden to Indian daughters in law?

What would you do to anybody else who attempts to control, bully, harass, demean or humiliate you? Avoid them, at the least? Ignore them? Create a distance? Have nothing to do with them?

Some of us might choose to tell them why we find the abuse offensive? This might require asking questions and giving opinions?

But most women – married Indian women, are denied even validation.

Not only must they not complain or question, they must actually attempt to ‘win over the heart’ of someone who is being manipulative or blatantly abusive. And who empowers these abusers? Who has the most power to end such abuse? What would Indian daughters in law do if they were not restricted by someone they believe loves them – the only person they are actually married to? (no matter what he claims)

What if these Indian Shravan Kumars were not given the option of enforcing obedience and displays of ‘respect’ on their spouse?

Or if Indian women did not view Getting Married and Staying Married as the only goal in their lives? If a successful divorce was seen as a new beginning. If staying single was acknowledged as an option.

It would, eventually create a fairer society where everybody who wishes to get  along with anybody would have the option of being decent to them.  There would be no entitlement to enforced displays of respect.

So basically there would be no Saas Bahu issues if there were more Joru Ke Gulaam who married their wives, and not their parents’ daughters in law.

Video shared by Sangitha and Mansi.

Related Posts:

So who is eating the the gajar ka halwa that the daughter in laws are was not permitted to eat? 

An email from an anonymous Confused Wife.

To an Anonymous Daughter in law.

No jeans for an Indian Daughter in law.

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

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

“I have to seek permission for visiting parents. My phone bill has to be reasonable. My expenses nominal. And my desires non-existent.”

“When wives become too possesive of her husbands and do not want the affection to be shared with their near and dear…”

Of girly men who fail to convert irresponsible women from liabilities to assets.

Skewed sex ratio is not caused by sex selective abortions.

My husband gives me the usual ‘you have not just married me, you have married my family..’ sermon

Shravan Kumar takes his wife to London to bring back her smile…

From the modern, Indian woman to Shravan Kumar.

An email from a Happily Married Indian Daughter in law…

The JKG: Joru Ka Gulaam

‘Unbelievable? Believe it. This isn’t your usual Ekta Kapoor serial.’

You’re going to be with your in-laws for only a few days in a year so why can’t you live the way they want and keep every one happy?

‘Last month, my sister’s husband picked a fight with her as he felt she was not doing enough for his parents.’

“I have no other option than to move in with my very orthodox in laws. I need tips to not get hurt.”

When a newly married Indian woman gives up her career, what else does she give up?

‘His family seems a bit traditional type.I googled “how to behave with in laws after marriage in India.’

“Leaving US is a tough decision and, going back to live with in-laws has scared and shaken me.”

No Gajar Ka Halwa for an Indian Daughter in law?

From an Anonymous DIL, Wife and Daughter.

‘His family seems a bit traditional type.I googled “how to behave with in laws after marriage in India.’

Because of my initial submissiveness, my husband and his family volunteer to take care of my chores, to let me resume my career.

‘I am not really sure why is it the duty of a new bride to adjust no matter what you feel?’

An email: ‘He made it clear to them he will not marry me without their support. He will not leave them behind… ever.’

 

 

“I am trying to make a list of soooooooo many advantages a girl can have if she is born in a Western family as compared to being born in india.”

Does Patriarchy combined with Patrilocality (the wife relocating to the husband’s parents’/ancestors’ home) and Patrilineal-ity (women not being permitted to have, or to pass on, names or identity of their own) create a happy society?

Would such a society survive if its members were permitted to reject its norms? What prevents the members from rejecting these norms or diktats? Indoctrination, risk to life, violence, boycott or stigma. Or maybe they believe they benefit from the system? 

Sharing an email.

Hello indian homemaker,

I am not writing an email about my troubles right now – it’s just that I have been thinking VERY DEEPLY about something for many years now.

Having been born and brought up in India and having observed how Indian families behave, the gender stereotype, social hierarchy, gender based discrimination (in the name of culture and ‘sanskaar’) and everything that goes on in india …………… I think we are all too familiar about what goes on in India even before a girl child is born and after her birth and later when she gets married in majority of households (thankfully not all households) :- so I do not need to write much about that.

