Supreme court gives a retrogressive judgement
"Triple Talaq is here to go"- this made the headlines of majority of news channels in country.
When the judgement against Triple Talaq was being welcomed by Muslim women across the nation, there came another judgement which shook women like me across the nation.
"Hindu son can file for divorce if his wife tries to separate him from his parents"
An striking irony that the two judgement came parallel in time. While one supported the rights of women as an equal gender, the other one brought total disgrace to women.
I did not find it making headlines of newspapers or the news channels. I might have missed it or failed to notice it. And I did not find any channel debating it either. I got this news from one of the social platform and ignored it. It did not appear to be true in today's progressive society and I misunderstood it as thousand of misguiding rumors going viral on social platform. After a couple of days, I had to take it as a reality with a pinch of salt. There were petitions and forum discussions on various platforms about this law.
It did not get so much of limelight like the triple talaq ban. Maybe because it was not fighting against a draconian practice as in case of triple talaq. However, I felt that it also needs the similar limelight as it also involves the right of equality of a woman, a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, a daughter-in-law and above all a mother-in-law.
I read about this law on Internet and from the information that I collected ( pardon me! if I missed anything), I could come to a conclusion with surety that this judgement was a sexist and retrogressive judgement.
As a woman, I felt disgraced.
Disgraced as a duaghter. My parents can do their best to give me the best childhood and best education. But after my marriage, they lose their rights over me. I will be lawfully owned by a new set of parents. I don't owe the responsibility of taking care of my old parents. as I do not enjoy the right to seek divorce if my spouse stops me from doing that. From a loving custody of my parents I will be handed over to the lawful custody of my spouse and his parents.
Disgraced as a sister. My brother can enjoy living with my old parents without any obligation from his wife. But I can enjoy having my parents with me only if permitted by my spouse and in-laws. Traditions always allowed parents to stay with sons. Daughter were always seen as "paraya dhan" and now this patriarchal mindset has got a boost by a legal stamping.
Disgraced as a wife: In the institution of marriage, I do not stand equal to him in my rights. He has got a legal upper hand. So the institution of marriage is not a relationship between equals anymore. The female has been dwarfed by this sexist judgement. While taking the vows of marriage, we talked about sharing our life and responsibilities together. While I am entitled to share his responsibility of taking care of his parents, he can escape his vow. He can only do it if he desires to do so. But I have to do it under the legal threat to my marriage.
Disgraced as a mother: Being a mother of daughter, I do not enjoy the same social status as that of the mother of a son. I am at the mercy of my son-in-law's wish to take care of me. But if I have a son, my daughter-in-law is lawfully bounded to serve me. Think deep. Are we not promoting the want of son, sex determination and killing of female wombs??
Disgraced as a daughter-in-law: I love to take care of my spouse's parents because I get so much of love and support from them not because the law threatens me to do so.
Disgraced as a Mother-in-law: Well, this law seemingly supports me. But on deeper introspection, it disgraces me. My daughter-in-law is lawfully bonded to take care of me and not because of the strong bonding we share as two women in a relationship. I own her because of my status and not out of the respect that I earned in return of my love for her.
I felt disgraced and so did many Hindu women across the nation. Not only women, even the progressive males felt the same.
Many argued that the judgement is in line with our age old traditions. I feel we have witnessed reforms in traditions earlier for a better society. Traditions have to be reformed for betterment.
I would have embraced the judgement with open arms if it was not sexist and would have not demeaned our old tradition but rather glorified it by saying-
"The institution of Marriage is a beautiful relationship between two people who are equals and share the responsibility equally for taking care of both sets of parents"
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