Biwi ki sunu, ya maa ki?
Tans: who arguement should I support, my mother’s or my wife’s?
This is in reference to my previous post.
I hear almost every Indian man ask this question. This one question personally makes me judge his family with a lot of contempt.
But one must never blame an Indian man for asking this question. One must understand from where such thinking stems from.
Indian men are so conditioned by parents and society that parents are like Gods. You never question God. You always obey them. You love for them. You die for them. Their happiness means sacrificing one’s own. You earn for them. You support them.
But no one asks these questions which is much needed:
- Are Indian parents worthy of “support” they keep demanding like spoiled infants?
- Does one have to obey their order everytime?
- Why can’t anyone question them?
- Are they worthy of “love, care and affection” they keep demanding?
- Can’t one see flaws in them?
- Can’t one fight against them for their personal happiness?
- Why is questioning parents and disobeying them a taboo?
These questions will make any Indian man so uncomfortable, that either they will change the topic, or justify their parents’ entitlement.
As I have mentioned earlier, that a woman’s life is terrible in India. She is treated like an “outsider” by everyone. The only source of feeling loved, is via her son.
She is this overbearing mother who always wants her son to be close to her. She, finally, feels a sense of control. Time and again, she will make the son realize all the “sacrifices” she has made for him which all was her mere duty, resulting in an unhealthy attachment of the son and his mother.
This Oedipus-complex-like relationship is punctured when his wife comes into the picture. His mother feels extremely insecure that the one source of support will be “stolen away” by his wife. She is dreading her son and his wife’s emotional and sexual bond as it will only result in loss of her control over her son. So for that she takes some drastic measures to regain her control.
She makes her daughter-in-law work like dogs in the kitchen, make her a slave to her demands, ensure they have no private time to spend with each other, taunt the son for being a “joru ka gulham” (slave of his wife) to constantly remind him not to forget the “bond” they share.
Now, his wife is unable to cope up with her mother-in-law’s endless, unreasonable demands. She then requests her husband to fix the situation; while, his mother is demanding him to make his wife more obedient and compliant.
Now the man is in a fix. He doesn’t know if to support his wife (who is suffering due to his mother), or his mother (who has conditioned him never to question her).
Such a situation never ends up well. If the man is not strong enough, it leads to the saas-bahu (mother-in-law and daughter-in-law) fights which we all see in TV shows here in India; or in extreme cases, a messy divorce.
Note: I understand that the man’s mother has been abused by her people but that gives no justification for interfering and ruining her son’s and DIL’s life in any circumstances. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Don’t hold other people responsible to fix your broken life.
Indian men need to confront the issue, use their own judgement, and try to solve it at a grassroot level. If need be, question their parents; or worst case, move out of such an abusive household for a better life for themsleves and their spouse.
After all, the cycle of abuse needs to end at some point.