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Should a girl stay at her inlaws place after marriage

Posted by : Chaitali Chatterjee on | Apr 25,2017

Girl is parayadhan. Her real home is the one where she moves to after her marriage which is the sasural. How many Indian girls were told this starting from her childhood? Till today many in our society including the girls believe the same as they are conditioned in that manner from a very early age. Don't we need to change our perception at this age when as a human race we feel that we have made so much of advancement. An educated girl who has grown up and lived her entire life in her parents’ house how is she expected to suddenly forget that house and accept her sasural as her own house.The entire idea of a girl leaving her birth home and staying with her husband's family reinforces the fact that his family is more important than hers. This system has ultimately led to girls being called as 'parayadhan', foeticide and dowry deaths. It is actually very difficult for a grown up educated girl to move into a new house with new people and the even worse part is that most sasurals feel that it is the girl's duty to adjust and compromise with everybody in that home.


Every Indian girl gets familiar with the word 'Sasural' early in her life, the place where she is supposed to go and live after her marriage and consider it her 'real home’. The presumption being that her parents ‘place is simply a temporary place for her till the time they find her a real home. No matter how educated a family is, finding the real home for the daughter is the biggest concern for them and parents are okay to sacrifice a considerable amount of their resource for this virtuous cause.


I know of many decent girls who after spending few years in that so called own house called "Sasural" became totally frustrated with the system. Many in laws do not realize that even if a girl leaves her parents’ home due to the social set up, in their heart they cannot replace their parents with their inlaws. A true human being can never forget her roots and that bonding which existed from birth cannot be taken away. But there are in-laws who feel that after marriage a girl should consider her father in law and mother in law more important than her parents whereas the boy is not expected to do the same. Why? I really don't understand. Many girls keep mum because they are too decent and do not like to create a furor in the house. Those who speak up or still show attachment towards their own parents are considered by the in-laws and family as not a good bride. What I feel is instead of trying to take the place of the bride's parent’s they can try to be good parent in laws. I know of a family where the mother in law used to scold the bride for petty reasons, like not being able to do the household work with the efficiency which was expected of her or not waking up early in the morning like the elderly lady. Then to cover up the fact that she was scolding her unnecessarily the elderly lady will say “Your parents never scolded you? Yes parents also might have at times scolded their daughters but those were for completely different reasons like paying more attention to studies or something similar but not to make them wake up early in the morning to do household chores. There are very few girls in a society who get loving parent in laws and really if a girl gets loving parent in laws they are the luckiest.


I feel that when a girl and a boy gets married they should be allowed to move into a completely new set up. They are adults and they can manage. Let them live their life independently, let them make mistakes and learn. If they need help let parents of both the girl and the boy extend their help and advice when needed. I am sure good parents will be more than happy to extend their help when asked for. Society blames the girls that they create rift in the family of the boy. Why can't society think of why the girl wants to move? It is the thirst for freedom. Freedom inside the house which is a very basic thing. Many girls are deprived even of that after their marriage. They are scrutinized for each and every action. Who does not want freedom? It is the fundamental want of every human being. The fact that the girl has to be move with the guy's family and adapt to their ways is itself very subjugating for women.


Now coming to the legal part. Women in India are told from their childhood, Sasural/inlaws house is your own house. Once you are married, your parents’ house is no longer your own house. How painful it is for a girl to accept that. The house where she grew up, where she played, where she enjoyed her freedom, which she thought as her own is suddenly no longer hers? Simply because of the fact she is married? Marriage is a union of two people, buy why should it affect the girl's identity. Now Indian Legal system clearly says that a daughter in law has not right to her parent in laws property or house. She even does not have the right to reside in that house which belongs to her parent in laws. The in laws may allow her to stay there but she is at their mercy. As legally she has no right over their house they can anytime ask her to leave. There is no problem with this law. This legal system is correct else many incorrect practices for possession of property might stem which can be a risk for the elderly parents. But why implant the silly idea into the girl's mind that sasural is your own house when in practical sense it is not. The girl only has a right to demand from her husband a place where she can reside. Apart from that she has no other right in the husband or in-laws property. Even if the husband passes away she will not automatically inherit the property of her in-laws. This law is perfect, but I wonder why girls are forced to believe from their childhood that sasural is your own house and you should do everything possible to appease them.


Children have a responsibility to take care of their old parents when they are no longer able to live on their own. But that should be applicable for both set of parents and not only boy's parents. In India the prevalent thought is that it is the girl's duty to take care of the boy's parents. What happens to the girl's parents? They are not old? Are they not human beings or they do not need care? A girl's parents also spend their entire life caring for the girl, bringing her up and doing everything possible to give her a good life, then if a girl is supposed to take care of the boy's parents then why the boy is also not supposed to take care of the girl's parents. There should be a mutual understanding between them that they should take care of both the parents when they become incapable of living separately. Till then it is better to reside separately and meet up on regular intervals. I feel it will create a better bonding as time passes.