Aishwarya Rai Bachchan

I often wonder about Aishwarya Rai Bachchan…

1.       She moved into her in-laws house as if that was the right thing to do. Amitabh says it was the couple’s decision. The couple, Abhi-Aish, who earns in millions, couldn’t even afford to buy a house of their own?  What value does she get by staying with her in-laws?

 2.       She took her husband’s last name (though she didn’t drop her own). She definitely gets a lot of value from that. A “Bachchan” means something to the Indian public.

 3.       In an interview with David Letterman in 2005, when asked if she lives with her parents and whether it is common for Indians to do so, she replied, “Yes, it is common for Indians to live with their parents and it is also common to not take appointments with them for dinner”. Now this was a defensive answer. What is wrong with taking appointments from parents? Don’t they have their own life? Or do you assume that at parents house you can stop by any time and they drop all their plans in order to accommodate you?

 4.       In an interview with Oprah in 2009, she stated that Abhishek and Aishwarya live with his parents, because it comes to Indians very naturally. Really? How about living with Aishwarya’s parents? Will it come naturally to Abhishek?

 5.       I also wonder why the Bachchans are making statements that encourage patriarchy. It was Amitabh (not Abhishek or Aishwarya) who carried the baby home from the hospital. It is Amitabh who is going to have a final say on Beti B’s name after Abhishek and Aishwarya shortlist the names (or so say the news articles).  

 Now, what kind of example are they setting for the millions of fans who look up to them? Are they doing this to have a favorable opinion from the masses that believe in patriarchy, because reputation matters to them professionally?  Do “middle class” values equal patriarchy?

 All said and done, she continued her career as if marriage had nothing to do with it. This is definitely a step above what her seniors did.

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32 Responses to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan

  1. PT says:

    Well, it has always seemed to me that the Bachchans try to live up to a certain image of the quintessentially respectable (patriarchal) Indian family.

    If the couple wants to live with the parents, so be it, but I’d take strong exception to the claim that it “comes naturally” to Indians.
    How, pray, did madam come to this conclusion? Did she conduct a survey? Did she read it in a book? Or is she perhaps just talking through her cocked hat?

    I know plenty of Indians who have no desire to live in joint families. I am one of those Indians. I have had shouting matches with my parents because I am one of those Indians. I have an entire friend circle of such Indians.

    I have long lost my admiration of Bachchan and co. as role models, although Amitabh is still great as an actor.

    • Yup, the Bachchans feel very secure showing values of “Parampara, Pratishtha, Anushasan” . I feel living with in-laws comes naturally to many Indians who do not have a choice.

    • Bad Indian Woman says:

      Exactly PT.

      I wonder what long-term, double-blind, empirical studies she carried out before she concluded that “living with the man’s parents comes naturally to Indians.”

      Paraphrasing because Abhishek would never dream of living with Ash’s parents.

      She can stay with whoms0ever’s parents she likes, but she has to right to pass off her own opinions as being those of a billion people.

      I do realise though, that as a successful film star, wife, daughter-in-law and now mother, Aishwarya is subjected to a lot more scrutiny than were Hema and Sharmila back in the seventies.

      Bollywood is a strange beast — plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

      The more things change, the more they remain the same.

    • Nova says:

      I agree with Aishwarya that staying with parents comes naturally to Indians. It is, in fact, a very Asian concept, not just Indian but a lot of Chinese, Korean, Indonesian families live with their parents, unlike the western world wherein it is mandatory for children to move out the moment they turn 18. We can not get judgemental to say which method is right and which is wrong… but the fact remains that Indian children are generally a lot more attached to their parents and vice versa as compared to western culture where forget about staying with parents, most people cant even tolerate their presence.

      I must say I am lucky that despite staying outside of India, my husband and I still love our parents more than anything in this world… We look forward to days when we can spend time with them and we know that despite having a life of their own, we are their first priority… It goes without saying… Not just us, but entire friend circle believes in this…

      Maatru devo bhava… Pitru devo bhava… (Parents are akin to God) is something that Indians have sworn by. Ofcourse it is evident that the concept is fast dwindling and possibly is one of the many vices of western culture that we are all invariable in awe of!

      • Praveen (PT) says:

        We have every reason to get judgmental about it, at least as in the context of our own lives.

