It is Vijayadashami day---a time to start new projects. Well! I am going to renew my blogging that got sidelined for no reason at all. My brother Ramana politely asked me if I was going to write in my blogspot or if he could remove the bookmark from his computer! What more inspiration than the fear of being obliterated from somebody’s, that too my eldest brother who is also now loco parentis for all of us, computer.
This Sunday—28th was suddenly declared as daughter’s day. I am a daughter, I have a daughter and a daughter-in-law and two granddaughters. So that is a lot of reason to celebrate. Being a daughter in Indian society has always been perceived to be that of a second class human being in the family structure. There have been many daughters who have been favourites of parents that history records. There is also the horrific statistics about Female infanticide that reflect a sick society.
As a daughter I have been given the most love, respect and honour. In fact in Hindu rituals the daughter of the house and her husband are given the honours first in recognition of their importance in the family dynamics. How this got eroded and daughters became a symbol of burden is dictated to entirely by the horrors of dowry. Girls were honoured as the symbol of Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity and wealth. When the daughters had to be married and they took away the wealth to another family, gradually they began to be regarded as drains on the family well-being. On the other hand sons brought in wealth, pride and prestige through alliances with girls from well-to-do families.
It was another matter that many of the women who were backed by wealth managed to isolate their husbands from their own families and made to set up nuclear units. The scenario is changing in urban families where educated girls are also seen as bread earners. The extravagant spending at weddings is still not under control and very often a family’s savings can be completely blown up at a wedding.
The winds of change are blowing with many alliances being forged by the couple themselves. It will be interesting to watch whether there will be a time when the women will demand a dowry from the boy’s family. This is after all supposed to be a woman’s century, right?