And Then…God Created…Indian Men!

Oh Yeah…They Can Do That!

Related article. — Free Idiots: An Indian Amir’s New Stooges. Please read it here. Click on this link.

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On the 13th day, God created Indian men.

Or, He did it on a day around that time, when He was exhausted and did not really want to do anything. He should’ve taken some rest at that time after all the major work He did before that. But He thought, well, I am God, ain’t I? I can handle it: I can do some more creationism.

And so He did not take the rest He should have taken. And then He created something only He knows why. Honestly, and I’m truly sorry to say it, with due apologies to Him, it was not His best creation at all.

He created Indian men.

We shall explain.

See, Indian men — Hindu, Muslim, Bahai, Buddhist, Christian or communist — are lifelong kids. When they are small and  young, they get too much attention and pampered to an extreme. In an Indian family — rural or urban, low caste or high, middle class or poor, a little boy is always treated like a little prince — a Raj Kumar; the same family would treat a little girl very differently (even though she might be called a little princess — a Raj Kumari). Boys get the best food, best dresses, best toys, and best lullabies. Girls get the leftover food, leftover dresses, leftover toys, and little lullabies.

(And in many cases, a girl child would not even see her mother — live; chances are, society would force the mother to abort her. India has perhaps the highest number of such abortions; but we’re not going to talk about that violence here.)

Then, Indian boys — if their families can afford it — get “education.” For those families who can afford it, boys always get to go to better schools and get new school uniforms and new books — if their families can afford it. Girls — even if their families can afford it — may not be sent to the best possible schools even when the girl is smart and able to pass the entry exam. They will not get the best books; they will not get the newest uniforms.

Now, at this point, there would be some readers vehemently opposing my narration. If they are women, they would say, no it did not happen to me; my father sent me to the best possible school all along, and I also got the newest uniforms and new books. If these protesting readers are men, they would say, look, the situation has improved a lot; your tale is totally outdated. They would say, look, I had a sister, and my father found the best schools, best uniforms and best books for both us — with no discrimination.

Well, I’m happy for you. I’m only talking about my personal experience — with people I have seen in my life. I guess, I’m talking about a particular class or species of Indians (note: by Indians, I also mean Pakistanis and Bangladeshis). And by the way, oh dear protesting reader, look, you’re drawing my attention to your father who did it for you and your sister. I guess, you mom did not play a significant part in the decision-making process, did she?

Bangladesh. This Girl is Lucky…She Escaped with a Tease!
(btw, I saw taunts hurled by American men…here in Brooklyn. And by Bangladeshi men…around the same spot!)

Anyway…on with our story. Then, the boy grows up (or so they say) and becomes a teenager. Remember, in India, there is practically no sex education: even now, talking about sexual development and sexual relationship either at home or in school is practically a taboo. Co-ed schools are still relatively rare, and even the few and far between co-ed schools do not have a modern and transparent and age-appropriate sex education curriculum. The society is largely feudal. Gandhi’s feudalism did not help to bring up a modern nation at all. No, truly, it didn’t.

In this pervasive climate, the sex-education-less growing man knows he is strong and his hormones are on high. He realizes he can start flirting young women and perhaps, with some indulging friends, taunt and tease neighborhood girls passing by (see picture). If the girl is  self-righteous and has some guts to not accept the taunts and teases passively (and speaks up!), the boy and his male-hormone friends know it’s about time to teach the insolent, audacious girl some lesson she can remember. Just like my teenager friend Subh did in North Calcutta, there would be some verbal and physical boundary crossing — shaming her and traumatizing her in public.

Of course, if the girl comes from a rich or powerful family and/or has a number of muscular brothers or uncles, it’s going to be a completely different story. That girl can walk freely anywhere, with her head up. Nobody would touch her; in fact, the same boys would now retreat back home with their tails tucked between their hind legs, and have wet dreams, dreaming about her over and over again. Let them.

Pardon my explicit word choice here. Again, this is my life’s experience, and that too, from twenty or thirty years ago. I have left India ever since; I wish the situation had changed (and I know, apart from some cosmetic changes, it has not — much).

[Update 1: The Delhi gang rape case, December 2012. — A young woman was gang raped and violently beaten to near death on a moving bus. Perhaps for the first time in modern Indian history, the entire country exploded against rampant, all-pervasive violence on women. Now, as of December 29 India time, she has died. You can read more on the latest development here.]

