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An Open Letter to All Parents of Girls

An Open Letter to All Parents of Girls

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Published by cabralyc
Talk given by Prof. P. Krishna, Rector of the Rajghat Education Centre, Varanasi, India; Krishnamurti Foundation India
Talk given by Prof. P. Krishna, Rector of the Rajghat Education Centre, Varanasi, India; Krishnamurti Foundation India

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: cabralyc on Jun 18, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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AN OPEN LETTER TO ALL PARENTS OF GIRLSfrom Prof. P. Krishna*Dear Friend,Everyday we read in the national newspapers about young girls committingsuicide because their parents cannot collect the dowry to get them married or  because they are humiliated by their in-laws, sometimes even murdered outof greed. Our heart bleeds but we feel helpless, we feel we cannot do verymuch about these social evils. I am writing to say that we can, even singly,free our daughters from this humiliation and suffering provided we arewilling to change our ideas and attitudes towards them. We must do this if we really love them and care for their happiness more than for our ownconvenience.You may not agree with my views, because they may be contrary to all your traditional values, but please listen to them, consider them for the sake of your daughters, even if you find it disagreeable. They can make adifference of life and death for your daughters. I know that you care for them and love them because I also have daughters and I can feel your anxiety and concern.I maintain that much of the sorrow and suffering in the lives of oudaughters arises from false notions that we harbour in our heads because wehave never questioned them. These notions make us fearful and force us toaccept many situations which we do not have to accept. Permit me thereforeto question some of these false notions : ____________________________________________________________ * Rector, Krishnamurti Foundation India, Rajghat Fort, Varanasi.
 Notion 1 :That we must marry our daughter to someone within our own caste. I ask you, why ? Are good people only in our caste ? There may be somedifferences in food-habits etc. but do they matter more than differences of temperament or largeness of heart for happiness in marriage ? If we can beclose friends with people of another caste and work with them, why can wenot be happy in marrying them and living with them ? Notion 2 :That people of our caste will criticise us and we will be left with no friends.Are they really our true friends ? If they are, should they not care for our happiness and that of our daughters ? If they did, would they not stand by us? If they do not, then they are not really our friends, so why depend on them? After all, we all have friends among people of all communities and castes;so why not depend on our true friends, why depend on the caste people ?Aren't our friends the real community we live in ? Will they not help us if we are ill or in difficulty ? Surely the idea that only people of our caste helpus is sheer nonsense. Very often they only impose all kinds of restrictions onus and limit our freedom. So why stick to them, especially if that caneventually lead to the humiliation and burning of our daughters ? Notion 3 :That a girl must get married before she is 25 years old. One may wish thatfor one's son or daughter, but why make it into an obsession ? It is importantto be happy in life and if marriage will bring happiness then it is desirable, but why marry at all costs ? After all, many men and women do live areasonably happy life, and with great dignity, without marrying, by devotingthemselves to their work. So why have this fixation in our mind thatmarriage is essential and must be arranged by a certain age even if a good boy is not available ? Why treat the daughter differently from the son ? Whynot educate her, let her work and get married to someone she likes, if shelikes and when she likes, as we do with our sons ? I would rather let mydaughter remain unmarried than have her live with a greedy man who seeksher hand because of the dowry.
 Notion 4 :That virginity is more important for a girl than for a boy. The pressure to geta girl married quickly often comes from the fear that she may fall in lovewith someone and lose her virginity. The idea that it is more important girlto keep her virginity than a boy comes from the fear that she may conceiveand have to bear a child, whereas the boy goes Scot free. Surely, it takes twoto make a baby and both persons are equally responsible for bringing up thechild. Animals do not need a system of marriage because the young onegrows up in a few months and becomes independent. But the human childhas to develop not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally for 20years before it becomes and independent adult. That responsibility has to be shared equally by the father and the mother who produce the child. It isnot more immoral for a girl to produce a baby before marriage than it is for a boy. If it does happen, justice demands that we should stand by our daughter and help her rather than condemn her. Our condemnation of her is a greater crime than her sexual lapse, as it humiliates her often to the point of committing suicide. If the boy does not take responsibility for the child, thegirl is already a victim of injustice and our condemnation only adds further to that injustice. Notion 5 :That a girl belongs to her father before marriage and to her husband after that. No human being belongs to anybody. Having produced a child it is our responsibility to look after it and care for it, but that child isn't ou possession. My child is my friend, he/she is another human being. Like truefriends, we must care for their happiness but not treat them as objects meantfor our happiness or pleasure. Like the parents, the husband is also a friend,not the owner of the wife. If my daughter is not happy in his house, she canalways come and live in my house because it is still her house and willalways remain hers. She has as much right to come and live here as any of my sons. We must drop the false notion that our house is no longer hersafter marriage. Remember, we are friends and true friends never close their doors at the time of need. Notion 6 :

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