My parents were very liberal /modern/progressive in their outlook, so I guess that made me question things that others just considered to be a norm.

My mother is a gynaecologist :- so I have seen how indian families react when a girl child is born and how they react when a guy child is born. I mean to say I got the front row seat thousands of times to what I call extreme injustice bestowed upon the girl child even before she is born.

How the faces of the parents and in laws would drop the minute they hear its a girl child as if they have come to a funeral.

And their reaction when told a guy child is born :- they would be as joyous as if someone handed them Diwali, Holi, Lohdi, Eid, Christmas everything in one package on the same day.

Tonnes of sweets would be distributed, and what not.

I have lived in the West for several years. Two years in the USA and approximately 3 years in the UK.

I have observed the life of the Americans and the British up close.

It has seriously made me wonder :- how much BETTER it is, for a girl, to be born in a WESTERN family.

I feel they have their own demons they fight.

Their culture is imperfect too.

But then again, possibly sooooo much better than ours.

I am trying to make a list of soooooooo many advantages a girl can have if she is born in a Western family as compared to being born in india.

There would be tooooo many things that I may forget to write, so readers help me out! Please add what I forgot.

Indian Homemaker and other readers please give me your opinion on what you feel on this topic :-

1) Parents are as joyous if not more on getting the news that a girl is about to be born as joyous they would be on knowing that a boy child is about to be born. even the in laws without any stigma would genuinely be delighted and start buying gifts for the little princess who’s yet to arrive in this world.

2) Of course nobody would even think about female infanticide after she is born. She would be welcome in this world with tonnes of gifts and showered with love and blessings from both parents and both sets of grandparents.

3) Her upbringing would not be sacrificed for preferential treatment of her brothers. Equal amount of effort would be put into her education, all round development (soccer practice, gym classes, swimming lessons), equal nutrition, medical care. Basically not raised with any bias:- born an equal, raised an equal :- in my opinion that leads to a well balanced healthy self respecting adult with good self esteem.

4) No pressure to move in with in laws. Let’s face it we have all heard /seen stories where the daughter in law is crying her eyes out cause of whatever dynamics that go on in indian joint families.

5) If she reports sexual crimes:- its not a matter of bringing shame to the family.

6) No honor killing.

7) It is a generally accepted idea that she has a life of her own, mind of her own. She does not need to do X, Y, Z to please third cousins’ uncles’ nieces’ somebody.

The log kya kahenge crap is not the fuel that destroys her happiness.

8) She is not confined/ forced to do all the household chores if she chooses to rather all her focus and energy on her education/ career/ hobby/ anything that makes her happy and feel fulfilled in life.

9) Most partners (boyfriends/ husbands) help with household chores.

10) Most partners help with child upbringing responsibilities.

11) She is not told by her in laws after marriage, whether or not she can go to her maika, or for how long.

12) Her parents do not have to feel pressurised about dowry or marriage expenses.

13) If she is stuck in an unhappy marriage, she does not have to think about log kya kahenge when making a decision in favour of her happiness and sanity .

14) A Second Marriage is not a taboo, and she does not have to wonder about society thinking doosri shaadi ho payegi ki nahin / baatein banegi/ etc .

15) She is under no pressure to bear male offspring.

16) She can help her parents in any and every manner that she desires after her marriage (with no in laws telling her they are more important than her own parents).

I think the list goes on n on …….

Basically I am getting drawn to the western culture even with the flaws of the western culture. I am getting more and more convinced that it is million times better than our Indian culture IF YOU ARE A FEMALE.

If you are a guy, then it would not come as a shock to me that you admire/love Indian culture.

One thing I used to notice in the matrimonial ads :- most of the biodatas would say the guy and his family love Indian traditions, culture, blah blah .

It also makes me wonder, was this what Indian culture was from the beginning…….or slowly the people for whom it was advantageous to mould it to be in their favour (ladke wale)…. slowly they kept twisting things in their favour and on n on and on n on and it has come to become a very difficult culture for women to live in.

