The plight of many daughters-in-law in India is woeful to say the least. Recurrently we get to hear cases of financial, physical, and psychological abuse of daughter-in-laws in a country that otherwise promises constitutional equality to each citizen. The role of a woman in India often rolls down to being somebody's wife, mother, and daughter-in-law, or sister. No wonder women continue to have a tough time at their 'sasural'.
A list of 14 rules and regulations for a woman, who apparently left her husband's home, is going viral on Twitter. To get back to her in-law's home, the daughter-in-law is expected to obey the rules laid down by the family. The ruleswill make you question if such families exist for real.
List Of Rules For Daughter-In-Law
The woman's advocate, @ambmarxperi (Twitter handle) shared this list of rules stated in local language and captioned it, "These are conditions from Husband side to wife who left the matrimonial house. If she obeys these conditions, they are ready to make her live with the Boy. I was wife side Advocate, Husband side Advocate gave this list inside the police station. Read this fully.....(sic)"
These are conditions from Husband side to wife who left the matrimonial house. If she obeys these conditions, they are ready to make her live with the Boy.— நீலகருசிவப்பு (@ambmarxperi) December 15, 2022
I was wife side Advocate, Husband side Advocate gave this list inside the police station.
Read this fully..... pic.twitter.com/8SGI6NVOJD
From not allowing the daughter-in-law's parents and relatives to visit her to preventing her from stepping outside if unnecessary, the list will leave you horrifiedOne of the users online translated the rules shared by the lawyer and they are beyond belief.
“The main gate key of the house should not be given to her.
Daughter-in-law should speak to her mother-in-law even if the latter doesn't.
She should come down at 8 am.
All housework should be done.
To go to her room on the upper floor, to take bath or use the toilet, she should take permission from her mother-in-law.
Mother, father and family members of the girl should not come visit her.
Cell phones should not be used to connect with parents and relatives.
She should talk to her husband for an hour and that too about herself.
If she and her child are not well, she should not tell her husband.
If the health condition is not good, the mother should go home immediately and the husband should not stay at home.
All requirements should be told to the mother-in-law and not her husband.
Terrace door key not allowed to dry laundry.
Permission to go out to be given only if necessary.
Parents, sisters and relatives are not allowed to visit.”
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Is The Social Construct To Blame?
Inhumane and intolerable, these rules laid down by the husband's family instantly got on the nerves of the netizens. However, where does it all hint at, we ask. Multiple social-ills contribute to the dilemmas women face post- marriage. Even today, the daughter-in-law brings along the 'outsider tag' while stepping into her matrimonial home. While the daughter-in-law persistently works towards fitting in, adjusting in the new place, the in-laws seem interested only in treating her as an outcast.
The first stage usually involves levying new rules and regulations on the new member straight away, trying to mould her into what the family would like her to be.
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According to the golden rules laid by regressive society, a daughter-in-law should never make mistakes, always be available, obey all rules blindly, not influence her husband's life, take every unsolicited advice with a smile, agree to everything her in-laws says and more. The list is often never-ending.
Another big issue that doesn't seem to go away is the constant, deliberate reluctance to build a positive relationship with the daughter-in-law. Enmeshment and codependency also factor into why daughters-in-law are always given a differential treatment.
Being a daughter-in-law in India is not easy. No matter how much she invests in her new relationships, she is often set up for failure.
So, do we have a silver lining here? Probably not.