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Women are the back bone of men – October 1st, 2003

How far is it true?

Especially for a woman from a conservative Indian family. Is this truly applicable to her? The exceptions are just a very few courageous ones.

Here is the story of my good friend that will give some insight into the life of a conservative Indian woman.

As a child she was brought up in a joint family. She was a happy go lucky child. Many things made it possible. She had an understanding parents, servants to do the household chores, many cousins and toys to play with. All she knew was happiness. Her mother was educated but sacrificed her career to take care of her children and the family. One day she rinsed my friend’s school uniform and in the morning when my friend found out that she was running out of uniform, the scolding her mum got from her – I guess, she was too young to realise other’s feelings at that time!

Later she was put up in a hostel during her University. She had many friends and she enjoyed a carefree life which was full of fun. No burdens, no worries and financially she was comfortable too. But her mother was always as concerned as what she does. When she came back home for holidays, I still remember her mother insisting her to learn to cook, to be responsible and to control her temper. My friend would get annoyed and with her father’s support, she was ultimately the winner in the tiff between her mother and she.

Her mother withdraws from the argument telling that she would realize only when she gets married and go and live in another family; At that time it all looked like a joke to her and I think she was like any other normal Indian girl.

Later, when she got married, it was an experience in itself for her as she was encountering a different world. It was basically due to the kind of family set up, she was in. The joint family system had its own disadvantage. Though she was educated, and capable, things did not work out for her, for various reasons. She had a very little freedom and she had to always balance among all family members’ advice and wish.

The main reason was the least recognition as a ‘daughter-in-law’ that made things very difficult for her. Then, she realised the truth behind her mother’s advice to be more responsible and patient.

Until and unless the people change their mindset and start to treat the daughters-in-law with more dignity, a woman’s life in a joint family, would ever be gloomy. Daughters-in-law must be treated as par as the daughters in the family.

But sadly, not many women are considered as a part of the family. Many a time, they are mistaken to have influenced their husbands negatively. At the end, she becomes responsible, if anything goes wrong. As a result, Indian women face many hindrances to support their husbands.

Some years back people had patience. My friend’s mother could bury her wish and could devote her life, for the so called good of the family. But these days there are more opportunities for women. The wider the world is, the broader the knowledge is. Scientific inventions have changed the world but not the hearts. When are the doors going to be opened better for the Orthodox Indian Women? This question has no answer, as yet.

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