        I make no bones about the fact that I cannot tolerate living with my parents. There is nothing Western about this; I had decided it by the time I was in my late teens, having had the opportunity to witness the barely-out-of-the-stone age attitudes that my parents did and do harbor, despite having the best of educations and the benefits of having moved in very affluent, cosmopolitan social circles throughout their lives.

        Sentiments are all very well, but parents are not god, nor are they akin to god. They are human.

        It’s great that you get on exceedingly well with your parents.
        However, this is not a universal state of affairs and never has been a universal state of affairs.

        It is my belief that differences amongst family should be acknowledged and addressed as such, rather than being buried under layers of guilt and misplaced cultural chauvinism. It’s absolutely unrealistic to assume that anything family is always roses and sunshine.

        • Nova says:

          Family is never about roses and sunshine… but it is a the strong backing of your family that provide such emotional support and relief to many in India… and possibly one of the main reasons why teens in the US and other western countries get hooked onto addiction at such a young age… because they do not get the kind of emotional support they need from their parents…

      • Gargi says:

        Hello Nova!
        I think you are right when you say, that it is an Asian concept and probably there’s no right or wrong way as long as the people involved in such an arrangement are happy and have consented to it. But I also see where the blogger is coming from.
        Also I sense a judgmental tone there when you say “western culture where forget about staying with parents, most people can’t even tolerate their presence.” Or “western world wherein it is mandatory for children to move out the moment they turn 18.”
        While on one hand Indians say that one shouldn’t be judgmental and it’s wrong of westerners to pass of comments or how culturally insensitive they are, a lot of them end up spewing such stereotypes.
        My boyfriend and most of my friends are products of that “western world” that most Indians like to deride and feel a sense of superiority by doing the same. I have to point out to you that it is definitely not mandatory for children to move out at the age of 18. Moving out has lots of advantages, just as staying with one’s parents have lots of advantages, till a certain age. Some move out at 16, some move out at 22. Some move out after they finish college. Some young adults are too poor and ill-prepared to leave home. For a lot of people moving out doesn’t signify cutting off ties with their parents or closing out on their parents but it gives them a chance to learn to survive in the world on their own. It helps them become independent in the truest of sense and mature. And mind you, there many parents who support their kids in various ways when they are moving out. Children keep in touch with their parents the same way Indian kids do when they move out for studies or get a job in another city. There are family reunions, parents visit children’s apartments and children visit their parents.
        While it is true that children and parents live separately when the children become adults or get married, it is certainly not true that there is no bond or they don’t love each other as much as many Indians do. Having a separate house of your own doesn’t mean you have abandoned your parents or they have abandoned you. Yes there are people who can’t tolerate their parents for various reasons, and such people are everywhere- in western world and in India as well. Many children care for their elderly/aging parents, some don’t – they all have their reasons. Many grandparents babysit their grandchildren or stay near them and many don’t. The point being Please stop making generalizations like the ones you made, a parent child relationship is as precious there as it here.

  2. KMKH says:

    Its the ‘modern’ face of upper middle class society isn’t it? ‘You can do whatever you want as long as you toe certain lines”. Like girls who want to study abroad either get engaged before they leave or swear on their lives to marry as per parents wishes. I’m guessing Aishwarya was given similar lines – do whatever you want as long as up uphold the adarsh bahu image.

    • Yes, exactly! That is what the middle class gals are led to believe, “I am liberated, but I haven’t forgotten my culture” .Your guess could be correct. The “adarsh bahu” image has always been important to the Bachchans.
      Thanks for visiting my blog again, KMKH.

  3. STF,

    I never thought I would be writing on the Bacchans.
    Thanks for this opportunity. You asked me if I have a blog and I already replied to that in your previous post. When I get a chance to write long comments like this I don’t need to blog!
     
    I must strike a discordant note!

    May be its my age and a generation gap in thinking but here is what came spontaneously to my mind as I read your thoughts. I hope you won’t be offended.

    Let me take up your list point by point.

    1)Yes, it is a fact that she moved into her in-laws home. I say there was nothing “Right” about that decision or nothing “Wrong” about it either. It’s their choice and as long as she was not forced into it, what’s the big deal? Of course she and Abhishek have enough money to live in a house of their own but in spite of that if they choose to live together, it’s their private decision. Nothing illegal, immmoral or improper about it at all. Or are you suggesting they MUST live separately? 

