It is sad how our society tends to fool parents of daughters into believing that once they get them married, they are outsiders. Even though it is the 21st century, still many won’t have any shame in calling daughters paraya dhan!
Like many fathers of today, I never believed in treating my daughter any less than my son. When both my kids came into my life, they added happiness and love. I don’t love either one of them any less than the other. If they are hurt, I feel equal pain! If they are happy, I feel equal joy! On their achievements, I am equally excited!
So, why society keeps reminding me that my daughter is paraya dhan! Firstly, she isn’t an object. And secondly, she is as mine as is my son!
At her wedding, when I was asked to do Kanyadaan, I did it to respect our traditions. But frankly, I don’t believe any parent can ever donate their daughter to someone else. No parent can snap all the attachments with their kid and hand them over to someone else. Firstly, we don’t own our kids. They are not our possession to donate. Secondly, asking a parent to donate their daughter is like asking them to tear out a huge chunk of their heart to hand it over to someone, whom you barely know!
But what shook me even more, was the fact that people assumed that because I have got my daughter married or did her Kanyadaan, I should treat her less like my daughter and more like someone else’s wife or daughter-in-law!
No wonder, whenever I took a stand for my daughter in front of her in-laws and husband, they always tried to shut me down.
“Bhai Sahab, Sneha is our daughter now! We will see what is best for her!”
“Bhai Sahab, Sneha is married now. She is part of our family. You shouldn’t get involved in our family matters!”
“Bhai Sahab, Don’t encourage Sneha to work! We want her to start a family! She is a married woman now and not just your daughter!”
It broke my heart how I was told not to worry about my daughter’s happiness just because she is married! I was told that my daughter’s business wasn’t my business anymore.
It is a matter of shame how even in the 21st-century daughters and their parents are struggling to seek respect and equality from boy’s parents! What is even more disgusting is the fact that the educated sons-in-law from well-to-do families stand silently and let their parents’ regressive behaviors ruin their wives’ life and their marriage.
While other men may be ok to be quiet, I am not. So, here is my message to our regressive society – I may have done the Kanyadaan of my daughter, but that doesn’t mean I have donated her happiness and independence. She may have been married now, but she will always be my daughter first. Neither she is paraya nor she is dhan. She is my daughter and she will always be my priority, come what may!
To the parents who refuse to stand by their daughters out of fear of log kya kahengey.
Sorry, but if you can’t take a stand for your daughter, you never deserved her in the first place! If you treat her like an outsider just because she is married now, you don’t deserve her! If you tell her to compromise on her dreams just because that’s what society demands, then you are doing a really bad job at being a parent!
Just because she is married now doesn’t change the fact that you were the ones who brought her into this world. So as a parent, fight for your daughter; fight for her happiness; fight for her dreams. Because once a daughter, always a daughter!