Yes, Indian Homemaker, me and other readers of this blog are working everyday to change it.

But how much mental energy is drained fighting everyday for our rights. how much peace of mind is lost everyday fighting for our rights.

How many sleepless nights feeling furious, troubled by in laws issues, blah blah blah .

I too am fighting just like indian homemaker regarding the injustice.

But nevertheless it makes me wonder:- how much easier/ better life could be if one is just born in an equal society!!

Readers and indian home maker: do tell me your thoughts and please add more points to the list I started making. I am sure there are wayyyy too many points that belong in that list!

god bless
peace

– Mansi

Related Posts:

Indian family values are good for Indian daughters?

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

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

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

Indian brides told to reduce mobile phone use.

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

The father threw the baby on the ground and tried to strangle her with his legs: No case registered.

If she was born somewhere else.

Why do Indian women like to wear western clothes?

हमारी बेटी संस्कारवान है और मंत्री बनने के बावजूद पति के पांव की जूती ही है।

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

Skewed sex ratio is not caused by sex selective abortions.

Shadi ke baad ladki ki PRIORITY sasuraal ki taraf ho jaati hai?

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

‘And if you are unlucky, you will get an American daughter-in-law.’Why is it misogynistic to promise wives from Bihar to Haryana men who are not able to find wives?

These lines sum up the biggest reason for male child preference and skewed gender ratio in India.

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?

Our culture doesn’t back smoking by ladies: govt tells SC

Girls retaliate this time. But will the lectures on culture ever stop?

Boys and Girls Holding Hands …

‘My question is, what do you do? What do you say when the majority thinks this way…’

Oprah, Indian Family Values and Widows of Vrindavan.

Why I Love the Western Culture.

हमारी बेटी संस्कारवान है और मंत्री बनने के बावजूद पति के पांव की जूती ही है।

Roughly translates to: Our daughter has good values and despite becoming a minister, she remains the footwear of her husband’s feet. 

Indian paraya dhan’s parents who could view them as role models and be proud of them – continue to justify and make excuses for the paraya dhan’s success. It would seem it is against Indian sanskaar for Indian daughters in law and wives (or married Indian daughters) to be seen as ‘successful’.

For such parents, Happily married daughters, who are ‘pampered’ or ‘approved of’ by the damaad ji (son in law) remain the role models and continue to be viewed as the ultimate status symbols. The society celebrates their position (equivalent to the footwear of their spouse?) with rituals, which are generally forbidden to single, divorced or widowed women (who don’t have any feet to place themselves at?)

For this mindset, success in single women is tolerated because they have sacrificed the joys of serving their Lord and Master (and his extended family) for worldly success. Women in abusive marriages are frequently told they are better off than single women who have no feet, to serve as Juttees. The same idea expects women to choose between having a family or having a career. 

What could make a parent of an Indian daughter say their paraya dhan’s rightful position is at the bottom of the family hierarchy? Do they believe this?

1. Or, are they being tactful and they feel this would make it easier for the Pati Parmeshwar to accept the paon ki juttee’s success? 

2. Maybe it is a reminder to other women in the community – so that  they don’t get any ideas about equality, success, human rights or empowerment? 

3. Maybe it is an assurance to the neighbours’ third cousins (or anybody else who might judge and comment) that they have given her good sanskaar, and ‘the juttee’ would not attempt to view herself as human?

It seems many parents of Indian daughters believe that they do not have the option of loving and respecting their daughters.

Is it surprising then that Haryana parents avoid having daughters?

