The picture emerging is that of, domestic violence, suppression, rape.
This is not something that happens to a person, events colour the life of the children, of the society at large.
But violence is more than that it is violation or infringement into personal space and right. This happens a lot. The wife not allowed to speak etc.
Amerada, was a gold medallist, at the medical school, she joined general surgery for masters, as per the Indian tradition, her parents got her married to arjun, who had just finished MD medicine and had signed in for DM neurology, cut one, “both the spouses in high pressure profession not good for the marriage, so one of them had to change,” it was subtly demanded from Anuradha that she shifts, she did to a less glamorous option of ophthalmology, but the ugly head of emergencies and long OPD’s
“You won’t have time for your family” so the shift again to a non demanding non-clinical option of Microbiology. This is violation, of course the argument could be these were well wishers, suggesting it was for her not follow. But the verbal onslaught and the atmosphere in the house was so volatile it showed up on her work.
These cultural conditionings are built. This will go on, until we have this culture of “arranged marriage” the groom should earn more, should have a higher degree etc. Believe me this is such a social conditioning that women themselves hesitate to marry someone who does not earn more than them, or someone who is not academically more qualified.
There was this guruji, who attempted pre-marital counselling, where he told the bride to be how to win over her in-laws, he did give her sound advice, but he did not think it necessary to tell her in-laws how to welcome her into the family, or tell her husband to be, how he could do little things to make her life happy!!
Ringing the bell
This calls for a shift in paradigm, with the parents, relinquishing the power of arranging the kids marriage. It would mean caring enough to ensure that our children have a pre-marital counselling to know and accept each others dreams and goals. we need to open channels of communications, not as a formality but as exchange of ideas.
I took stand that I will educate people whenever I can, but believe me to actually share this is like banging the head against a wall. However we at Goa have a counselling centre Margao where women can come in just to talk, we have also created a support group for women who are unhappy but don’t know why, many times the sharing coming out helps people resolve issues.