[Update 2: Very recently, there were two gruesome “honor killings” in West Bengal where a father and a brother hacked two young women to death in broad daylight because in both instances, the girls married their boyfriends without consent of the families. The so-called honor killing NEVER happened in the state of West Bengal before.]

Honor in Killing? Ask Orwell.

Anyway, enough digression. On with our story.

Then, the Indian boy becomes a man (or so they say), and marries. He now owns a real woman to toy with. He can do anything he wants with her, with active indulgence from his parents (here, the mother in-law also becomes a big part of the oppressive patriarchy, for reasons social scientists could explain). The eternal boy child, now a husband, may love his new bride, or he may not love her depending upon the day, time, whim, mood, status of the bride’s family, or his own parental instructions, likes or dislikes. He may ridicule her, throw acid-like sarcasm at her. The Indian man has special expertise in ridiculing the Indian woman; or for that matter, anyone who he considers inferior (a teenage son quickly learns and follows his father: now he starts throwing sarcasm at mom — I have real-life examples if you need some).

The man may make her woman cook and clean (depending on his economic status and affordability), or he may put her in charge of the cook and clean maids (with his secret, sporadic examination of their bodies if the maids are young), forcing the wife to stay at home to perform her “traditional, social, religious” Indian duties.

Such duties often forces even a brilliant woman to sacrifice her brilliant student- or professional career; I personally know scores of Indian women who after marriage had to give up their singing career, medical practice, teaching job or employment as an entrepreneur. The husband — the Indian man God created on the 13th or some day — with help from his family or himself, would not allow it.

They say it’s too un-Indian for a married woman to work outside. Well…maybe…if I’m liberal…I’d let you do some part-time job…close to home…and you’d be ready to quit and move with me if I have to move. My career comes first: that’s what he says. (Again, readers, I have real-life examples if you need some).

(Gist: It doesn’t make a difference if the family supports liberal or conservative politics. But the husband or in-laws would bend the rules — and bend them a lot — if the men in the family are jobless or incapable of making money.)

Life is Very Stressful for Them…Until Dinner is Ready! (Note: I do not know these two men: I’m only generalizing)

Then, the Indian boy child, now a full-grown man (or so they say), becomes a father and does his sacred fatherly duties by touching the cheeks or hands of the sleeping child. He even smiles at the child or may I dare to say, sometimes sings! Then, he leaves for work or to meet friends or relatives. Or, he resigns back into the living room, where he draws his favorite chair and cushion, and watches his favorite Bollywood movie, cricket, soccer, cooking, wrestling, fashion or talk show. Bollywood is traditionally traditional; fake wrestling is…ah well…we all know.

(Why does he watch the cooking show? Ask him: I have no idea.)

These days, he would even bring a friend or two (male friends, that is), close the living room door, drink beer, whiskey or smoke a cigarette or two, and have a serious, stressful debate on terrorism, politics or the collapse of American capitalism. And sing praises of Indian nationalism. (Or, they would watch the cooking show together.)

Then, a servant (or his mother) comes in and informs that dinner is ready. They flock at the dinner table and devour the meal, without any curiosity whatsoever as to how it was made.

If the wife is allowed to work outside, she would also finish her “womanly duties” at home returning from work (or even before going to work, waking up very early in the morning) — while the man would hardly lift a finger and help the wife do household chores. Or, in 2012, a well-to-do he might phone-order in Domino’s Pizza or KFC’s spicy chicken: he would not waste time in the kitchen at all. He would not waste time to do the dishes either; either the women would do it, or the dishes would be left unwashed til the next morning for the part-time cleaning maid to show up and do it. If the maid fails to show up the next morning, the women would do it, with the man watching the TV or reading the newspaper in the living room, cursing the maid for her “frequent” absences and the “flowing-like-water” money spent on her.

In fact, today, well-to-do visitors come from India and stay over at our place in New York: we observe them closely. We observe that the female visitor would almost always volunteer to help with the cooking and cleaning during their stay (they know we have no domestic help here in the U.S.), while the male visitor would almost always stay back in the living room watching TV or get engaged in various intelligent debates — on all possible and impossible subjects including Bollywood, cricket, soccer, terrorism, politics, capitalism and stock market.

