Marriage, one of the sacred bonds in every society and the primary vehicle of the institution of the family, is viewed differently by different people.
One of the basic issues which I suppose is least addressed in our society, despite some laws of the land, is the rift between in-laws and the daughter-in-law. The girl who ‘happily’ leaves the warmth of the unconditional love and care of her parents, the fun making with her siblings, the home which sheltered her in her thick and thin, the lanes and by-lanes where her childhood memories are ‘buried’, the friends who hold her secrets in their chests, the relatives who used to be her strength, the matamaal visits which had been her “Eid days” and everything what was her ‘assert’ before marriage. But for what? Only to be tortured at her in-laws’ house which hardly becomes her home and if it becomes someday, the dreams had already been strangulated. Now, she dreams but for her children as she ceases to be her real self anymore.
I wonder how much civilized and modern we have become but we are still the old stuff though materially we have progressed leaps and bounds. Our mind is still stuck in the stone ages where in people were ruled by force. We fail to recognise that we are living in the times where force hardly works. We can rule not only the heads but hearts as well but with love, care, affection, compassion, justice and equality. Gone are the days when people were tamed like cattle and sheep. So, we must rethink our collective perspective as a society.
And yes, the daughters-in-law to ones are daughters to others. Thus, if our daughter in law suffers somehow in our home, our daughter would too suffer at the hands of her in-laws. Because, we forget, what goes around comes around. How could we ignore the fact that the daughter who scarifies everything whatever she owes, for others (in-laws and their relations) to keep them happy. But have we ever realised who will keep her happy? Who will offer sacrifice for her? Who will live to her expectations? For God’s sake, tell me, why only the daughter has to sacrifice her aspirations and dreams? Why her dreams and aspirations are always trampled upon? Why she is often expected to pay the price for the fault she never did? Why on earth she is being treated like other commodities every now and then? Why can’t we realise her importance as the half of the humanity?
But the question arises who is responsible for such a worst treatment of the daughter? The answer is aptly given by a handy Kashmiri idiom, “Dars chu phalwan punnuye pun” which means diamond cuts diamond. Likewise, a daughter is responsible for the miseries and sufferings of another daughter because the present time mother-in-law was the daughter-in-law of the past and the present day daughter-in-law is the mother-in-law of future. So, it is not the man who is directly responsible for all the mess rather the women herself who axes her own feet and degrades her own status.
So our society which is mostly patriarchal should rethink its collective responsibility towards womenfolk who forms the important half of the society. Primarily, we must raise our voice towards this injustice and should not close our eyes. Also, we need to do moral counselling of our women folk on regular intervals to make them realise that they are suffering at their own hands. Last but not the least, one of the most important points I would like to highlight here is that generally all the mothers-in-law and in a good number of cases fathers-in-law as well somehow think that their ‘field of influence’ is being trespassed by some ‘foreign element’ (read daughter-in-law), which often becomes the initial reason of strife in the family and ultimately leads to disintegration of both the family as well as the relationships.
Therefore, it is incumbent on all of us to wake up as early as possible else the family and social fabric are in danger.