And once again, the world is about to be taken up by storm. No, I am not exaggerating. Rabri Devi, former Chief Minister of Bihar recently categorically defined the sort of daughter-in-law she is looking for her sons. For her, a ‘sanskaari bahu’ is the one who doesn’t go to malls and cinema halls but one who can look after the home and respect elders, like she does. Although her husband, Lalu Prasad Yadav tried to handle the situation by tweeting “Sanskaari Bahu doesn’t mean veiled, home bound, dependent lady. It means strong willed, loving, caring lady, whthr working women or housewife”.
Nevertheless, the harm has been done.
However, there are few things I want to ask to honourable Mrs. Rabri Devi. How does going or not going to malls decide whether one is ‘sanskaari’ or not? So going to cinema halls spoils one’s ‘sanskaar’ but watching movies at home doesn’t, right? Are the roots of our ‘sanskaar’ this weak that they can be tarnished so easily!!! Does going to cinema halls and malls are out of the framework of being well-cultured? Can a female who goes to ‘such’ places, not respect elders or manage household? Would it be possible for someone to define “respect” for the elders- “respect” that it is decided by the veiled daughter-in-law, or the girl calling her molester as “bhaiya”?
Are we heading towards 22nd century A.D. or to 22nd century B.C.?
She calls her sons as very religious being, but does being religious ensure that they are “sanskaari”?
Oh! I forgot, we, Indians have double standards when it comes to such questions. Our son might not be the best, but our matrimonial ads will demand for a girl who is beautiful, fair complexion, good height and homely.
Till date, I fail to understand how do these parameters can assure that the girl will necessarily be “homely” or “sanskaari”? Why do we allow our sons to go to disc, but expect our daughter-in-laws to not even heard of them, yet we ask for immensely educated and perfect bahu? Does going to discs, cinema halls, malls, or accepting metropolitian culture make them less “cultured”?
Just because saree is our “culture”, it is decent but we start raising eyebrows when a girl goes out in crop top and jeans… Aren’t the two exposing the similar amount of skin? A saree means “well-cultured”, but a crop top with jeans makes one “modern”, “approachable”, “available” and the one who is asking for it. So, a guy in dhoti and kurta is well-cultured, but the one in shorts is not, right?
When are we stop going to judge people by their lifestyle? When are we going to understand the person in and out? This is something similar to those roadside romeos, who eye rape you just because of your clothes, maybe the time you are travelling or maybe just because you are alone, but they can never understand your discomfort.
Will the world change?
We are always there to accuse Bollywood for raunchy numbers, but don’t we watch them with interest?
As men, we enjoy them but once a girl starts enjoying such songs then you consider her to be the one with “character dheela”? Priyanka Chopra wore skirt in her meet with PM Narendra Modi, every brow was raised but people that’s her choice and she was carrying it elegantly. You are there to point fingers at the postnatal weight of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, but won’t acknowledge how pleasantly she has accepted motherhood.
You would want your daughters to study hard and work, but not in rural or remote areas, just because “zamana kharaab hai”.
Who will change it?
Do you think people like Rabri Devi or people who ask couples not to have sex on auspicious days or advice ladies to have spiritual thoughts, abstain from sex after conception and give up meat as all this will affect the child? Or do you expect the people who advice the girls to address their molesters as “bhaiya” to change the world?
The world has to change with you, through you.
The day you start teaching your sons to behave and ask your girls to grow, that will be the moment things will start changing. The day you make your son respect girls that will be the day of change. Once you acknowledge individual choices and perception, that day on things will start changing.
But who cares? One person can’t bring the change, right? So go ahead… Look for an immensely educated daughter-in-law, who should not work after marriage and must be confined in the four walls, even when your son is of no worth.