My mother-in-law is a Ph.D. and my father-in-law is a successful entrepreneur. When they met me and my family for the first time, we were charmed by them! They sounded not only progressive, but also intellectual and modern. I was so happy and felt so blessed that my in-laws were progressive and were very modern. But unfortunately, my so-called educated and progressive in-laws were no different.
Since the first week of my marriage, my in-laws had a rule book, and every rule was made very clear to me.
1. Even though I may have been raised in a different house, I have to follow the rules of this house. Even though the people of the family may or may not follow the rules, but I have to follow every rule as I was a daughter-in-law – the so-called Ghar ki izzat! But these rules weren’t just rules, these were a way to control how much I dream, how much I succeed, how much I sacrifice.
2. Doesn’t matter how educated I am; I have to remember that the only parameter that would be used to judge me would be how good I am at serving others! The only parameter that would decide if I succeed in life is how quietly I made sacrifices for others! It was made clear that I was there to serve others. It was heart-breaking because even after being progressive in-laws, I was nothing more than a servant to my in-laws!
3. It was sad how even my educated mother-in-law was so insecure about me & my achievements. She was suffering from this constant fear that I was there to steal her son, or her son would start respecting me more! So, she made it a point to either belittle my achievements or creating unnecessary situations to raise conflicts between me and my husband!
4. A daughter in law doesn’t and shouldn’t be attached to her family now: If you are one of those who believes that all educated people are progressive, then you are wrong. Even in the 21st century, my so-called educated and progressive in-laws believe that a wife should desert and forget her parental family after marriage!
5. Daughters-in-law are inferior to sons-in-law: When educated in-laws fail to accept men and women equally at their homes, then what hope do we have for the ones who are neither educated nor progressive! Being a graduate from one of the finest colleges in India, I faced all the issues that any woman would have faced 50 years back.
It is disheartening that no matter what your education or your dreams are, just because you are a daughter-in-law and a wife, so you have to naturally accept a lower position in the family!
This unfair treatment could leave many heartbroken and shattered! Though this treatment left my angry and depressed, what broke me was the fact that even educated people treated women as a second-class citizen! I wonder even in the 21st century when educated in-laws are mistreating their daughter-in-law, will things ever change? Will our society accept the fact that daughter-in-law deserves equal love and respect?