Actor Darshan’s domestic violence case is in the news because he happens to be a celebrity.Turn to Page 2 of today’s TOI and you would know varying cases of domestic violence that ordinary middle class and lower middle class women are subjected to on a every day basis.
A years ago, when I just started my career in a software firm, a girl who worked with us was subjected to marital violence soon after her marriage.She was a very confident girl, who spoke her mind.Her parents got her married to someone that worked in the U.A.E.After marriage, he stayed in BLR and decided to take up a job.It so happened, that he was impotent and showed his frustation at his newly married wife.He even tried to strangulate her one morning, and she ran from his home to her parents home without even passing to pick additional clothes or money. She was lucky since her parents happened to be in the same town.She got a divorce , and when her parents started seeing new marriage alliances for her, her ex-husband started spreading false rumours about her. She did find a nice guy and eventually started a blissful married life a year or two later.
But the trauma and agony that she faced in her early 20’s will probably stay for ever.She was from a very decent middle class family, her brother worked in a famous software firm.Why then did they rush through her wedding.She did have a job , so she wasn’t even a liability to her parents. So, what made them rush into finding a NRI guy , for whom no background check was done?Unfortunately, parents rush into finding a groom simply because they believe getting their daughters married off is a big task that has to be completed when the parents, and other elders are still in the best of their health.More so, pressure from grand parents who get emotional state “We want to see the potha/pothi getting married when we are still alive”
There is a thought deep down that a marriage makes a woman complete.
If this is the case with educated middle class, I shudder to think what lower middle class women are subjected to! And many of them don’t even have the support system .Most families would want their girls to adjust and give in because if they came home after breaking a marriage, it would mean , an additional stomach to feed and worst still, “a society issue”
I had read somewhere that in some remote villages in India, women are taught how to behave after the marriage.Probably they teach how to keep silent inspite of marital violence, how never to raise their hands or voice in return, and how to raise kids, never think of their needs and independence, how to respect elders and so and so forth…
It seems many helplines don’t function at all.And if they did function, the counsellors get indecent prank calls from the callers.
Something needs to change and the change has to happen NOW!!