Being a mother of two sons now, I sometimes wonder how am I more blessed, superior or deserving in comparison to any other mother of a girl child?? It’s the same gestation phase of 9 months, same procedure for birth either normal or c-section, same amount of efforts and sacrifices are involved in raising a child of any gender and yet it is not uncommon in India to hear that having a male child is a must, kind of some ticket to heaven it seems….. I remember the sigh of relief on my mother’s face when my first born was a son. For her it was some kind of triumph , a certification that despite being a daughter of a mother who has not one nor two but
three “girl” children, i for one was blessed indeed to have a baby boy. Now please dont judge her for her soul in the role of my mother, was fluttering with happiness and gratitude for the kindness God had showered on her child by blessing her with a son, her daughter would not have to face any weird pitiful discriminatory looks or have to listen to hurtful comments or taunts for not having a son. Especially in the northern part of India a pregnant lady is very often given the blessings that may she borne a male child. Yes! , you heard it right, it’s not healthy, it’s not intelligent, it’s not even a “good human”, the prime important aspect of being pregnant is to have a “male” child.
This discrimination does not really end at this, rather it’s only the beginning. Despite of all the modernization, changes, women education and empowerment over the years, still a woman is constantly judged by her relationship with not only her husband but also her in laws and somehow in both expressed and implied ways the parents of a son are always deemed to have an
upper hand in this “relationship-in-law”. Why, I have been pondering why?? And suddenly it struck me it’s because the parents of a girl child have been taking this kind of treatment to be normal ever since their daughter is born. She is raised as a person whom they will eventually one day give away to her husband in a marital ritual called “Kanyadaan”(कन्यादान)
“Daan” (दान) one of its literal meanings is offering. “Kanyadaan – offering their daughter as bride and giving her away to her groom” Why do parents of a girl child accept and follow this yet? I wonder. Times have changed, girls are no more a liability to take care of, rather in some household its the female who is the breadwinner of the family and yet why belittling her by giving her away in some form of “daan” is supposed to be so sacred and necessary? Marriage is the starting step of a couple who come together to form a family of their own as life partners then why only one of them is deemed to have been given away by her family while the other despite being married is still an individual belonging to his family? Why for a girl to have a husband, a life partner, is to be given away by
her parents ? Why can’t he still be a beautiful addition to her life as she is to his and at the same time she can still continue to be the daughter of her parents the way a groom is a son to his own. When the parents marry their daughter asking the groom to take her as his “equal” then why not ensure that she does get an equal treatment in the family she is married into, where like their son their daughter in law too can make mistakes, she too will not be judged, that she too will be loved, accepted and respected as part of her husband’s family and irrespective of the grand child she brings into the family she won’t receive a differential and prejudiced treatment for having given birth to a female grand child.
To bring a beautiful change in the world it’s really not necessary to carry out public demonstrations or run for elections or start an NGO to promote the cause, the change has to start within us, in our mind, perceptions and thought process, at our homes, in our families and if each one of us can only take this much of responsibility of bringing a positive change in our respective families we would have in turn changed the world to be a better, impartial and equal place for all….!
Yin-Yang, negative-positive, left-right, day-night are all two sides of the same coin and likewise the sperm requires the egg and both the male and the female are required for the world to procreate and continue its existence. Its two halves that form a whole and so the two halves are neither better nor less than each other and neither their origin, their families nor their parents are above or below each other. Each aspect needs the other to exist and so each aspect deserves its rightful respect and equal place.