    2)She took her husband’s name without dropping her own. So?  There is nothing Right or Wrong about it. Even if she had chosen to drop her name completely or had chosen to retain her original name in full, that too is okay. My wife retained her maiden name after marrying me. My mother too did so. In my wife’s case it was simply a practical thing to do, as she took up a job and we didn’t want the hassles of name changes in all the documents and certificates she would need to produce.  But you raise an interesting point. What if Abishek had started calling himself Abhsihek Rai Bacchan? Would he be matching his wife’s gesture?
    Or would it be reaffirming his family name even more strongly? After all his grandfather was Harivansh RAI Bachhan! What a coincidence!

    3)Our generation gap clearly shows!
    Of course, Aishwarya was right. Was it defensive? Hardly. She was assertive without being offensive. 
    What’s wrong in  having  parents whom you can visit without the need to fix up an appointment? All my life that’s how I have lived and neither I, nor my wife, nor my parents nor my children (who are grown up adults today) are complaining. 
    In fact, that’s one distinguishing feature in our family and we have no plans to change it. My children need serve no notice on me and my wife if they want to visit us or drop in for dinner. It would be a special treat and surprise for me if they did that.
    So much better than ignoring us and being indifferent to us in our old age. Before my daughter got married and left home she often had friends staying over and we considered it a privilege to host her friend too for the night after ensuring that her parents were informed about it. No prior notice was ever necessary.

    This works only one way with me. I would not drop in suddenly on my children. I can’t. They live abroad. But even if they lived here in the same city, I recognise the fact that their lifestyle is different and they would need prior notice and I will give that notice in time. 

    If I consider the generation previous to mine, then when my parents were alive, nothing would please them more than  my popping up suddenly and catching them by surprise. I have done that just for the pleasure of surprising them when they were alive and lived alone in a different city.

    I have two kinds of friends and relatives. One with whom I enjoy a cordial formal relationship and  to whom I would always give notice and another to whom I dare not give notice because if I did they would be offended. If I happen to land up at the wrong time, I would withdraw tactfully. That has been a very rare occurrence.

    I realize that times are changing and that most of you would not welcome this custom. But we are happy with it and are not complaining. So as a compromise, let us agree that your generation is welcome to drop in on us by surprise while we agree to give you adequate notice before we visit you. Fair enough?

    4)This has been an old custom. Nothing sacrosanct about it. It can be changed but if a particular couple does not wish to change, whats wrong? In modern times, many couples choose to live separately and no eyebrows are raised. Again, there is nothing ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ about this. The family does what it wants and as long as no one is forced to do anything, I say its no issue. You asked if Abhishek would be willing to live with the Rais. I personally would not fault him if he did. It is a custom in most Indian communities that the bride moves to her husband’s home. Today, this custom has been relaxed and the couple can stay separately and no eyebrows are raised. If in future, or even now, for any reason if the couple chooses to stay with the brides parents, and the bride’s parents have no issues with it, I don’t see any logical reason to oppose it. The matter should be left to the family. Let the circumstances in the family decide what is best for them. I see no reason to criticise what the Bachhans are now doing.
    Incidentally, in Kerala among the Nairs, it used to be a common custom. The boy would live with his in-laws.

    5)What’s the big deal? I am not a grandfather yet, but the day my daughter gives me the happy news I am going to rush to USA and be with them during the delivery and it will be my proud privilege to hold the new arrival in my arms and bring it home! 
    I am sure my daughter and son-in-law will be happy to let me have that privilege. I will also like to suggest names for my grandchild but of course I will leave it to my daughter and son-in-law to take the final decision. I don’t know if what you say is true but if Ash and Abhi have no issue with allowing Big B to decide the name, why should it disturb any of us, who are outsiders? It is a private affair of the family. I don’t see this as a Patriarchy issue.

    To conclude:
    The Bachhan family is entitled to its privacy. They are merely  entertainers. They have not claimed to be social paragons. They cannot be burdened with the responsibility of setting an example for the rest of the country on where a bride should live, what name to give to a bride after marriage, who is to carry a new born baby home, who should name the child etc etc. Why this morbid interest in the private affairs of a family? Why not leave them alone?

