Like many Indian parents, I had one wish for my daughter – to be happy wherever she is; whatever she does; whomever she lives with.
Unlike what society told me, I never put any sort of restrictions on my daughters. I told them they can do anything and everything that a man can do. I raised them to live life on their own terms and let society judge them.
A mother of two daughters, I knew how society unfairly judges and shames women at every step of their lives. There have been multiple instances when I was blamed or shamed for being the daughter of two daughters.
Initially, I used to cry but as I raised my daughters, I realized that it doesn’t matter whatever society says about me and my daughters.
Because, society may judge me or mock my daughters’ failure, they will never be able to bring as much happiness in my life as my daughters have brought.
Like many moms of today, I am a strong woman myself. But, sadly, when my daughter broke down in front of me while talking about how she was ill-treated by her in-laws, I had my emotional moment.
But, I wasn’t only broken as a mom. I was also disappointed as a woman. I wondered how being a woman you can treat another woman so miserably. How could you abuse another woman or put her through the same agony that you once went through?
My daughter’s mother-in-law was a victim of abuse herself. Based on what my son-in-law told my daughter, this woman was badly treated by her own mother-in-law.
Even after realizing the pain that abuse brings, she had no shame in giving the same pain to someone else.
My daughter remained silent for almost two years in a hope that things will get better. But, over time, she came to a realization that the abuse won’t stop until she stands for herself.
When she raised her voice against the abuse and told she can’t take it anymore. Rather than understanding her issues, her mother-in-law created a well-scripted drama.
After yelling at my daughter and calling her names, she told her son:
“Mainey kaha tha yeh ladki tez hai; Ab dekhle yeh ‘Kal ki aayi ladki’ humari family tod rahi hai. Isko itni problem hain hum se. Yeh tujhe humse alag karke hi rahegi. Dekh lena.”
And to calm and defuse the situation, my son-in-law told my daughter to go to her room, and then he spent 5-6 hours to calm her mother down and tell her that nothing will happen.
This incident broke my daughter as it made her feel like the culprit. Rather than focusing on her abusive nature, her mother-in-law blamed my daughter for breaking the family.
As a mother of an abused daughter, I want to write this letter to her in-laws who abused my daughter and then blamed her for breaking the family.
Dear In-laws of my daughter:
Centuries have gone and many parents like me have worked really hard to empower our daughters to be treated equally to men. So, rather than treating her with love and respect, it isn’t okay to find flaws and insult her with every passing moment.
She hasn’t joined a training center where people only keep finding faults in her. Keep telling her why she isn’t a good wife or a daughter-in-law.