Mahavir Singh Phogat in Dangal or Jayant, Amrita’s father, in Thappad, reminds us of not-so-often spoken truth. How strong, confident, and independent women are often raised by fathers who believe their daughters are no less than sons.
But then why, rather than celebrating these fathers, our hypocrite society blames & shames them at every step.
“Pehelwani Toh Chorey Karein Hain.”
Remember how society tried to suppress or shame Mahavir Singh Phogat when he decided to raise his daughters to be the best players in wrestling. A game perceived only for men in India.
Why Mahavir had to listen to society’s harsh words or face harsh treatments while he was working hard to make national champions? Why he had to fight so many battles to raise daughters, who believed they were no less than a man? Wouldn’t the mission to build national champions be much easier if he was the father of a boy?
And how could we forget Jayant, Amrita’s father in Thappad? He stood by her and didn’t ask his daughter to lower her voice just for the sake of the family’s reputation. All this while he himself was battling with the society’s unwarranted pressures.
I may be taking examples from movies to make you relate with these fathers, but don’t be mistaken. These fathers are as real as you and me. They might be rare but they are real.
How society fails to understand them or stand by them is also real. Their struggle starts from the day they hold their daughters and refuse to mourn their birth.
Society tends to fail these fathers at every step!
Rather than celebrating the daughter’s birth, society tells him to mourn and sulk.
“Are Ladki huyi hai, next time Ladka ho jayega”
It continues when he treats his daughter as an equal.
“Padai pe itna kyun kharch karna hai, isski shaadi kar do”
“Arey beti ki shadi ki umar ho gayi hai ab Padai aur mat karao”
When he lets her live life on her own terms.
“Beti badi ho rahi hai thoda dhyan rakho” “Itne chote kapde pehen kar bahar mat jane do” “Pata nahin kaisa baap hai, beti koi kitni choot de rakhi hai”
And most importantly, when he raises his daughter to respect herself.
“Ladki hai, issey thodi bardasht karne ki aadat dalo”
“Isko muh fatt mat banao yeh ladki hai”
While society might be busy failing these fathers every day, it is quite inspiring how these fathers refuse to give a sh*t about what society has to tell them.
Society may label these role models as the feminist fathers or modern fathers, for me they are what every father should be. A father who believes in you, irrespective of your gender.
The one who doesn’t let Dadi comment on your education. The one who doesn’t let Bua nag you for getting married. The one who doesn’t let Chachaji sulk about your freedom. The one who doesn’t let Aunties and Uncles question your life choices.
And sometimes, the one who doesn’t let your mother remind you that you are a girl!
We want to take a bow to every father who was disappointed by the society at every step while he was raising a strong and independent daughter.
We want to thank them for being strong for us when society wanted them to give in to their patriarchal mindset.
We want to thank them for raising daughters like Kalpana Chawla, Indra Nooyi, Sushmita Sen and many more.
We want to thank them for raising us as a son – for making us believe that there is nothing that we can’t do, that men can
We want to thank them for fighting our battles against society when we couldn’t
We want to thank them for letting us inherit their – Don’t Give a F**k attitude for what society has to say
We don’t want to take them foregranted by telling them – “You haven’t done anything great, that was your duty.”
Yes, raising us maybe was their duty, but we understand the battles that they had to fight for us!
Dear Hypocrite Society,
Stop telling us that you believe in Equality because you clearly don’t! How you fail a father raising a strong & independent daughter clearly shows what you believe in.
But like my father, I do not care about what you think. Because I am my father’s daughter and no one could stop me from standing for myself, my dignity, my self-respect, and My Dreams.