WELL, THIS IS MY HUNDREDTH THURSDAY POST 🙂
In most parts of India this system is almost gone, but in some places it’s really ugly. So ugly that you will doubt the sanity of those who believe in it!
Now, I can understand if a woman won’t allow a man/woman inside her kitchen who has been sweeping her filthy drain or cleaning up her commode using his/her hands instead of modern brushes we use. Or offer him or her cup of coffee in her favourite mug. But if she metes out the same treatment to his/her son who is just not pursuing their profession then she is ahem! And if she demands that his/her son should take up father or mother’s profession then she really requires a visit to shrink.
This fuss can be tolerated in only one field- marriage because marriage is a deeper commitment in India; here the girl bonds with the entire family not her husband. So she brings her upbringing in that home and changes it and that home’ upbringing effects her entire being. If it is for betterment then who will mind but it may be the other way round too! Now, a highly educated family may not feel very happy if their son marries an illiterate girl and they see their grand sons and daughters doing thing they know are horrible! Can we really expect them to accept it? I really won’t and wont blame them for that! In India most of the parents just can’t order their son to walk away from the family with the girl of his choice, that should be the right decision but it’s tough in India, so they all suffer. Now, anyone who has seen them suffer, if he becomes adamant that he will not marry someone misfit, or let his sons or daughters marry one can we blame him or her? In case of inter-caste or religious marriages social pressure joins in- this is immense.
I will share only a real experience; I was working in a garment factory back then, one day one of the boys told me that his cousin has eloped with a boy of another province. The lovers announced their marriage next day and asked for blessing, I could see that the boy was planning something bad, so I asked him to let it be, but he told me that they will have to call off the marriage because if they accept that boy then no other girl of their family will get a decent husband, because superstition is too deep in their clan. Now, it’s a little tricky, right? So the reform will have to come from inside, and then it will automatically be gone. Till then, the police will have to save those lovers who will prefer eloping with the man/woman they love and marry like normal creatures.
But the same police will have to be really firm to those who dare to treat others as inferior and make their life miserable. No one has the right to decide a whole community’s fate. The places where this system is really ugly firm stand from police can work miracle and along with that spread of social awareness.