    Regards
    GV

    • GVjee, thank you so much for your reply. I really value your comments. Your comments have given me ideas for new posts.

      It’s their choice and as long as she was not forced into it, what’s the big deal? Or are you suggesting they MUST live separately?
      GVjee, anybody moving in with parents after marriage will make me wonder why. What value does anybody get from living together? What are the benefits of a traditional set-up? Do the extremely rich people not have to face the common problems of a joint family (like shared bathrooms, shared TV, phone, cooking and cleaning responsibilities asking “permission” to the family head before going out), but just reap the benefits? What is it that Aishwarya or for that matter any woman, who chooses to live with her in-laws? I am not suggesting anything here. I am just wondering. I don’t know for sure if it was Aishwarya’s decision. But if the tabloids are to be believed, it was.

      What if Abishek had started calling himself Abhsihek Rai Bacchan? Would he be matching his wife’s gesture?
      Yes, he sure would be 

      After all, his grandfather was Harivansh RAI Bachhan! What a coincidence!
      Sure is. Never realized that!!

      They are merely entertainers. They have not claimed to be social paragons. Why this morbid interest in the private affairs of a family? Why not leave them alone?The Bachchans are not “supposed” to do anything for the society. They are free to do what they want to do. But they DO know that every single action they do is reported in press, because of “morbid interests”. Under such circumstances, do they really do what they want to? Or do they do what creates an endearing image for the public and minimum public backlash?

      I realize that times are changing and that most of you would not welcome this custom. But we are happy with it and are not complaining. So as a compromise, let us agree that your generation is welcome to drop in on us by surprise while we agree to give you adequate notice before we visit you. Fair enough?
      Sounds fair. But do you think if your grown-up kids call you before stopping by will indicate lack of closeness?

      What’s the big deal? I am not a grandfather yet, but the day my daughter gives me the happy news I am going to rush to USA and be with them during the delivery and it will be my proud privilege to hold the new arrival in my arms and bring it home!
      Good plan! I hope it works out for you that way. Hypothetically, what if your son-in-law’s parents rush there too to see their grandchild? In whose arms will the baby be? Will you feel that the child’s paternal grandpa has more right to carry the baby? If you do bring it home because it was your idea and your plan, are you sure this point will be a non-issue with his parents?

      • KMKH says:

        Following that exchange, here’s a potentially explosive (maybe selfish) thought – a marriage is about 2 people and 2 people only. There is simply no place for anybody else. Which doesn’t mean that parents are disregarded or forgotten or anything like that. They are still loved and respected. After all you dont forget the bonds of a lifetime with a parent. You spouse, however is not required to form the same degree of attachment. Care, concern and respect are enough to start with. Regardless of the close relationship either partner may have with his/her parents they cannot be intimately involved in the couple’s lives. Especially something as personal and significant as the birth of a child. It is the father’s right to rush out and announce the arrival. It is the mothers place to carry the child home in her arms and its their place to decide the name of the child.

        Of course to give the Bachchans the benefit of doubt, maybe the media’s been publicising Sr Bachchan’s tweets mores than Abhishek Bachchans so it seems like poor Daddy has no role to play in the new arrival’s life.

      • ——————
        GVjee, anybody moving in with parents after marriage will make me wonder why. What value does anybody get from living together?
        —————— 
        ============
        The subject of joint families versus nuclear families has been debated well and whatever your preference, it is readily admitted that both have their advantages and disadvantages. The richer the family the less the problems of a joint family. There are great tax benefits too. There is more moving space for everybody and they won’t be bumping into each other as they do when living in small flats. The houses of the rich are big. They all have their their own bedrooms and bathrooms. When the family respects privacy of the members I don’t see any problem.
        ================ 
        ———
        Sounds fair. But do you think if your grown-up kids call you before stopping by will indicate lack of closeness?
        ———-
        =================
        Certainly not! Did I suggest that?
        But I will reiterate that if they did not call me and give me notice, it would be no issue at all. They are my children, and my home is their home always. I have no counter expectations.  I don’t expect their home to be my home also and will not claim the same privileges I give them.
        ===============
        ————-
        Good plan! I hope it works out for you that way. Hypothetically, what if your son-in-law’s parents rush there too to see their grandchild? In whose arms will the baby be? Will you feel that the child’s paternal grandpa has more right to carry the baby? If you do bring it home because it was your idea and your plan, are you sure this point will be a non-issue with his parents?
        ——————
        ============
        Interesting question indeed.
        I am absolutely sure my son in law’s parents would rush there with the same enthusiasm!  And of course it is perfectly natural for them too be eager to hold the baby in their arms. Since we both live in India, and my daughter is settled abroad, whoever holds the baby first, will be taking the baby home to the same address, viz that of son in law and daughter in USA. So that issue is sorted out. Moreover, our relations are very cordial and we are both mature modern people. There will be no tug of war for the baby if both of us happen to be there at the hospital when the baby is born. What is more probable is that like the nawabs of Lucknow, we would end up with courtesies like “Pahle Aap”, “Pahle Aap” etc. Anyway, you have given me a reason for hoping for twins so that this problem is eliminated. Let’s see if my daughter obliges.
        =================
        Regards
        GV