Is it possible to change anything until this mindset is challenged and changed?   – IHM

Shared by Abhishek Oza.

http://navbharattimes.indiatimes.com/state/punjab-and-haryana/other-cities-of-punjab/haryana/kavita-jain-takes-oath-as-new-haryana-cabinet-minister/articleshow/44952390.cms

हमारी बेटी संस्कारवान है और मंत्री बनने के बावजूद पति के पांव की जूती ही है।

Kavita Jain’s husband Rajeev is facing charges for unaccounted income. Yet Kavita’s mother Kamlesh is proud that Kavita always behaves like Rajeev’s “paanv ki jooti” (literally: footwear).ie. She finds her place below her hubby’s feet, even after being a minister. For Kamlesh, this is a sign of Kavita’s “sankaar”.
Kamlesh is neither ashamed of a son-in-law like Rajeev, nor proud of a minister daughter. She is just proud that some “sanskaar” forces a minister to be a “paanv ki jooti” (in Kamlesh’s own words.), and feels more so that such a “sanskaar” is shown by her own daughter!
– By Abhishek Oza.
Related Posts:

An email: ‘My MIL called up my aunt and my mother and told them that our family has raised horrible daughters.’

Sharing an email. Is it possible for something like this to happen without atleast some amount of social and cultural sanction? 

Also, do you think such Patriarchal controls could survive without women being pressurised to Get Married and Stay Married?

Dear IHM,

I wrote to you a couple of months ago [July 4, 2014] about how my in laws were not talking to me, because I wanted to visit my mother for my father’s death ceremony. Since then, my MIL called up my aunt and my mother and told them that our family has raised horrible daughters and that we are arrogant girls who think we are “birlas”. She pulled in my sister too, claiming that she had had an abortion (probably a miscarriage… I do not know… she never wanted to share). I do not have a biological child, and I wonder what she was hinting at. I am really hurt and am at odds. How do I react/ what do I do? Can you please publish this on the forum?

And, this message in a comment from July 4, 2014,

My story is similar… I had emailed IHM, but I guess I could not wait. I have been married to a very nice guy for the past seven years. We recently adopted a nine-month old baby and life has been just awesome. I lost my father quite some time ago and was really attached to him. A couple of days ago, my mother told me his death ceremony was coming up. So I planned to go to my place ( in another city, where my in-laws live too ). My in-laws stay on another end of the city, so I would not be able to visit them this time, with the baby in tow. They created a huge scene, saying I was disrespectful and that I was not following the “rites”. I really want to spend time with my mother this time, especially on a day that makes her sad, but my in-laws are acting as if I am committing a crime. Even earlier, my MIL has complained about the one or two days I would spend with my mother when we visited them. She has threatened suicide now and has even told my husband that he’s going to my mother’s place (he’s there only to drop me off, after that, he’s back for he’s busy with work) because my mother lent us money towards construction of our new home. The husband is very angry at this accusation (we have supported them through their joblessness/ money crises) and refuses to speak to them. I don’t want to either, for I really want to be with my family this time and that too after nearly 4 years.

Am I justified in not wanting to apologise (I wasn’t rude to them, I just told them plainly what I wanted to do)

 

Shadi ke baad ladki ki PRIORITY sasuraal ki taraf ho jaati hai?

Tradition, family values and custom are often used to enforce something (convenient for the enforcer) that  seems to defy logic, fair play or common sense. 

Which is why we hear things like, “Shadi ke baad ladki ki PRIORITY sasuraal ki taraf ho jaati hai”, which roughly translates to – After marriage, a girl’s priorities change in favour of her sasural or marital home.

And since many get away with this sort of abuse, we have a Skewed Gender Ratio.

Because, only when Indian parents are in a position to view their daughters as their own children (and not as future daughters in law) would they be able to Want, Welcome and Enjoy having and bringing up their girl children. [link].

Sharing an email. 

Dear Indian homemaker,

I need help from you and other readers. If you can kindly share my story.
Here’s what’s bothering me soooooooo much:-
I am a working woman and my mother in law is driving me CRAZY.
According to my mother in law after my marriage I am not allowed to do any “seva/support” towards my widow mother. It’s all my brother’s responsibility.
I have to do EVERYTHING for my in laws now on since I am married.
I have to wake up at the time my mother in law thinks is appropriate, do things around the house (household chores), am not allowed to talk back, am not allowed to have a mind of my own, get loads of gold from my mom .
What I am simply not able to understand is :- why am I not allowed to do seva for my mother? After all it’s my mother who has given me life and not my in laws.
My mother never discriminated between her son and daughter. Not in any manner. Gave both the same love, educational opportunities, food, clothing, basically everything.
My logic is this:- it’s my mother who gave me life, raised me, spent crores on my education to make me a successful career woman, basically from A TO Z did EVERYTHING a parent can do and beyond for me . While within 3 weeks of marriage if my mother demands unconditional devotion towards herself:- the way I see it :- she has not done ANYTHING for me; she has not given me life, has not raised me, spent crores on my education.
I am NOT against doing ” seva” for my in laws.
But I do NOT understand why it is only my brother’s responsibility to look after my widow mother in her old age, and age related diseases.
I need to point out that my brother lives in USA . While my mother and mother in law both live in the same city in India.

