Thursday, June 2, 2011


Yesterday i read an article in Meri Saheli..about how daughters have become responsible now. I didnt agree with the author. Till 70's daughters were brought up differently with a clear understanding that they are..PARAYA DHAN, and one day they will go to SASURAL and that will be their home.Daughters were given some dowry and later on feted on every festival and visits. They were not given equal importance and opportunities like sons.They didnt have much say in the family matters, they were not given equal share in family wealth, sons got everything....inheritance as well as duties.Rights and duties always go hand in hand....when they were not given any rights, they couldnt be expected to take the responsibility of parents also, rather unfair to think of that....because of other reasons also, as per society rules they were supposed to take the responsibility of inlaws family. And in a way it was good also.....दो नावो मैं पैर रखने से नाव डूबती ही हा,उस समय कोई दुविधा नहीं थी मन में,वही सही भी था.शादी के बाद लड़की अपनी ससुराल में रम जाती थी,.Daughters after marriage were treated as guests, and parents also never wanted to take anything from them, rather took it as humiliation, if they ever had to.
Though exceptions are always there..and those who didnt have any son, they might have faced some loneliness also.....but there was and is never a case of daughters not being responsible.

Now today scenario is different..parents are bringing up their daughters and son with equal importance, girls are getting assertive, joint families are vanishing, and inlaws pressure is not there. Girls are working and financially capable of doing everything.And parents dont mind living with them or taking gifts.But since this is a transition period, there are many misconception and the time passes, we will be getting near to the model of west..where children always make their own home...may be we shall be getting more freedom but loosing lot many things in the bargain.

To me ideal situation would be a mix of old and new...instead of going for literal equality, daughters should look after their parents and do everything to make their life comfortable, and be always there when they need...but otherwise live in a model patriarchal society, where girls make a home with their inlaws.and follow the name of husband and his traditions..that brings lot of harmony in life.


Bikramjit said...

Lets how what you say happens.. its we who have made these silly rules of daughter this / that and Son this / that and it is UP TO US to change it all for the good ..


Sandhya said...

Times are changing Renu, even parents want independence and like to live separately. They can take care of themselves, provided they had enough money to take care of themselves.

I see more and more girls taking care of their parents and they are comfortable to do so. Both girls and boys are working unlike old times. So she can take the liberty to spend money on her parents.

Best way is, like it happens in many families now, live separately in the same building or at nearby places and help each other...nobody will be treated as burden. No criticism too.

sm said...

yes one has to find the balance.
give equal importance.
slowly India is changing

Anonymous said...

Does this mean that if I have a son, I will have to pin all my hopes on the girl he will get married to? That in an ideal situation, I will be looked after only by my to-be daughter-in-law. That my upbringing of my son will not reflect in his adulthood and his nature will depend entirely on his wife?
This shows how low we think of our men (husband/father/sons) or how we give up on them and conveniently keep cribbing that it is their wife's fault if their parents are not taken care of.

Rachna said...

Daughters are responsible and attached to their parents because they move away. Joint family is a blessing only if all parties are amicable. In my opinion, parents must not live with their kids but have their own home if possible close to their kids. Thus, both families have their space and independence and yet can cherish each other's love and guidance.

Renu said...

Bikram: I dont think that all rules are bad only, it was a system our elders made, and since they were humans , there may be some shortcomings too, but then with times we can always bring some positive changes, instead of totally discarding the traditions.

Sandhya: so very much true..its best if both can live side by side, in the same building.
But I still find the idea of living together very attractive only if bylaws are decided in advance:)

SM; yeah change is always there, sometime for good and sometimes not so good.

Anonymous: hello why not give your name?
Yes upringing of your son will reflect in his behaviour, but for his family life sometime he may not be able to do everything he wants to do..practically women are the masters of ceremony..and most of the time its they who decide.....and so if the girl takes care of the parents, then also one has to take in consideration the opinion of SIL..situation will not be much different except that men are not so menial, as the girls can be.
Its not about blaming anyone..for not taking care of the parents, but there is basic difference between genders..girls make a home and if they are not well disposed towards inlaws they can make their life hell..and boys dont have many choices, either he can divorce, which his parents wouldnt like, so its parents only who suffer, boys also suffer to an extent but that is the way life goes.

Rachna; yeah living together may be a pleasant experience also and make rtake its toll too..depending upon the people involved.

Amrita said...

Well...I did not quite get what you meant Renu. Is is something like daughters being with in laws and giving them support and all and being for parents as and when they need?
If it is so, then I think its asking a bit too much. I think the balance lies in live and let live. Giving everyone their space and time and space to grow as they want.

Amrita said...

Renu, I dont think I quite got your message. Is is something like daughters being with their in laws and supporting parents as and when they need?
I also agree with the comments above that everyone should have their time and space to live and grow as they want.

Tomz said...

Nice thoughts, but was that little Utopian thought?

up↑take said...

I see around me -- most of the successful guys and girls are from conservative Indian families where parents are not defied. And most attribute their success to the discipline that their parents instilled in them.

deeps said...

Your last summarizes it all…

I guess whats important is that we are happy…generation gap is going to be there always and it s widening generation after generation… but despite of it, if everyone can see to it that relationship is sacred, all will be well :D

Madhu said...

Renu, I think every family is different. There are a few families for whom joint family would suit and for few nuclear would suit.
In a way, I am happy in the sense that people no longer look down on inlwas if their sons choose to live independently and that is what inlaws want anyway, unlike in olden days where every son is expected to stay with his parents, no matter what.

whatever it is, as long as there is some harmony in place, its a good deal.

dr.antony said...

Times have changed.Life too.With changing life style, we pick up suitable habits.
Young adults cannot be handled the way they used to be.They are more independent and knowledgeable.
Daughters or sons,it is their duty to take care of parents.

Pratibha said...

Renu,I think what you are suggesting is pretty eutopian. Please tell me which typically patriarchal family would encourage their DILs to have a prolonged stay at her meternal home, even for taking care of parents? II do not think it is possible to take serious responsility of parents for girls staying in patriarchal set up, its an evil skewed against women on most counts.
Also, with one set of In-laws staying with couples the other set is generally not comfortable visiting often and for longer durations. Why should the girl and her family be devoid of each others company?
It is always better to make a new home and support each set of parents as and when required. This way everyone is independent and happy.Staying together at all times does not prove love but being supportive always does.

Bikramjit said...

Yeah those rules were made by elders but In context to THOSE time how can we forget we have moved on from all that .. things have changed a LOT has changed so shud the rules not change accordingly ..

How can we still think of all those things still when men traveleld by foot now we fly ..


Harman said...

...I think with time things have changed and it depends on social environment too...
not much to say ,I live in joint family and very happy with the atmosphere at home never had an urge to stay separate ,here in US its more of nuclear family but I like to be with parents ,here it also depends on individual too..

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