I watched the movie The Kargil Girl over weekend. And throughout the movie, I was in awe of Pankaj Tripathi, who played the role of Gunjan Saxena’s father. Unlike many fathers, the character of Pankaj Tripathi fought against all odds to make sure her daughter breaks the cages of society and is able to fly high.
Even though many across the society applauded the character of Pankaj Tripathi, there are very few fathers, who support their daughters in achieving their aims and excelling in their career! There are very few daughters blessed with feminist fathers, who refuse to force them to marry and support their decisions to create lives of their own.
Dear fathers, your daughter can shine much brighter if you support her, rather than standing with the society. Being a daughter myself, I want to let every father know that the life journey of your daughter becomes much easier and brighter if she is supported by you. Here’s some ways we hope fathers can support their daughters and let them shine brighter:
- Rather than pressurizing her for marriage, believe in her, her dreams and ambitions!
- Don’t let society objectify her as paraya dhan or a burden on her family.
- Treat her as equal to your son; give her the same opportunities as your son! Don’t discriminate against them just because she is a woman! Don’t treat her as subordinate gender!
- Don’t over protect her! Let her be independent to handle her life!
- Rather than raising her to suffer in silence, raise her to fight for herself and her dignity!
- Don’t tell her to sacrifice herself, her dreams and her aspiration for husband or in-laws. Don’t tell her to be so selfless that others treat her like a doormat and punching bag!
- Give her the freedom that she deserves – the freedom to wear the clothes that she wants to wear; the freedom to choose her career, the freedom to choose her words; the freedom to choose the life that she wants to live!
- Unlearn the ideas that a woman is worth only if she can make perfect round rotis. Appreciate your daughter for whatever she has achieved, no matter how small or large the achievement is.
- Stop making marriage her life goal; Getting married or staying unmarried is her life choice and respect her whatever the choice she makes!
- Rather than shaming her for her mistakes, support her when she fails!
Dear fathers, being a woman isn’t easy in our patriarchal society. One has to go through many ups and downs before reaching the top, especially in the case of women who have to defy a male-oriented and male-dominated society to make a stable space for themselves.
While many mothers raise strong daughters, the daughters shine even brighter when they are supported by their fathers! In a patriarchal society, when fathers support their daughters, it leaves the whole society with a hope that things would get better soon!