Common sense is telling me my mother in law is the most selfish person on the planet and I am hating her more and more by the day.

Even to meet my mother; my mother in law expects a three step process :-
1) my mother has to take permission from my mother in law.
2) I have to take permission from my mother in law. (though with all the bitterness that is growing inside me, u feel like calling her monster in law and not mother in law).
3) I have to take permission from my husband in order to see my mother.
I am a cosmopolitan girl with a very liberal progressive outlook.
All this seems like total and absolute gibberish to me. Her views. Her expectations. Her demands. They do not make any sense to me .
Cause it totally defies all logic and common sense.

But I am still writing this letter to you in DESPERATION cause I am losing my peace of mind and sanity trying to understand the monster in law. I swear I will go insane if I keep all that’s going on bottled up inside me. According to my viewpoint :- am more than willing to give my in laws respect, care, live, understanding, help in their old age. Support in any and every manner.

But why would I not do the same for my mother?
Agreed I am married.
But my mother is not dead to me.
My gratitude towards her is not dead.
Why is it only my brothers responsibility to look after her? Also him living in USA for professional reasons makes it harder for him to be there for her as much as I can as both my MAIKA and sasuraal are here in the same city.
Basically my monster in law keeps repeating the same thing over and over again.

She says :-” Shadi ke baad ladki ki PRIORITY sasuraal ki taraf ho jaati hai”.

I have not heard this saying before. But monster in law keeps repeating that over and over and over again .
My question to you is, is that a commonly heard saying?
And even if it is :- I do not understand the LOGIC behind it . Cause within 3 weeks of marriage, REALISTICALLY speaking I will not be more in love with my in laws than my own mother. [link] And isn’t the person we love more going to be our priority?
Isn’t the person we have MOST gratitude towards going to be our priority??
Also I need to add :- isn’t the gravity of the situation going to determine who our priority will be??
My mother has to undergo a MAJOR life threatening operation. What I am trying to say it’s a surgery in which there are chances of mortality (death) and morbidity.
While my monster in law only needs me in sasuraal to cook. I agree my monster in law also does not keep good health . But there are other male members in the family. Why can’t they help her in the cooking or hire a maid or get tiffin service? They have enough money, by the way, to be able to afford tiffin or maid .

But my evil monster in law keeps saying :- it’s my brother’s responsibility .

My brother cannot come to India cause his infant child is not well at all.
There’s way too much more I need to write; but honestly I am totally going crazy with all this stress.
Am simply not able to understand why it is only my brother’s responsibility?
Why do I need permission from anyone to see my own mother?

Why should sasuraal be priority whilst the gratitude lies towards MAIKA ??

What is the logic behind it all???
It does not make any sense to me???
Please please help.
I want honest opinion of yours and of readers.
Also I think it’s worth mentioning that the monster in law who keeps giving me all these lectures about sasuraal being priority :- she herself never stayed in her sasuraal, lived in a nuclear family :-  did not allow her husband to send money home to her husband’s parents in village, did not care for her in laws in their old age, did not allow her husband’s siblings to come stay with them while they desperately needed to!
So am I right to conclude that she is a super selfish woman who only thinks about what’s convenient for her?
And even if she’s the kind of person who believes that I am ” parayee” for my mother now that I am married :- then why expect gold from my mother for sasuraal if I am parayee now? My monster in law says :- ” ladki to jab bhi Maike jaati hai, Kuch na Kuch leke hi aati hai apne yahaan se gold ka”.
Regards,
An Anonymous DIL
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