I could keep going for ever, and express a lifetime of irk and annoyance on God’s one of the weirdest creationism — Indian men — but friends and well-wishers tell me not to lose my head. They ask me to keep my calm and poise. So, I shall stop now and keep my calm and poise. I just want to tell a story — in fact, a fact — we saw here in the U.S. In a way, it summarizes my tale.

[Update: A Facebook friend from Arizona just wrote to me that she had exactly the same type of experience in her own Indian life; I can’t thank her enough for her invaluable candor and support.]

Superstar, Billionaire Cricketers. Now, That’s Indian Men Alright!

An Indian man who is now an immigrant-turned-U.S. citizen is a brilliant graduate from Indian Institute of Technology — one of the best-known schools India can brag about (PBS did a show on IIT a few years ago). He is a “success story” for an Indian immigrant. He started working for an American engineering company somewhere in the South, and slowly moved up the corporate ladder (think about him as a Bobby Jindal in the field of engineering). Now he makes millions, has a number of nice houses, fancy cars, and a big sail boat. He travels worldwide. His kids went to Ivy League schools and are now employed with renowned companies.

It is his wife who told us this story — in a “funny” way. She said (I’m only paraphrasing):

“I had a C-Section when I gave birth to my first child. I came back home a few days later with the baby. I had severe pain: they still hadn’t cut my stitches. Suddenly, on the first weekend after I returned from the hospital, my husband announced that he’d invited a number of friends over for dinner to celebrate the birth of our child. I was mad like hell. I said: ‘Are you kidding me? I can’t even move I have so much pain, and you already invited your friends for dinner? Like, who’s going to cook and clean — you? Have you ever stepped inside the kitchen, do you know what it looks like?’ So, my husband said, ‘Honey, don’t worry, these are our close friends, I only invited a few people maybe six or seven of them. You don’t need to do much. Just make some fried rice or biryani and make some chicken curry, that’s all. I’ll get the beer.’ So, what could I do? He’d already invited them and I had no choice. I had to cook and clean that weekend with my stitches on.”

See, this man is not abusive or anything. He is actually a very nice man: soft-spoken, educated and highly placed. He is not one of those wife-beaters, dowry-bride-burners or acid throwers. Although he’d once told me he was not too worried about his daughter’s education because she was going to get married anyways, but he indeed sent her to a good school here in the U.S. He is a jovial, warm, helpful guy. He doesn’t drink much. He doesn’t gamble or do drugs. He is faithful to his wife.

We must forgive him for inviting his friends over for dinner when his wife just delivered a C-Section baby and had her stitches on. Right? Like, those things happen in real life: an Indian man’s real life.

Right?

Any comments?

Sincerely Writing,

Partha

Brooklyn, New York

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Any Comments?

50 thoughts on “And Then…God Created…Indian Men!

  1. In urban India and among the upper and middle-middle class the gender-discrimination described by the author is no longer on the surface, but what simmers underneath is a very low tolerance level for girls trying to step outside of the track. The discrimination lives on not in the overt actions but in the attitudes which, if the girl does not mend her ways, manifests in the form of actions debarring the girl from opportunities which she could have otherwise availed. Outspokenness, arrogance, critical attitude, perfectionism etc. are attempted to be ironed out of a girl’s mind through upbringing (when it is successful it is called “good upbringing”) so she grows up to be “graceful” and “nice”. She is not tolerated well if she does not. The same is certainly not the case with boys.

    1. Absolutely true. Although even in urban areas, we see huge number of bride burning and dowry deaths — even today. You can look up my paper on this subject to get the scary statistics. About the subtle but pervasive discrimination and disparity — both social and economic — I’ve written some and will do some more.

  2. Nice story. But to limited to cover middle class families and somewhat outdated for the new generation poor classes and rich homes, though men continues to enjoy a pampered state even now. Women as a class are still exploited or remain vulnreable to exploitation by men at home or outside. But the changes in the last 25 years are perceptible.
    Only a correction. I understand that close 80% of men in India are Hindus. Of the remaining, an overwhelmingly large proportion are of Hindu origin (current or past generation conversions). They were therefore subject to God’s creation of Hindu Laws governing Hindus on the 13th day. God was really not exhausted that day: he was rather very innovative. Among other things, he also had inserted the Rebirth property to Hindu men. I understand that the current generation of Hindu males were in their previous birth mostly animals and birds in the jungles of Africa and other – tigers, leopards, bears, jackels, goats, asses, scorpions, monkeys, chirping birds, etc. You can see their past barth traits reflected in their current human behaviour. They have come here to get punished for their sins they committed as animals. Some of those who had finished their term of punishment early, have been fated to migrate to the US and other suitable countries – they still show love and hate relations with the people in India, Most Indian women are however not subject to rebirth property. So, for them it is just a single life episode.

