No more hypocrisy!

Many years back, my uncle’s colleague was in tears when he described the unreasonable demands made by his daughter’s parents-in-law before, during and immediately after the wedding. My uncle felt really bad that all he could do was to offer his colleague a shoulder to cry on. I remember my uncle giving us a detailed description of the unreasonable demands and telling us how the bride was shocked and disgusted by the behaviour of her parents-in-law.

A few months later, my uncle attended the wedding of the same colleague’s son. My uncle was dismayed to observe his colleague torturing his daughter-in-law’s parents, making almost exactly the same unreasonable demands that his daughter’s parents-in-law had made. What pained my uncle, and all of us, was the fact that his colleague’s daughter, who had been shocked and disgusted by the behaviour of her parents-in-law, seemed to enjoy the spectacle of her parents doing the same things that her parents-in-law had done. Her shock and disgust seemed to have vanished into thin air!

This kind of thing happens all the time.

We are shocked and disgusted when we, or our loved ones, are victims of any form of discrimination.

But how do we react when we, or our loved ones, are perpetrators of the same form of discrimination?

Does our attitude towards any sort of discrimination depend on whether we gain or lose by such discrimination?

At the workplace, all of us like our seniors to treat us as equals, but don’t many of us love to boss over our juniors?

How many parents can claim that they genuinely try to treat their daughters-in-law just like they treat their daughters?

Women belonging to ‘upper caste’ families may complain about gender discrimination, but do they speak out against caste discrimination?

How many of us try to ensure that the economically weaker persons in our lives are treated with dignity?

Do we discriminate against certain persons or groups, particularly when we think nobody else will know about it and/or when we think we can get away with it?

Are we shocked and disgusted when we, or our loved ones, are perpetrators of discrimination?

Or are we shocked and disgusted only when we, or our loved ones, are victims of discrimination?

Let us all try to remove all kinds of discrimination, irrespective of whether we, or our loved ones, are victims or perpetrators.

Let us stop being hypocrites.


12 thoughts on “No more hypocrisy!

  1. Very true. What applies to the daughter does not apply to the daughter in law. Not generalising. ..In most cases 🙂 In more common terms. ..what affects us adversely is wrong. Same thing happens to someone else…It does not matter. Women should start speaking…For themselves and others. Sometimes I think women cause more problem by not speaking out 😦

    • Agreed. It is unfortunate that people don’t speak out.
      The trauma they have already suffered may be the reason victims do not speak out, particularly when the perpetrator is more powerful.
      Others do not speak out for one or more of the reasons I’ve mentioned in the post.

  2. They always discriminate with “your house” “my house”, yet the bride is expected to integrate into the new family, accept their customs, sleep with a stranger and meet all their expectations. The hypocrisy is never-ending. We’ve had some instances in our family where the girls from “our” side faced sh*t from the “boy’s” side even after the marriage. Luckily we have enough idealistic people on our side to drill sense into them. I am proud to say all my cousins absolutely refused to do the “seeing the girl” ritual and banned any mention of “dowries”.

    And most luckily, I am married to a man who does not believe in rituals. 🙂 In fact, we simply boycott any function that is a complete waste of resources and cash.

    Strange thing is – even as lots of people will nod their heads at what you’ve written, Pro, they’ll somehow be defaulting in some ways so as to not “hurt” someone’s feelings.

    • Yes, many people will agree, but will do exactly the opposite. I was thinking exactly this when I saw some women on television yesterday saying things like, “If whatever happened in Tehelka had happened in my organisation, I would have …” Frankly, it’s easy to speak about a hypothetical situation, but extremely difficult to rise to the occasion in reality.

  3. That’s the irony of life. When it’s someone else it’s laughable but self it’s unbearable.
    Unfortunately you find this behaviour more in upper middle class & rich families.

  4. The Tarun Tejpal incident is just the tip of the iceberg, the matter of a Justice of the Supreme Court is pending, the misbehaviour of a senior counsel of the Supreme Court and Congress Party spokesman was given an unceremonious burial, Asaram’s son is absconding. These are just other forms in addition to dowry demands that go on unabated despite the law!

  5. We are talking about being hypocrites on very serious issues. But we are like that even on minor things in life. Here’s one example I quoted somewhere as well. A dear hypocrite is in the habit of pointing fingers at others on how they keep the neighborhood dirty. On one of the occasions when we were having a cup of tea (in those little plastic cups), he was all praises about a certain country he had visited where people make it a point to keep the public places clean. When dear hypocrite finished his cuppa, he simply threw away the empty cup below one of the vehicles parked there. When I started looking for a dust bin to throw my own cup, he actually made fun of me on wasting time on the search, and instead asked me to dispose off the cup the way he did. I stepped aside looking for the dustbin, with a blank look on my face and a lot of “nice expressions” in my mind.

  6. Reminds me of something similar I read about rapists or male criminals. The study said that most times, these are the people who have been tortured or hit or treated rashly when they were kids. So, they do the same thing when they come in power. I would say it’s human behavior. And the only way to break it is to remember it strongly till the time ‘you’ yourself come into power. Very very important. I hope to keep that in my mind when time comes. Nice post.

  7. This is classic case of victims becoming perpetrators. While some victims would vow and make sure that such discrimination happens to nobody, there are many who would think that we have suffered so others should suffer too!! Ironical!

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