Frightened girl 

Was having a conversation last night with a very dear friend. I was quoting to him one of my friends dads who wouldn’t allow her to work because she is a girl… And he politely responded “Haan, so whats wrong in that?” I was stunned! Shocked beyond wits… The friend I am referring to is one of the fairest people I have ever met… also practical.

So, I was motivated to think further on this… Do people in India really consider boy and girl child as equals or is it still a myth we want to believe!!?

The girl still has to leave her house when she gets married. She still is expected to be a home-maker first and then if she gets time, she can try being a CEO of a company. And even if she does manage both the jobs well… she will always be appreciated more for her culinary skills than her managerial abilities. This was what has been going on for eons now!
So, naturally parents thought of girl children as poor investments with no returns. I mean you raise a child till she is about 23-24 and then hand her over to some one else. Not everybody has the required selflessness to do that. Not even parents, whose love for their children is as selfless as it gets. Hence, female foeticides are so common! Girls were considered “burdens” and rightly so! Our society isn’t exactly “woman-friendly” you see!

In modern India, for all practical purposes, the guys also leave their houses when they are settled abroad or working elsewhere! But, that’s considered ok! Coz parents still have that “right” over their guy child which they do not have over their girl child, especially after she is married away! This was always a tradition which I have failed to understand. I cant imagine for the love of my life, who started something like this and why? What did he want to achieve? What was he
thinking?

I thought things were changing. Times were changing. I know of a lot of parents who got more support from their daughters they had married off than from the sons they depended on. My parents brought up my sister and I just like they would have brought up any guy child. Only difference was probably that we weren’t allowed to roam around as much as a guy would have been allowed. But other than that, the treatment was the same. One of my dear friends Mukta belongs to a conservative family. Her parents gave her as much right to study and evolve as a person as they did for her brother. Not once did they differentiate between their boy child and their girl child.

We need more such parents. We definitely can’t change the way society works. But, we can definitely uplift the society and bring about necessary changes. We have no right to punish a child just because she was born a girl. We have no right to take away her chance of growth and development. We have no right to take away her need to do something and chose a particular career.

We will have to stop ill-treating women under the pretext of their welfare!