Indian Society Hasn’t Undergone too Many Family Changes Yet!

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Indian Society
  • Across the world, it is unambiguously known that the Indian family is governed by anachronistic, misogynistic, and patriarchal ideologies where the male species considerably enjoy superiority over females on literally every matter of importance. This age-old practice since time immemorial continues to rule to this day despite the female gender making tremendous progress on every relevant social index. Of course, the governments have indeed made palpable contributions to usher in gender parity, equality, and unbiased treatment, and also strived to provide a level-playing field to ensure that females are not overtly subdued by the male species.

Indian Society

PC: Getty Images

  • The modern-day has witnessed females making their presence in hitherto male dominion big-time. In the Indian context, females are in combat roles in the military piloting fighters as well as commanding frontline establishments, of late. These are commendable progress seen in the last few years which goes to show that the government authorities are striving hard to ensure gender equality persists despite age-old societal challenges. The moot point to ponder over here is whether females enjoy an unbridled say in family matters as compared to males. Do the females extend due courtesy in deciding matters of importance while deciding for the family?
  • Here, the situation hasn’t changed much since the Indian family also includes the in-laws who enjoy a say in certain matters despite society changing tremendously over the years. Unfortunately, our society hasn’t changed much on this front yet since the daughter-in-law must not only pander to the husband’s whims and fancies but also endure in-laws’ preponderances. Needless to mention, certain things haven’t changed much despite Indian society boasting of improvements on several fronts. Let’s look at what age an Indian woman is free to make her own choices about where to live and work. Never, too much of our society seems to think.

Indian Society

PC: BBC

  • Just last week the Supreme Court was listening to the liberty cry of a 25-year-old woman from Bengaluru, and not from any inconsequential rural household. Her parents do not approve of the job or the relationship she wants, so they forcibly detained her for months. Even the parents think they know what is better for their daughters who are well-educated, independent, and earning as well. And we were attempting to dissect how in-laws usually treat their daughters-in-law. As badly as this daughter has been treated, it’s a common experience for many, many daughters-in-law too. In a fairer society, when daughters-in-law are the primary caregivers of in-laws, it would win them tons of extra love and appreciation. Instead, doing this priceless service gets coded as being of serf status. Sadly, this coding is typically pressed upon women by other women.
  • Of course, our arranged marriages mean an extra lowering of daughters-in-law’s bargaining power. They have to bow to endless demands. What are they? There are several things like not wearing jeans, giving a grandson, ditching the office picnic, coming home before dusk, handing over 99% of salary, and several others. Many women would vouch here. By law and even custom, marriage is between two individuals. They are the rightful gatekeepers of their well-being. When in-laws are despots and their interventions cross over into illegality, courts should not waste empathy on this. Too many of them are still advising women to accept abuse from in-laws as the necessary wear and tear of married life. This should be stopped. Marriage is not misery. Bahu has a mind of her own. Get with it.