  3. In the last part of you article, you are saying that that man is actually nice :-). but as per this article it seems he does not have any feeling about his wife’s pain. He is not sensitive and careful to his wife. that means he does not love her at all. Then how he can be a NICE man.
    I think he is not nice man. If I am wrong then I don’t know the definition of a nice man :-).

    I have question. why Indian Men!. This happens everywhere in the world. may be somewhere the parentage is low and somewhere the percentage is high. This is a very known issue.
    women suffered always.

    1. If you saw this man, and you see his type everywhere both in India and overseas, would you not find him to be nice? He is nice. But that’s only on the surface. Many of these men don’t even understand what they’re doing: just like they don’t understand when they beat up their sons or servants. It’s all-pervasive and systematic. No, I haven’t seen similar, extreme patriarchy anywhere else.

      1. “He is actually a very nice man”/”He is nice. But that’s only on the surface”—–I am little bit confused.

        Many of these men don’t even understand what they’re doing—-It is very clear they are doing wrong that is why they are not nice.

        Though I don’t have any personal experience of overseas but I have seen or heard in some movie and news. If you do Google, find many incident.

  4. I have done my part: writing. Now it’s the reader’s turn to do their part: thinking and analyzing. I would read it once or twice more, perhaps. And then, think a bit more why I wrote it this way.

  5. Thank you, Partha. I understand the way you wrote this and why it’s addressed. I say, set me up! I’m single now. Sounds like a dream situation.

    What’s really worse, the ones who are blatant and not-too-nice or the ones who are the nice ones who honestly, should know better. The other day, there was a wounded bird at my work place and while many of my esteemed co-workers are nice people, only two people stopped to move the wounded bird and bring it to safety. I was one of the two. Everyone else were nice and kind enough to step over it and some might have even said, “Awwwww.” I know that it was because they thought it was going to die to so why bother helping and changing the situation anyway, right?

    They are nice people. The mean ones would have stepped on it or not have noticed it at all.

    It was a bird but a metaphor for life for me. (By the way, it lived. I took it to two vets and then a preserve where I laid it in the woods and it thrived. I then went back to work, muddied and sweaty but feeling okay with myself despite being disappointed in human beings.)

    What’s worse? The nice people who ignore said plight of others or those who just don’t give a fuck at all. Human beings do lack introspection not because they are stupid or cruel but because they are a little lazy, a little caught up (in this case, in being at work on time), a little selfish. When you combine the three elements, you have a person who will need a hard knock in his/her life to jolt him/her in to compassion.

    Then again, is compassion something we are born with or something we learn? I don’t know.
    All I know is that the bird, while alive and well and breathing, was not treated fairly. Cruelty comes in all disguises and not being treated fairly is cruel.

    That man who invited his friends over lacked compassion, even after his wife told him her feelings. That makes he-who-jumps-over-birds, to me. A bird-jumper, if you will.

    But still set me up, you know? I’m available. 🙂

    1. Betsy my friend: Thanks for your warm and honest writing, as always. I totally agree with what you said here. You wrote: “What’s really worse, the ones who are blatant and not-too-nice or the ones who are the nice ones who honestly, should know better.” So true! In Marxian terms, these are called bourgeois liberals; however, I’m not a Marxist so I don’t want to generalize so much. But I have my own description and characterization of such nice people: I’ve seen way too many of them and dealt with them in this one life. Your bird metaphor is fabulous. If I may say it, Betsy, I think you should think about taking up your writing seriously. Thanks again. And yes, I shall try my best to comply with your request. Just keep in touch 🙂

  6. Funny, I have been thinking about it. I have a story I started to write and it really has been a wonderful experience. Thank you. xo

  7. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!

