Here’s yet another open letter by our community member capturing the pain of many married Indian daughters, who are expected to take care of her in-laws but not her parents.
If you have been raised by parents, who treated you at par with your brother, spent their savings to give you the best education that they could and prioritized your dreams over their own, then after marriage, you may find yourself struggling to find the answer to a simple question –
Why just in-laws, why can’t married daughters take care of their parents?
Many celebrate the joy that a lot of today’s generation parents are raising daughters equal to sons. These parents don’t believe in differentiating between son and daughter. They believe in giving equal rights to both of them.
But sadly this sense of equality is just till the time daughters are not married. Our hypocrite society wants to raise daughters equal to their sons. But, when it is about their daughter-in-law, the rules are completely different. They want their sons to take care of them but they want their daughter-in-law to understand that her parents are not her responsibility anymore.
The girl who was free to take care of her parents, post-marriage have to seek multiple levels of approvals to even meet her parents. Her childhood dream of “Jab Mai Badi Ho Jaungi Toh Mummy Papa Ka Dhyan Main Rakhungi” is shattered forever. It is heartbreaking how marriage strips her of every right to take care of her parents.
Son’s Parents Are Responsibility, But Daughter’s Parents Are A Burden?
Don’t get me wrong, I am more than happy to take care of my in-laws. I would be on my toes to support my husband in whatever we can do to give my in-laws a healthy, happy, and hopeful life.
But, am I wrong in desiring to do the same for my parents. Parents who sacrificed their whole life to make me who I am today. Is it unfair to expect my husband to treat my parents the same way as I treat his?
I don’t want to be judged or expected to seek approvals every time I support my parents – emotionally or financially. I don’t want to be reminded that people who let their daughter-in-law support her parents are so GREAT or ‘Mahaan’? You, don’t have to give permission to a daughter to take care of her parents. It shouldn’t be treated as a grand gesture or a huge favor. Rather, it should be seen as a couple’s responsibility to take care of both sets of parents.
The sad mentality of treating daughters as ‘Paraya Dhan’, always fails those progressive parents who have treated their daughters at par with their sons. These parents from time to time are being told that they are less important for their daughters compared to her in-laws. They have been warned to not be burden or liability of their daughter after marriage.
This always makes me wonder how could you even justify gender equality when taking care of parents of one gender is labeled as RESPONSIBILITY, while of other as BURDEN?
Aching Heart Of Every Daughter
As I take care of my in-laws, there is always a deeper voice in my heart telling me that my parents are all alone. It is heartbreaking how even in the 21st century, strong and independent women find themselves on the crossroads, where society’s regressive thought process doesn’t let them take care of their parents freely.
While our patriarchal society may tell us that it is tradition or this is how it has always been, but no one can deny that it is unfair. How women are expected to leave behind the ones who selflessly raised them to struggle with life all alone? Shouldn’t it be her responsibility to take care of her parents financially and emotionally as she expected to do for her in-laws?
Your shallow take on gender equality won’t work in the 21st century. You can’t raise your daughters to believe in gender equality and expect them to forget about it, once they are married. You can’t tell them to dump their values and beliefs about gender equality because regressive traditions need to be followed.
Because today’s Indian woman isn’t going to accept your hypocrisy about gender inequality. They want to see the change. The future of the institution of marriage lies on society’s shoulder. Because, if the society is not ready to give up on it’s the regressive take of unequal marriages, then the institution of marriage is doomed!