I Am A Daughter First Then A Daughter-In-Law: My Parents Deserve Respect Too

Ratika  Agnihotri Ratika Agnihotri in Culture Shock on 24 November, 2017

A few days back, I read a blog about the life of Indian daughters after they got married. These women were not allowed to visit their parents as frequently as they liked. The boy’s family would let her do so, but unwillingly. So many questions came to my mind after reading that blog. It brought back all the memories of the experiences that I thought I had forgotten.

The main issue is that a girl should be treated equally like a boy.

This is the root cause that leads to so many other issues in the Indian society. If you are settled abroad, then this system sucks all the more.

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In case the woman is not working, she cannot even talk about her rights.

People like us get to go back to India only for a limited number of days. So we know we are just going to visit our people back home and end up spending very limited time with our parents. Like our in-laws, our parents too yearn to spend time with their grandkids.

But since they are the girl’s parents, they should learn to compromise and should know that ‘ladki to paraya dhan hoti hai.’

The situation gets messier when the parents want to visit the daughter. The guy’s parents can rightfully visit the son’s house. They can come and visit anytime and stay for as long as they want.

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But the girl’s parents cannot do so because it is their ‘ladki ka ghar.’ 

How can they come and stay in their daughter’s house when they are not even supposed to have a single glass of water there.

So in all, the girl’s parents only get loneliness and abuse after getting their daughter married. Why?

It shocks me, even more, when this happens in an arranged marriage. Why do things change immediately after the girl gets married? The boy chose to marry that particular girl and was OK with her family. The boy and his family even accepted the dowry or the so-called expensive gifts from them and now suddenly the family is not good enough for him and his family.

Who made these rules and why were these rules made?
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Everything is a part of a vicious circle. The girl’s parents suffer so much in the Indian society. Maybe that is why they prefer boys. One of my close friends gave birth to a girl child and her in-laws were quite happy. But her mother-in-law told her that though they were very happy, the society that they lived in always preferred a male child. This was because they wanted to spare themselves from the pain of separation and the pain of seeing their own daughter in pain.

She felt that it is really painful to send your daughter to another person’s house for her entire lifetime. And seeing her in pain over there is the most unbearable thing for a parent.

I was glad that they at least acknowledged and understood the pain that women experience after getting married. Many times the married daughter hides her agony from her parents and pretends that she is happy. She hides her loneliness because she does not want to make her parents unhappy.

Why cannot we mould all these rules and live happily with one another? Why can’t we treat the girl’s parents with the same respect that we treat a boy’s parents?

Why can’t we treat our daughters-in-law like our own daughters?

Somebody must have thought about such things, isn't it? How did we come up with a word like ‘daughter-in-law’? It has the word ‘daughter’ in it. There must be some sound reason behind it, isn’t it?

If we can’t change these small things within our families, how can we bring about a bigger change around us and in the society at large? 
Author's Note:

I know that there will be many comments saying that even daughters-in-law are changing and that they are not treating their in-laws like their parents. But I would want to ask them only one question – who has pushed these limits? What is the reason behind this aggressive approach? Somewhere we too are at fault because we have created this situation. We still associate power with money and financial independence.

Editor's Note:

Let’s share this story because only if the women in the family are respected and treated equally, can we ever hope to create harmony within and around our homes.