  8. Mr. Partha Banerjee,

    With all due respect, the article gives me an impression of one written from a novice writer with just a narrow outlook on ( Indian Men as mentioned on your article ) with few experiences around you and your battering s of your life which i presume ; one shouldn’t write an article with the intent of generalizing and cadre of people (INDIAN men in this case ). The paragraphs written in this article, each one of them is a senile ideology and none of them jabbles an strong point of mentioning the exact scenario which is the complete opposite of what the blog aims at i suppose. The work present here is a total crap and is purely based on personal experiences. Putting personal experiences is not a crime but expliciting it so boldly with such surety is nothing but could be paraphrased as ” kuven ke maindak ko kuvan hi talab lagta hai” .

    1. Thanks for your comments: you’re entitled to them. It’s nice to see that some people are disagreeing, and that too, so strongly. Without such disagreement, my life and articles would be so boring! Keep thinking.

  9. I mean most of them aren’t..I have been asked to accept the others who sadly are typically Indian….your writing really triggers in me to really pour my heart out in this forum but I shall hold my tongue and let them live….

  10. As a Bangladeshi woman, born and raised in the UK, I can concur with everything you have written and you are spot on. Doesn’t matter if the man is Bangladeshi, Indian, Pakistani or whether he is Muslim, Sikh, Hindu etc, this patriarchy remains. You would hope that as these men emigrate to western countries, the mindset would change but alas, it only does for a very few of them. The majority remain in this backward mentality and pass it onto their children.

    I, myself, have grown up with my brother receiving the best. Okay, he went on to become a professional and made my parents proud but it always bugged me how it was one rule for him and one for me. Lucky for me the west has taught me to fight for my rights and whilst I love my family to bits, I was most certainly not putting up with this backward mentality. I have gone onto do as I please. If the Asian community would like to label me as a woman with no shame etc then so be it as we clearly have different meanings of what shame involves.

    My job entails me working with Asian men and this patriarchy is also prevalent there. The men are treated as Gods and the women as scum yet it is the women who do the work. Infuriates me so much that had I not needed the finance I would have left.

    The one thing that truly does bug me is how it’s always a woman’s fault. Anything good is always the man even if the woman did it but should anything go wrong it’s always the woman’s fault. For example, the Asian community in the UK have come to a stage where a large number of the Asian women are now older than 28 and unmarried. The answer from the community is a) there is something wrong with the girl b) she is a slut c) her husband divorced her because she is no good d) nobody wants her. Even when she has a high flying career, looks like a model and has a heart of gold, it’s her fault. However when an Asian man over the age of 30 remains single, the answer is a) we couldn’t find a girl good enough for him. And on the topic of marriage, why does every Asian person have to open every single sentence with, “heyyyy, I haven’t seen you in ages. Are you married yet?… What?.. NO?… Why?… Stop being so picky else you’ll end up on the shelf and no one will marry you. Or is there something wrong with you?” And when asking a guy the same question, the answer is “Don’t worry, you’re an amazing catch, if a girl doesn’t want you, she’s losing out. You still have lots of time anyway, you’re still so young at 35.”

    Seriously Ugh. So much for equality. And Asian men these days wonder why is it Asian women want to marry outside the race/religion. Perhaps to get away from this?

    1. Thank you so much, Tammy, for your heartfelt comments. It feels so special when someone writes so frankly and so articulately. I truly, truly appreciate your comments. It’s time our sisters rise up, unite and take action. The Delhi gang rape case has created an incredible moment to show what people power can do. Hope you keep in touch and write more. You can join my Facebook too if you have time or interest. Thanks again.

  11. Why on earth did the woman with the stitches do the cooking at all? If he really was a nice man, he would have accepted that in the end and could have gone with his friends (who were nor hers as well, I am sure) to a restaurant. If he would not have done this, he is not a nice man but a tyrant and sadist.

    As long as women only talk against patriarchy like this woman without doing anything practical against it, nothing will change. Not in India, and not anywhere else. And fighting patriarchy, with means that start from passive resistance, begin in your own family and marriage. Nowhere else.

    Thank you for your enlightening article; from my many stays in India and many other patriarchal countries including my own (Germany), I know that every word is true.

  12. When I was in high school, I had every intention on continuing on to college. My stepfather would say that the only reason why I was going to college was to get my “Mrs.” degree. When I ended up not going to college for various reasons, he got really furious with me claiming, “I always wanted you to go to college, so that you could get a fine education and a good job.” Talk about mixed messages!

    1. Thanks, Neva for your comments. Yes, it’s the same in India — only a few hundred times multiplied. Then, there is horror on the street the civilized world can’t even fathom.

