Yes, yet another Media Mention of the infamous documentary India's Daughter.
When I sit to write about it, there are so many topics that come to mind, Poverty, Lack of education, Gender inequality, political media censorship, patriarchal society, judicial system, women safety and yes, Rape.
So instead of talking about all, I choose none. I will talk about how it all relates to my experiences growing up in a middle class simple Marwari family.
My maternal grandfather was a historian and a freedom fighter. He got married really early and has a family of 6 kids. 4 boys and 2 girls. My mom grew up in a small UP town and he mandated, 'My daughters will study'. My maternal grandmother, not educated herself supported this and wanted the independent young girls in her family. She supported her older son's wife entire education after marriage. My mom did double MA (Masters of Art's). Much against the society norms in the 1950's 60's.
My maternal grandparents are a typical Marwari couple, conservative and yet very progressive.
My father, is one of 11 siblings, comes from a very simple and modest family of farmers. Having lost his dad at a very young age, he tells me stories of how much resistance he had to fight against him studying. He got support from one of his siblings and completed his education. His is the story of studying under street lights, living in cramped quarters with roommates and being focused on one thing: Education. He saw most women in his small town Rajasthan being house wives, girls being married really early and no support structure for women. But my mother tells me tales of my paternal grandmother, widowed really early brought up the 11 kids independently. This and my father’s education broadened his horizons and his perspective. His one hope for his kids: Education.
My parents form a very progressive couple. Growing up, they had similar rules for my brother and I. We had the same opportunities for education, lifestyle and extravagance. My brother now is an entrepreneur and as for me. I am an Engineer with a Masters in Engineering from one of the top 10 school in US.
But this story is not about my brother or me.
It's about the foresight of our grandparents and parents. They didn’t follow societal norms. They followed the path of 'What's right'. They had a vision of their own family being educated, being equal and being independent.
I am sure they dreamt of having their kids in the best possible jobs, businesses and with happy families. And that is the best part: They thought of 'Their Kids' Not just sons! Kids.