I narrate to you a story of a man, a husband and a father. About what was meted out to him (as he claims) that made him the shameless abusive man that he is.
"My father-in-law and brother-in-law are the most cunning people on this earth. They always want to put me down and have done so time and again by not giving me the gift promised on the birth of my daughter. They deceived me by not giving me the return on my funds and my part of interest in a loan advanced through me, not paying for the services used for me and backing out on a loan promised to me because of which I suffered a huge loss. They get pleasure by putting their son-in-law down.
My elder daughter doesn't respect me and always answers back. All this has been taught to her by my brother-in-law. My wife and two daughters only act upon what they are instructed by my brother-in-law."
Let's just take this at face value even though it is only a one-sided perspective of a strong angry man who feels he is the victim here, "troubled" by his continuous financial and inter-personal circumstances. And there's a lot more never-ending rubbish that I can mention here. My reason to not mention my side of the story or justify any of his false claims are the questions ahead.
Does any of the things he said above give him the right to:
Dictate whether his wife can talk to her family? Abuse his wife physically and mentally when she's talking to her family? Stop his wife from meeting her ailing father who eventually passed away without meeting her? Verbally abuse (the never-ending Hindi abuses) his wife, her family and his own daughters? Threaten to kill his wife's nephew since she wished to attend his wedding? Lock his wife and daughters in the house so that they could not step out? Raise his hand on his daughter for wanting to go to her maternal cousin's wedding when she was alone in the house? Hide away all the house and car keys and his wife's jewellery?
To the present day, we are not on talking terms with my father. He still feels like he has the right to talk ill about his own daughter. He says he will put it in the newspapers tomorrow when she is out with friends at 12.30 am and vouch that it is actually a concern.
He showed his pe*** to his elder daughter when she confronted him for talking ill about her sister. He also threatened his elder daughter that he'll make a video on her when she started taking a video of his abusive and obscene behaviour.
Does a man troubled by his circumstances in life have a right to do all of the above?
Did we not try to make him understand time and again? Definitely yes. We also reached out to people around and our family. Nobody had the guts to speak against him because he has never listened to anybody in his life ever.
More importantly, is a daughter wrong in having confronted and revolted against her father every time he behaved inappropriately? Was she wrong in calling the police for security and lodging a complaint against him? For protecting her mother and sister from his wrath when they lacked the courage to do so.
Or does she become a cause of shame to the family or a disrespectful young girl for having raised her voice against her father? This is the sorry state of women in this country even in 2017.
Quite a few men and their families still feel that they own their wives, daughters-in-law and daughters. That they have the right to dictate their lives and that women are bound to listen to them. That a woman's family is always bound to listen to their son-in-law. Ohh and the Indian man's ego (not all men) has no dead end.
Don't men as husbands, brothers, fathers etc. need to have blind trust on women in their lives. For a man who has two daughters, should he not have all the more reasons to bring them up as independent women, where nothing in life can stop them and that probably his future sons-in-law could also met out such behaviour on his daughters?
Couldn't there be many more ways to solve a problem than to resort to abusive behaviour?
Women still feel the need to stay back home for family, children, culture, money, love and many more reasons. When will each woman in this country (probably not the younger generation) learn to be self-independent, who'll command the respect that she deserves? When will she feel free enough to take her own decisions and act upon it without seeking approval?
By writing all this, I don't take away any of the love, comfort, luxuries, education, basic necessities, anything at all that my father provided us with even in difficult times. And beyond what he could actually afford all our lives, until six months back.
The above violence is spread over a period of 20 years with his wife. But is this enough? Shouldn't he have always loved and respected the three women in his life?
We have been brought up in an environment of love and togetherness of our families. My mother still does not have the courage to leave this man since the society has conditioned her to accept this as her fate and not give back. Such are Indian women with their never-ending selflessness. She still feels responsible for her husband.
I, as a modern young girl, feel helpless for not being able to leave this house for my mother's and sister's sake. With nowhere else to go until I take up a job and earn for myself (at the cost of leaving my professional studies), which I am capable of and have the courage to do so.
I dearly love everyone who I call family but I have no regard left for this man, who has stooped down to the lowest levels. It is in bad times that your real character reflects. Dangerously abusive is his.
My only reason to share my story is dire hope of and a wish to see a change where we'll live in a society with no gender bias and stupid societal expectations from women as wives, mothers, daughters, sisters. Where she will be supported by the people around her and will be loved unconditionally. Where she can make her own life choices and never feel helpless or bound by anything. Where everyone lives happily and peacefully in a free world with no hatred or negative emotions (too far-fetched maybe).
I end my story with the quote ~ "Being positive in a negative situation is not naive. It's leadership." Since we are still hopeful that this phase will soon pass with some progression in the people around us and if not, then we as a trio are becoming stronger (especially my mother and sister) with every passing day to start a fresh some day with all the happiness.
-An anonymous strong headed daughter