  13. Thank you for this post. My sister and I had a long discussion after reading it and you pretty much said everything we have felt since we were kids. You notice the difference in treatment of boys vs. girls early on but you really only comprehend how differently you are treated when you become a woman. I come from a middle class, well educated family with supposedly “open thinking.” This still means though that the girls in my family have to hear comments like “you need to learn how to cook.” “Who will marry you?” and of course “after you get married you can do whatever you want because then you can ask your husband.” This is considered an upper class well educated semi-liberal thinking Indian family.
    That Indian man that you described who told his wife she just had to make a few things for the friends coming over after her C-Section unfortunately, remind me of my male cousins. And you are right they are considered “nice” guys. They are committed to their families and are considered to be “open minded.” I dated an Indian guy once as well because my family, of course, wants me to marry an Indian guy (which is a whole other topic that pisses me off) and he was quite liberal but still a Momma’s boy and extremely immature for his age. Ridiculous. Again, thank you for this post. At least now I know the girls in my family aren’t the only ones who have noticed all these things about Indian men and the culture that surrounds us.

    1. Very reassuring, thoughtful comments and I thank you for sharing them with us. I hope we can all work together and bring equality, rights and justice to all women. If the people in power and their media stop us, we shall stop them. And that’s a promise we want to make on this New Year’s Day. We’ve had enough!

  14. I loved the way you started this article; & God made indian men!!! :). Still gets me cracking. I think you did your best to summarise the complete story in a nutshell. The scenario is such that it can’t be explained unless experienced!

  15. Indian Men = Sleazy, charmless, insensitive, ugly, dowry-hogging mummies-boys, who can’t get a girlfriend to love & marry so instead ask their mummies to find them a bride. Most indian men I know look like GIRLS but act as if they are Gods gift to the world. Wake up guys, if your mummies can’t find you a bride you ll probably die alone & single.

  16. Partha, obviously. A few of your comments are outrageous to be modest.

    But the problem is more about society than men being a curse. And I dnt c how ur article addresses. For heavens sake The Church evn condemned a thinker like Socrates.

    Issue is wen its engrained into ur head that you are superior to someone since you were born by an entire society, then do you expect modern education to change it. Not a chance, else Australia would be a far lesser racist society and America woukd not have shooting cases.

    Problem lies with men and women(as parents) both. Its ideological issues with a pshycotic mind that causes Rape.

    1. Thanks for writing. I appreciate your voice of dissent. Dissent makes people think. Thinking and dissent are now fast disappearing from the two countries I know — India and USA.

  17. Hmmm…I know a lot of girls who make their husbands break relation with their parents. Threaten never to relocate with their husbands (even though they do not have any meaningful job. It is just that they enjoy the city and do not like the city where the husband is moving) and force husbands to relocate to their city of preference making the poor guy sacrifice his career. Then the wives will just sit at home and survive on home deliveries while the poor husband will earn the money and not be able to save anything for a rainy day. She will go to shopping centers and rack up bills of 50-60K which, again the husband will be paying. Whatever she earns, she will not contribute a single rupee to the family but will spend lavishly. She will cringe at the thought of visiting her in-laws but will be extremely benevolent to her own family members. I have seen mostly these kinds of women. So you see, the generalization that you did also has a reverse side.

    1. Yep, there was one incident I had to face when I went to “see a girl” and she asked me how much baggage I have? I dnt realize its import then, till my wife later explained it to me….the lass meant to ask whether my parents would stay with me……but yaar those are exceptions. Trust me its not in the DNA of the average Indian girl to not welcome her in laws. They learn it from childhood, saas ki seva karni hai and pati ke charno mein swarg hai. Bullshit yaar…..Seriously sometimes I feel, lets burn down all our religious texts and create a New World Order….. think about it. Lakshmi sits pressing Vishnu’s feet. Any female deity is described as Manohari for some Male Deity….female subjugation runs deep in our culture.

  18. This has been written, with all due respect, from a very narrow-minded point of view. But, you mentioned that you have not been back to India ever since so- that is self-explanatory. I have lived 60% of my life in India, which is a great percentage of my life since I am very young. Your arguments don’t remain valid unless it is addressed to the less-exposed parts of society and religiously-orthodox families. If this were written in the former context, I would agree with what you are saying hands down. But, it is not so-and hence I can not agree. I am open to further discussion.

