Saturday, September 21, 2013

Falling in love - A social taboo?

I recently saw a talk show on TV between some couples who had eloped and married on one side and their parents on the other.

One such parent, a teacher, mentioned that to vent their anger against their daughter, she along with her husband had burnt all her educational certificates from LKG till degree. The girl in question happens to be a BTech graduate. The mother said this with absolutely no remorse as if it was a totally justified act. She also said that they had totally cut off all relations with their daughter.

There are two things that are really hard hitting here.

One - There are still a lot of communities in India where parents cannot accept their wards choosing their life partners on their own accord. This woman said that she had faced extreme humiliations in her neighbourhood and relative circles when her daughter ran away with the man of her choice. There are families where the youngsters do not discuss such matters openly with their parents and are not given the liberty to do so. Even if they did, they would be chastised for tarnishing the family name. No opportunity would be given to make their point. Immediate steps would be taken to somehow find an alternative bride or groom within their community and marry them off. Parental egos and so called social image would hold high and the young couple would be forced to take measures like eloping and marrying. Of course, movies, media etc. do misguide the youth and in some cases the decision they take is a little rash and immature without any proper attempts to convince their not-so-conservative parents. On one side we have places where even live-in relationships are accepted with dignity. On the other side we still have places and communities like these where 'falling in love' is like a crime or an antisocial act. There is definitely a small percent of cases where men with no moral intentions lure girls in the name of love and then exploit them and leave them stranded. Without taking these into consideration, some communities have a long way to go to stop treating unarranged relationships as a taboo.

Two - This lady was a teacher. This is the quality of teachers that teach in our schools. Teachers impart 50% academic knowledge and 50% life and social skills. What kind of social lessons or life lessons would such a person impart to the kids? Who gives her the right to destroy her daughter's future in the name of anger or revenge? What kind of example would she set to her students and how narrow-mindedly would she view the camaraderie between her own students if they belong to the opposite sexes?

Somehow the latter point above troubles me more.

32 comments:

  1. A teacher, burning all her daughter's degree certificates, is really not justified here. I personally believe that there is a long way to go before we eradicate such evils from the society.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes Diwakar an awfully long way to go and education does not seem to be the only way as it does not seem to serve its purpose!

      Delete
  2. Education is a commodity and teaching just a job to take the salary at the end of the month. I've long since been disillusioned about 'teachers'.Even in their midst there are a few gems who believe in the true giving away of knowledge and guiding. But very few.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. Such gems have existed all along in the course of humanity. Teaching as you said is just another means to make money today!

      Delete
  3. Though my parents are educated and broad-minded, they will never accept me or my brother 'falling in love'. The reason? They believe in arrange marriages only and even thoughts of going on a date is unacceptable. Love marriages and inter-caste marriages are a big NO in my family. What will relatives say? What will my grandparents think? How will aunts, uncles, chacha, chachi and neighbours react? These questions do the rounds in the minds of the parents(mostly middle class families) that hail from states like UP(I am from UP as well) and Bihar.

    If I even think of falling in love, it will give me panic attacks and backlash from the kind of society I live in. Thats for sure.Period. In such a scenario, there's no choice left but to go and marry a stranger:( Falling in love is left only for day-dreams and fantasies.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Snehal

      even my parents are educated and broadminded but I don't think a love marriage would be easily acceptable to them. if it's outside my caste then it would be very very difficult for them to accept but of late I have seen such occurances in my Tamil brahmin community and I see parents coming to terms with it though against their fundamental beliefs. I had an arranged marriage and life had been quite good. So don't u worry :)

      Delete
  4. All the girl's academic achievements burned by a teacher, no less. Forget that it is her own mother? It is disgusting to think that we have such kind of people in our country with such prejudiced views towards the most basic emotion of life.
    The recent Khap murder just makes my blood boil.. both sets of elders were happy after killing their own child whom they brought up. Neither filed a case and the girl's parents quickly went and tried to cremate her to get rid of the evidence.
    How can we call ourselves a modern country when this sort of practise is still common? Not a single political party of that state even condemned it.. all scared of losing vote banks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Honor Killings! My God Roshan, Thats totally criminal and insane and yes, my blood boils too. Irony is mythology talks about kings marrying s fishermen's daughters and humans marrying giants etc. In reality a lot of things blind them and there is no one to question! Sad!

      Delete
  5. Shameful it is! It shows the lack of values and tolerance in the elders who stopped growing up:(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly Rahul. I dont know if they deserve the name 'elders' at all!

      Delete
  6. cases are worse that parents kill their children... this is better...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes Satish. Those are the worst and totally unforgivable. How can people get so blind with stupid beliefs?

      Delete
  7. So much bitterness for your own child, when you could have been the bigger person and forgiven her? Sad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the girl was forced to elope considering all the pressure she faced Purba. Actually there is no reason for ire or forgiveness I guess. The parents activities shows how small they are! Sad!

      Delete
  8. You have raised very valid points here Jaish. I think parental ego is the main reason. They just cloak it up in the name of social honour etc .. Deep down, I think the parents just cannot digest the fact that their son/daughter did not go by their decision for such an important aspect of life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True Aarthy. Its ego more than anything else and it cannot change in a day.

      Delete
  9. This is going to take a long time to cure Jaish! Most people in the world accept 'right' and 'wrong' as per handed down wisdom and do not think about it at all. Far too few people have a sense of self-worth that id solely determined by their own value systems - self-worth is only a consequence of what society says about them and not something that comes from inside. Unless these things change there will not be much change in these attitudes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree Suresh. Coming to think of it, many do not realize that what they perceive as the entire world is just a tiny fraction of the real big world. If they think on those terms they may cure themselves!

      Delete
  10. Complete lack of communication!! This is the true generation gap...or should I say, abyss?! What a horrid way of dealing with the situation!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seriously! Even I was taken aback when I heard this.

      Delete
  11. Such a shame. But we have so many parents who think it is justified and that is the rot of our society.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Some people are fanatics when it comes to that. I cant see why a person would hold his ideals high at the cost of a relationship with his daughter just because a nameless person in the crowd would point a finger at him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True Ashwini. Cutting off relationship is common in our parts of the world atleast today. But seeking revenge from ones own offspring is something I could not come to terms with.

      Delete
  13. jaish this is criminal - one ths happening and two it being shown on national tv for others to see, interpret it the way they want, learn maybe and then follow suit. What kind of an example are we setting here.... and why in the first place we call ourselves a developed nation is something that baffles me till now!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No Me, the person in question was criticized severely by the conductor of the show as well as fellow participants. She looked like she realized her folly!

      Delete
  14. So sad!! Such behavior and thoughts from your own parents!! And that too a teacher!! What a regressive society we live in!! :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree Shilpa. The prudent and educated lot form a teeny weeny percent only.

      Delete
  15. It would appear that education has no bearing on our ability to be progressive in all the ways that matter. This is a sad, sad story and one that plays out in so many homes :(

    ReplyDelete
  16. Burning down certificates, because a girl had married someone she loved....huh ? If that is not disgusting, what is ?
    As you have correctly spoken in response to Roshan's comments, mythology speaks about matsyagandhis marrying santanus...
    and we never learn from any of that.
    When will we change ? Or will we, ever ?
    Nice post !

    ReplyDelete
  17. Jaish you write very well and i have missed many of your posts-going to follow you now.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Sigh! so so common na!
    yeah the burning of certificates bit that too by a teacher mother was glaring. who should know the value of those papers better than her and yet .....!

    ReplyDelete