Even though we are living in the 21st century, still many Indian families are suffering from the superiority complex of being ‘ladke wale‘ or inferiority complex of being ladki wale.
It is heartbreaking how the parents of a son, tend to perceive themselves as Demi-Gods or the ones belonging to a superior race. They are full of arrogance, shallow egos, and fake character. It disgusts me how many times even well-educated and well-to-do families suffer from this superiority complex of Ladke Wale! My mother-in-law is one such person, who wants me and my entire family to worship her just because she is a parent of my husband.
My mother-in-law wants my parents to feel indebted to her throughout their lives because she feels she has done a huge favor to them by letting her son marry me. She wants me to carry the endless burden of her unfair expectations just because she feels she has given me a golden opportunity to marry her son!
My Acquaintance With Ladke Wala Syndrome
My husband and I met in our MBA college and we felt we were made for each other. As my husband has a very progressive thought-process, I assumed even his parents would too. In fact, when he told me how well educated his mother and father were, I felt thrilled and comforted. But, I didn’t know that education is no parameter to judge progressiveness in our patriarchal society.
I hardly met my in-laws before marriage. And, how many times I met them, they, especially my mother-in-law, tend to make me feel accepted and loved. Unfortunately, with time, I got to know how regressive, controlling and territorial my mother-in-law was.
It was heartbreaking how my mother-in-law revealed her controlling tendencies over time.
She wanted to control everything and everyone around her. She wanted me to obey her every decision without questioning. She wanted me to follow her orders and do certain things even if I didn’t want to. For instance, after 2 years of marriage, my mother-in-law wanted me to leave my job and start a family.
Her interference was demeaning at so many levels. Firstly, it was my and my husband’s decision when to start a family? Secondly, how could she ask me to leave my job to start my family? Why doesn’t she ask her son to leave his job to start a family? Thirdly, she won’t leave any chance to let our neighbors and relatives know that I wasn’t thinking of starting a family!
But, what broke my heart when she called my father and asked him to interfere. She said:
“Bhaisahab, tell Neha to start planning a family! If she won’t do it now, there will be complications later on! And, you should definitely tell her to leave her job! It’s because of her focus on a career that she couldn’t focus on family!”
“Behenji, they are not kids anymore. They are responsible adults. They can take their life decisions on their own. You don’t need to worry about them! Let them decide when they want to have a family and how they will manage! You should relax and enjoy your life.”
Realizing my father wasn’t ready to get in-line, my mother-in-law felt dejected. She felt insulted that neither her bahu rani nor her father ready to take orders from her.
“How could he speak to us like that? Has he forgotten that he is a father of a daughter? Ladki wale hoke itna attitude?”, my mother-in-law retaliates as my father took a stand against her abusive behaviour.
“He doesn’t know how to talk to us? When he doesn’t have any respect for Ladke Wale, then how could we even expect anything from his daughter? I am tired of being disrespected and insulted in this house!” my mother-in-law screams at me!
While my husband tends to calm her down, I feel so sorry for my father. My father, who made sure he raises a strong and independent daughter, took a massive bank loan to fund my higher education; he left no stone unturned in giving me the best education and life that he could. And, now because of me, he was called bad names!
But, I couldn’t let that happen! So, I went into my room leaving behind the drama scene and my arrogant mother. And, when my mother-in-law suggested that my father should apologize, I raised my voice for the first time. I told her that my father won’t apologize and how she needs to stop interfering in my personal matters. I refuse to bow down to her anymore.
The Bottom Line
Even though Indian women have put the country on Mars, our society still suffer from the heart-breaking syndrome of perceiving Ladki wale as inferior. Our society still expects the parents of daughter to bow down their heads in the service of parents of boy.
In times when women are walking shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts, it is a high time that our society gets rid of this regressive and patriarchal mindset.