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Playing the role of mother to a girl in an Indian society has always posed unique problems. Today, under the impact of global culture, these problems have metamorphosed into new complexities. An average middle-class Indian mother has to strike a precarious balance between the new tendencies of liberal ideas that her daughter has absorbed; and the constant effort to mold this young lady of the 21st century into an ideal pattern of a traditional woman. Her life for her is a continuous battle between her inner world that yearns for the happiness of her child and her outer world that surrounds her that creates an aggressive pressure on her to curb that free spirit and the happiness from her. In general, parents in Indian households pamper their daughters with gifts and outings as long as they stay within their domestic boundaries.

The responsibility generally falls on the mother to take care of her daughter’s education as well as domestication. In fact, it is this last quality that matters most and proves to be a challenge. This includes your learning of housework; be soft-spoken and gentle; less fickle about her wishes and dreams, if she had any; never make any decision or fall into discussions with her superiors in age. Her lack of conformity to any of these supposedly feminine virtues under the microscope of elders is generally seen as her mother’s incompetence. The real education for a girl, on average, is not the school premise but her mother’s kitchen. However, she must be educated to be a graduate at the very least! Academic success is at face value as it is a passport to the marriage market! This has been the usual story for generations of Indian girls.

However, the story, in recent times, has taken a peculiar turn. It is true that even today education, in general, for a girl (even those who are admitted to eminent Public Schools) is ritualistic mainly for a brighter marriage prospect. However, the impact of the different electronic media she is exposed to stands in the way of her domestication. She admires modern, vibrant, independent and intelligent girls who can take care of her needs on the TV screen or on the Internet, fueling her aspirations for more freedom. Today’s modern educated mother, who is more self-aware due to media exposure and has always longed for a free space for herself, finds it difficult to control her daughter’s dreams and desires. Ironically, the situation is complicated when the former’s deeply imbued ethical codes and norms from early childhood days create the twisted scorpions of doubt in her mind.

The partially evolved Indian mother today is in a profound dilemma. On the one hand, she can empathize with her teenage daughter’s independent aspirations, on the other hand, she fears her harshly critical in-laws; the commanding voice of her husband and, strangely enough, that of her own teenage son! Social stigmas are strangely stacked against the mother if her girl wears a short skirt or develops a close friendship with any boy outside of her community! She then secretly lets her daughter enjoy a friend’s birthday party under the guise of going to private lessons, but she asks her to come home before dad! She muffles the latter’s voice, often harshly, if the young woman frankly expresses her opinion on any subject in the presence of family members, but she comforts her sobbing in the dark silence of her bedroom. she. It is a world of strange dichotomy with tablets and smartphones flooding the Indian market, infusing teenage girls’ minds with new ideas and training that are diametrically opposed to the traditional concepts they have learned from their patriarchal home.

There is a flip side to the sudden and drastic changes these confused young women experience in the world outside of their supposed domain. Often, due to their desperate longing to get away from the claustrophobic atmosphere of home, these unfortunate young women board at schools to enjoy the fun and free-flowing fun of underground hookah bars; lead to drugs and indiscriminate sex life. By the time the mother finds out the truth about her daughter, either through school or her friends, the latter is in her soup. If the girl is ruthlessly treated by her family members and kept under house arrest, the mother also suffers psychological trauma by being openly branded as a “failure”. Often this feeling of shame and humiliation leads her to unreasonable cruelty towards the young wanderer of hers. Later, when humanity prevails, she pleads with the family to spare the girl and let her continue her education. In such cases, she has to suffer untold persecution at the hands of her in-laws. Even the school’s calls for counseling sessions to bring the lost teenager back to normal life come up blank. If the mother manages to win the sympathy of her husband, she is restored to normalcy. If not, her daughter doesn’t get a second chance to educate herself. She is married off to the groom chosen by her father’s family. The bejeweled mother of the bride watches with silent pain the sealed fate of her child…

However, the situation becomes stranger if the young woman is career-oriented in a so-called traditional family. The positive impact of the accessibility of electronic media cannot be overlooked. There is a plethora of career options and unlimited information that you can search for on the internet. Naturally, when you raise your demand to pursue an MBA, Medicine, Engineering, IT, or fashion design, the cloud of civil war in the family is brewing! It is generally believed that her brother deserves priority in pursuing her dream career. For them, marriage is the last deal for her sister and a lot of money is saved for her dowry which cannot be wasted on the foolish search for her. Very often, it is also the mother who thinks that a prosperous son-in-law is a better proposition than letting the girl follow her career and leave home to take a job in a distant city. Now it is the girl’s turn to advise her mother about her desire to be independent and self-sufficient. She promises that she will not abuse the freedom that she has been granted and she seeks the latter’s help. Thus, once again, we witness the mother’s lonely struggle to win over the family on behalf of her daughter. Interestingly, there are some unrecorded recent cases of desperate Indian mothers (I know as a teacher) who sold all their jewelry, their only personal asset from the wedding, to buy their daughters’ freedom.

However, Indian women from the upper middle and lower middle class sections are considered more powerful today. Their academic and social struggle to create their own identity and give a strong voice to the nation’s emerging youth movements that address serious issues of governance and the rampant abuse of democracy cannot be ignored. More and more women are writing their real success stories in different professional fields, including politics. Many Indian families today are opening up to the idea of ‚Äč‚Äčliberalization at home, although there are miles to go before women, cutting across all sectors, can dream freely. Meanwhile, the unrecorded battles of Indian mothers would continue for generations until “Empowerment of Indian Women” became a reality in the Indian home and parliament.

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