A girl is born, after all the prayers for a boy, a girl is born. After the wishes of someone to ‘preserve and continue’ family name, a lamb for the social norms to slaughter, a girl is born. And so it begins – the race to fulfill the idiotic notion that the girls belong to some other house.
The thought itself is as absurd as it can get, on one hand, our religion classifies girls as ‘a blessing’ and yet here we are thinking it as a burden and trying to get rid of it. I used the word ‘it’ intentionally because the truth is girls/women in our society are objectified instead of treated as individuals who can and should choose their own path and destiny.
In many cases, from the earliest of ages, future of the girls is decided by the families. And for those who are lucky enough to escape this fate, all that there is waiting for them is this same phrase again and again ‘shaadi karwao iski’. Let’s take education i.e. college life for instance, a girl isn’t supposed to befriend a guy, the moment she does, there’s an uproar ‘larki hathon se nikal rai hai’. Higher education, ambition, goals, a career are considered a foreign and alien element for gal to have, the moment she hits puberty, there, just around the corner the same phrase greets her again, ‘shaadi karwao iski’, and just like that all the, goals, ambition and hope is burried. Fuelled by society’s ignorance and refusal to perceive a girl something other than an ‘object’ and justifying it with the one absurd argument ‘umer nikal jae gi’, leaves us with a remorse that maybe they got no choice, or do they?
What’s most ironic about this whole notion is that those who support it, use religion i.e. Quranic verses and Hadiths to advocate their ideology – that it is best to get married as early as possible after reaching adulthood. However they forget that when it comes to marriages, our religion has empowered women the most as compared to any other religion. Do they have forgotten the fact that it was Hazrat Khadija (R.A) herself that proposed to marry our Prophet (S.A.W), which he accepted? Or the fact that when it comes to bride and groom, there has been no groom such as ALI(A.S) and no bride such as FATIMAH(A.S), but still our Prophet (S.A.W) asked his daughter for her consent. Does that teach us nothing or we have chosen to ignore it just because of the fear ‘log kya kahen ge’?
The issue is obviously not the marriage phenomenon itself, but the forces and ridiculous social norms which surround and guide it. Women are told to get married before reaching a certain age, which is considered a limit of sorts, after which prospect of having a happy life diminishes. While the thought of a girl choosing her partner is considered a taboo in itself. Among all this hullabaloo of getting married, the most important question that arises and which by the way is always ignored;
“What is better, to be happy with the wrong person or be sad with the right person…?”
Life is supposed to be a lot more than just getting married. Marriage is about two individuals, deciding to spend their lives together with their consent rather than due to social pressure, seeing it as a choice of their own rather than an obligation which everyone is bound to fulfill. Because in the end, it’s the couple that has to spend the rest of their lives together and face its realities, its ups and downs not the society, not the aunties that get unnecessarily involved.
May we are able to humanize the society and understand that the women’s rights are human rights, and human rights are non-negotiable.