Follow Us:
Sunday, July 03, 2022

Parents & Sons: Leave them adults alone

Male relationships with parents in India are ruled by tedious adjectives like duty, control, guilt and emotional manipulation.

Written by Leher Kala |
October 17, 2016 1:24:11 am

 

Marriage, divorce, Supreme Court, hindu marraige act, India news, Indian express news, divorce cases What the obligations and duties are of a husband and a wife to parents and in-laws, is highly individual and situation specific.

In one of the observations made in a divorce case in Karnataka recently, two Supreme Court judges said a woman cannot separate a husband from his parents because she wants to entirely enjoy his income. Divorce was granted to the husband after examining all the evidence. The judgment, however, contained some alarmingly righteous statements: “In normal circumstances, a wife is expected to be with the family of the husband after marriage.” Or even, “Insisting her husband live separately from his parents is a western thought alien to our culture and ethos,” wrote Justice Anil R Dave (The Hindu, October 8, 2016).

What the obligations and duties are of a husband and a wife to parents and in-laws, is highly individual and situation specific. Some women might think that trading their own parents in, for their spouses’, is an unfair exchange. There may have been pressing financial concerns in this particular case but even when money is a non issue, Indian parents enjoy a frightening amount of clout in their married sons’ lives. When people entrusted by the highest judicial forum in India can sermonize on a wife’s responsibilities without any clarity on their position if the matter were reversed: like if her parents’ were suddenly down and out. Would the son- in-law then maintain them? It is worth mentioning that the Hindi word for daughter-in-law is bahu, which carries a note of subservience while for son-in-law, it’s the far more powerful sounding damaad. (And when you want to hurl an insult and emasculate any man, there is the very brutal ghar jamai.) In-laws, or outlaws, as they’re scathingly referred to by many in my acquaintance, are the bane of all Indian marriages. In fact, if there is anything that all Indian men have in common irrespective of being rich, poor, educated, Muslim, Sikh, Christian or Hindu, it’s that their parents are universally painful. The sons, unfortunately, are their biggest victims and sufferers. Male relationships with parents in India are ruled by tedious adjectives like duty, control, guilt and emotional manipulation. Love is completely lost in between.

Subscriber Only Stories
Skin Allergies In Children – What parents need to know?Premium
What makes KuCoin P2P Trading Platform a Good Choice To Buy Crypto?Premium
Airtel Demonstrates Immersive Video Entertainment On 5G; Recreates Kapil ...Premium
Is It A Good Idea To Keep One Account For All Your Financial Transactions?Premium

I can never forget how some years back a close male friend of mine was frenetically job hunting abroad before getting married. He told his fiancé he couldn’t live in the same city as his parents or he’d have to live with them. Mumbai wasn’t far enough. Why not just tell them you need your own space, she asked. He found it simpler to flee the country, a shattering example of the gap between filial expectation and reality. Most times, parents know their clinginess is driving their kids away but they just can’t help themselves. The concept of boundaries and privacy don’t exist for a certain generation, while the world, and most importantly, the women in India have completely transformed around them.

Every second 30-year-old I meet is walking out of her marriage. Nine times out of ten, it’s because women no longer think it’s worth their while to put up with this hopelessly complicated dance created by interfering family members. It’s time Indian parents realised they need to keep their distance from their married kids and that selfishness isn’t living the way you want: it’s asking other people to live how you want.

Hot Offer Putin claims victory in Mariupol, leaving Ukrainian defenders holed up Subscribe Now
hutkayfilms@gmail.com
Start your day the best way
with the Express Morning Briefing

📣 Join our Telegram channel ( The Indian Express ) for the latest news and updates

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard

Featured Stories

Latest Comment
Post Comment
Read Comments
Advertisement
X