  19. The problem of mindset is still there were men are always believed to have come down as saviours. I come from a matrilineal society were a child carries the mothers title and a man goes to the wife’s house. With no offence i say they are the winner here too. One they donot have to make a house. Two they earn and give their money to the mother who will alwaus say keep it for yourself. They are never asked to cook,wash dishes, take care of kids why because he is a man.
    This attitude of saying he can come home lata because he is a man is a patented script of all INDIAN PARENTS when this attitude is there women will be said the better half not a fact a fiction forever.

    I lost my brother who committed sucide at a very young age because he was entertained to no end and when he was not he never wonder why but ended a precious life. I hate this idea not when parents explain their son see how your sister are doing when they should have hold his ears when he crossed the limits they created for us.

    1. Dear Priti: Much appreciate your heartfelt comments. India is unraveling now on various fronts and I am scared to see how fast it’s happening. On the social front, Indian women are losing dignity and honor and equality every single day, however hard we try to tell people otherwise. We need to accept it and work together. Stories like yours could help a lot. Please keep in touch and keep writing about your experiences.

  20. Partha, your essay fascinated me on a number of levels. I am an American-born teacher who has been exploring the idea of teaching in India, but as a female, I have wondered if it is a good idea, so I have been reading about the culture. That is how I found your blog.

    As I read this reflection on gender-bias in the family unit, it was as if I were reading about my own family as well! Now, my heritage is as Western and Northern European as it gets, yet I experienced many things similar to what you describe. The only thing I can say is my father always intended to send me to college. When I asked what to study, he would say “finding a husband who will take care of you”! My brothers, however, were given hours if counsel on what careers would provide the best life for themselves and their (future) families.

    I also liked how you repeated the word “nice” in the story of the insensitive husband. It reminded me of Marc Anthony’s speech in Julius Caesar, where he kept repeating “…and we know they are all…all honorable men.” Very effective.

    I don’t know if I will ever be offered a teaching job in India, but your blog has given me much to think about, and I thank you for your candid assessment.

    1. Very nice comments, and I’m not using euphemism here 🙂 They are truly nice. Inspiring as a matter of fact.

      Western media do a lousy job, and often purposefully so, so that people do not know much about the real world — either here or over there. India is either a poor, God-forsaken, caste-ridden country where snake charmers and wife-beaters are roaming the streets. Or, it’s a rise n shine, Americanized, finally-God-blessed place with Western capitalism flowing like Ganges water. Or, is it Hudson water, given that’s so close to Wall Street?

      The stories I wrote in my blog are all true. However, that is not all about India. It’s still a wonderful place with wonderful people with ethics and values and heritage and honor. Only the top one or two percent have changed the country’s socioeconomic structure and sold it out to IMF, World Bank and Wall Street. Read my other articles on how the neocolonization is happening there fast.

      I would still very much encourage you to go and teach there. Then, we shall talk about what you plan to teach.

      🙂

      Keep in touch.

      1. Partha,

        My desire is to teach advanced conversational English at the high school level. I have 20 years experience teaching high school English/British Lit.. I am intrigued by India’s emerging economy, combined with English being widely spoken as a second language, as well as an apparent seriousness with which education is treated.

        I don’t know if I will be able to crack this market as I haven’t been to an interview in two decades! Any insight would be truly welcomed and appreciated.

        G.G.R.

      2. Noble mission, but why would India need a “foreign” English teacher? They now speak English better than the English and Americans. You can rather teach them values and morale. Kind of missing these days, thanks to the new queens and kings and their horses and men.

  21. I have an observation to make. You know, everywhere, to get something, you have to contribute something. If you want a raise in salary, you have to work hard. At home as well, it is the men who make all the financial contribution. Women, whatever they earn is spent on make up and shopping! Naturally, either they have to do the physical labor or they have to pay from their own pocket and get a servant. So, what is the problem with the men not doing household chores? They are paying for everything! The woman here is the parasite. So, she i has to make her useful. Besides, what nonsense are you talking about husband and wife both working? Most women earn less than half of what their husband earns. it is like comparing the earning capacity and job importance of Barack Obama and his toilet cleaner! They do not earn the same and their job responsibilities are vastly different.

      1. What can I say? I am amazed to see some people still think this way! But, we can’t be too angry responding. People have all kinds of misunderstanding and prejudice. Think about how blacks were treated here in the U.S. for centuries. Or, in South Africa.

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