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Wednesday, December 15

Ek se bhale do? II

Last week I was reading the women special edition of Outlook. One of the articles in that discussed the radical social choices that women are making today. So there are ladies asking their parents to stay with them even after marriage, choosing to live separately for the sake of job, living alone even though their parents are in the same city and many more. There is no doubt that each of these decisions takes a lot of courage on part of a woman but what is alarming is that most of them relate to one common theme namely breaking down of the old concept of family.
Some of the feminists argue and rightfully so that family has been the biggest source of oppression for Indian women and so it is natural that in the new age, the old concept of family breaks down. The question is however how does it affect our society?
One particular example is of single mothers. All over India, there is an increasing trend of single mothers and the reasons are various. The one that stands out is that it is seen as the ultimate proof that today's women is strong and can support not only herself but a whole family (since "house-husband" still remains a largely taboo thing, family means mother and child).
But in this whole story, the child gets ignored. Consider the typical situation. Mother will most probably be working, so the child remains alone at home in the day time, may be with maid or in day care center. In most of the cases, he will have no siblings. He is solely dependent on his mother for all the emotional support who is bound to have her own tensions and problems considering the kind of work-life these days. The biggest thing that family provides is a feeling of belonging and sense of security. Wouldn't a child devoid of these grow into a rather insecure person? Infact these are the reasons why single people are not encouraged (allowed?) to adopt children. (I know sometimes this cannot be avoided and situation is not always bad but doing this by choice is what I am talking about.)
I think choice to become single a parent should be granted only when the support of a larger family is available. Women are blessed with the ability of bringing new life to this world and I think they should put a little more thought before using that.
[My apologies to any current and future single moms reading this. I am in no way questioning your abilities to raise a child but I think it is a right of every child to have a "house full" (of) family and your decision to stay single should not infringe on that.]

4 comments:

Shweta said...

1. "So there are ladies asking their parents to stay with them even after marriage .... breaking down of the old concept of family. "
--what is wrong in this? If boys are supposed to take care of their parents, so are the girls. This fact should strengthen the concept of family(joint family). If it breaks anything, it breaks the concept of "Kanyadan" in hindu marriage.

2. Ever wondered what are the reasons for the rising trend of single mothers? A financially independent women will never suffer physical and/or emotional abuse.

abhaya said...

1. No problems at all. In fact in many cases it should happen like in the case of a single child being girl. On the other hand I don't think that parents are "burden" that sisters should share with brothers. They are assets no matter where they live.

2. Ha ! As if all the men in the world are born with the single aim of abusing women !! And I don't think even a financially dependent woman should bear any kind of abuse. My point is if for some reason somebody chooses to remain single, why should a child bear the burn of that?

Jaya said...

Now, if Shweta was unfair in her 2nd point Abhaya, you are not fair with respect to the first point either. Why should "parents being a burden" be an implication of girls wanting the parents to stay with them. Probably you stretched her use "taking care of parents" a bit too much. Of course, parents are assets and I would not want to let my brother to take it away from me :-)

Braveheart said...

Well, I appreciate the thought. It wouldn't be a very good idea to simply say I like it and move on. So lemme think of saying something :p --

As i see it, this concept of independence is absolutely crazy. One thing it can never give you is satisfaction. For reasons, you can look for my post "Human Relationships".

But then, in some way, its been forced upon us in different forms. Its a defence mechanism than a choice. So there are obviously issues against it. One of them is what you pointed out. But as u must know, there are plenty more.

Finally, your choices are never perfect, they are just a kind of combination of some set of preferences over others. In an ideal world, its utterly foolish to be a single mom. But in the place we are, some people might be forced to have their set of preferences listed in that way.

Akshaya