Breaking the cycle…

A family broke up a few days ago.

They were a middle class business family, until the husband’s business failed and the wife was forced to start a ‘tiffin business’ to help provide for her family. With her persistence and hard work, she managed to get things going, educate the children – a girl and a boy and even support her husband to start another business. Today, we heard that apparently the husband raised a hand at the wife , said some stuff and she raised alarm and got neighbours and relatives to chuck her husband out of the house.

Well, I am certainly not getting into the rights and wrongs of this – I do not know enough to make any kind of a judgement.  What really shocked me was that they were planning to get the daughter married of soon. She just competed her twelfth. 19 years old. Apparently they just want to finish off that ‘responsibility’.

It just makes me wonder  – will this cycle ever break? This particular mother wants to marry off the daughter – because she has some money now and can afford it. She is not sure if she will be able to afford it later. The logic is that anyways, they don’t expect her to be a ‘doctor/engineer’ so why waste money and time educating her? We are ready to sponsor her education, if that will persuade them to allow her to study a bit more. But from the look of it, it looks doubtful. It just makes me feel so helpless.

Another child married off – simply because that is a responsibility to be ‘completed’. I wonder if anybody thinks of her aspirations, her dreams.. And more practical matters like getting her equipped to deal with whatever, that comes her way.  Won’t an education open up her mind, give her a way of supporting herself if need be? There are so many things that can be done – diplomas, courses that can help her support her family..  If she is ever, god forbid, in the situation that her mother is today, won’t she be better off with a little education. If not anything else, I think it will make her at least more confident, more likely to able to  take the right decision, than a 19 yr old getting married off to the first man who comes her way.  And also, likely to get a far better match. But no, a better future is something that is important only for the son… for the daughter, the most important thing is to get married off, as quickly as possible..

After all, if we do not break the cycle – it will never break, will it? If this girl is married off now, it is more than likely that she will have little say in the choice of a husband. She might have little say in a lot of things in her future too.. And she might end up meting out the same treatment to her children as well…

I have been told, that I am just not understanding their condition. That is, it is best that the girl gets married off now..  I’m sorry but I just cannot comprehend it – will this cycle ever break? Why do so many of us accept this so calmly?  Does a parent’s responsibility towards a daughter end as soon as they marry her off? Am I being too ’emotional’ in my reaction?