I am a Man… Yes… I know that this very statement would inherently attract a lot of biased criticism. And, why shouldn’t it? It is not as if we have set the best collective example. This article, though, is not a feminist’s take against the evil within chauvinists. This article is for parents. Yes, the Indian Parents. Those who are famously regarded as the most caring and nurturing of all; the Indian families being the personification of the word ‘family’ in its true sense. What if I say that it isn’t so? I’d definitely gain a lot of hate from the ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ brigade, who are blindly and ignorantly lauding everything and anything about India. Nevertheless, I was telling you it isn’t so, and that’s primarily because the quantification of the units which measure the unity and stability of our families doesn’t consider one important aspect of it. The most important aspect of all… the daughter.

‘India’, derived from the word ‘Indus’, which in turn was further derived from the word ‘Sindhu’. Goddess Sindhu, the giver of life, was a prominent archaic Indian deity. The purity and fertility of the river Sindhu and its banks had inspired the conception of the prevalent Goddess. She represented the true idea and ideal of what was India and what it is supposed to be. A society which hailed women in their eternal freedom and capability, which held women above rather than holding them inside. What changed? The foeticide and infanticide aside… let us talk about the women who unfortunately get to live a life in this country. Let’s come to our daughters.

India is very far away from ‘great’. It is because of the way we treat our daughters. One only understands the importance of freedom when it is taken from him. The Indian daughter is the most ignored and formally accepted prisoner in the world. They are convicts by gender. The moment they are born, a separate constitution is constructed for them. A communist constitution, one that follows the principles of maximum control and surveillance. ‘Time Brackets’ for being ‘outside’ is just the first step to it. It comes to the clothing. The perverse eyes are way more acceptable in India than a visible waistline. It is her fault he looked. It is her fault he turned. She cannot laugh in public. Why? Because if the ‘world’ sees a gregarious woman, it will banish her from the society.  She cannot have a lot of male friends. Why? Because then it would cause a lot of hindrances in her marriage. Yes, it all comes down to the main subject of ‘marriage’. The be all and the end all for Indian Parents. Marriage is not a choice in India, it is a ‘stage of life’. We are not to marry when we are ready, we are to marry because we are supposed to. Girls are the greatest victims of this unwritten law. Some raise them as liabilities, whilst others consider marriage as the only acceptable form of ‘settlement’ for women. While the boys are hearing the ‘beta aur khalo’, the girls sometimes go through the excruciating ‘Mat khao, moti hojaegi, koi shaadi nahi karega’.

‘Shaadi’ or ‘Marriage’, why is it considered so mandatory? What does it do? Does it ensure cent percent happiness and stability? Does it guarantee peace of mind? Does having kids do that? The plain and simple answer is NO. While you are using the excuse that ‘Everything would be fine after marriage’, a budding human is losing the time of her life to learn, yearn, dream and live; and losing the only possible time to do all that, since it doesn’t actually get better after marriage. With increasing responsibilities, the dreams are soon displaced by hollow regrets. And thus, millions of dreams and thoughts are crushed in this ruthless process. Neither does she ever gain the happiness once promised, nor does her life ever stabilise. Moreover, being trained the way she is, she would fear deterrence against expression of any form of grief and would always keep her hollowness to herself.   Expression of grief by a woman is considered disrespectful in India, because they are expected to oblige involuntarily. ‘This is being done for your benefit’ is all she ever hears… and her life comes to an end before even witnessing a hint to the said ‘benefit’.

Why is all this done? For the society, isn’t it? That’s what they say… always… That’s their alibi… Culture and Society. The Indian families spend more time gratifying the treacherous society than they do in keeping their daughters happy. It is high time that the parents realize that even at the end of the worst possible day, they would only find an honourable five-minute mention in their neighbour’s bedtime gossip. Why traumatize your daughters to avoid five-minutes of inevitable, futile and immature judgement? What if she doesn’t want to get married so early? What’s the worst that could happen? She would break bread with you for a couple more years before getting a job of her own. Can’t you spare a loaf for a little while? Maybe she already has a job of her own and her independence is only subject to your consent. Can’t you let her live life as per her wishes? For her happiness? What if she laughs in public, or wears that pretty dress that she has always wanted to wear? Pandey Aunty and Sharma Uncle would stare and judge with their objectifying vision. Do you owe anything to any of them? Would their judgement harm your life, or even scratch it? Why don’t you understand that they don’t matter, but she does? Instead of teaching our daughters to fear the cruel world, if we teach them how to punch the world in the face, we’d have a much better world. What she wears, how she walks, what she eats, how she eats, how she cooks, how outspoken is she, etcetera, all these don’t matter and won’t ever. How she feels is all that matters. She is important. Understand that… Accept that… Let her live… Let her go.

4 thoughts on “The Indian Daughter

  1. “Just another feminist article” scoffs a reader as, in countless household across the country, a story repeats itself: that of a girl forced to marry and cook for her patidev around who’s ambition her life must now revolve. Her own raison de etre be damned.

    “Just another climate change article” legions of skeptics roll their eyes as a whole island nation is wiped out by oceans inching forward every year.

    Now, try eating beef.

    I loved your article Rishabh.

    Liked by 1 person

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