        • GVjee, imagining the ‘pehle aap’ scene was really amusing for me. I am glad your daughter has great mature modern in-laws. If she is in the US, the baby will be put into a car-seat to be carried from the hospital into the car and from car into the home. So, I am guessing whoever is the ‘pehelvaan’ amongst the two of you will win because the car-seat is pretty heavy 😉
          I hope you become a grandpa soon. Your enthusiasm towards having a grandchild reminded me of this quote that I can imagine you saying after being a grandpa, “If we knew grand-kids were so much fun, we would have had them first”.

          I really value all your comments and I would love for you to comment on my previous posts too.

  4. Anjana says:

    Wow!!! Those were my exact thoughts when i saw the picture of Big B carrying the baby and not the mother. While this may not seem like a big deal to most Indians, for people like you and me who think on the lines of gender equality and understand the deep roots of patriarchy it is a VERY BIG DEAL. People fail to see the obvious or rather ignore them thinking it doesn’t really affect them. They can’t be more wrong as it these tiny gestures that reinforce the deep rooted patriarchy.
    When Aishwarya got married, I had hoped that she would not not drop her surname after marriage. While she did not technically do that she did take up the Bacchan surname. She made a big statement by doing that. I believe that she would have received a lot of flak from the society had she not taken up her husband’s last name. I was also very disappointed when she decided to stay with her in laws, which made me change the notion that I had about her of being an intelligent and a forward woman. While it was totally their choice, it makes a big difference in a society like ours where young people look up to celebrities and emulate them. And when such behavior is held as exemplary by the society, you realise that unfortunately there is no place for egalitarianism at least not in India

    • Bad Indian Woman says:

      To be fair to Ash, her public persona, especially after she broke up with Vivek Oberoi and Salman Khan has been carefully cultivated as being that of a “girl-next-door”, someone you can introduce your parents to.

      She’s never occupied the space that Bipasha and Pooja Bhatt have occupied, for instance, neither has she been very open about her private life, as Bipasha and Kareena have.

      So there’s never been anything very transgressive about her from the very beginning — she’s always been Ms Goody-Two-Shoes as far as her public image goes.

      I also suspect that the poor lass really loves her Junior Bachchan — who in their right minds would agree to marry a tree to ward off a threat to BetaB’s life?

      She’s made more compromises in her marriage than I would be comfortable making; and it doesn’t appear as if all of them were just for “image management”.

      • If not for public image, here’s an alternate theory:
        Abhishek is a gentleman; even his female co-stars (including Aish) feel that he is just the opposite of ‘a flirt’. Maybe Ash values this behavior and attributes it to his family’s traditional values. Maybe Aish was brought up believing in astrology and after 2 break-ups willing to do anything and everything to keep Abhishek, including marrying a tree (if she did).

    • Exactly Anjana. Though it is their choice which they are entitled to, the righteousness conveyed by their choice is what causes the problem. Now, they will be held as examples for their children by those parents who bring up their sons are ‘ghar ka chirag’ and girls as ‘paraya dhan’. Thanks for being a regular visitor to my blog 🙂

  5. Anjana says:

    Forgot to add that I am a regular reader of your blog(came over from ihm). Keep up the good workkk!!

  6. Sruti says:

    Just wondering– what exactly is wrong in staying with your in-laws/parents–even if you are as you say a “modern” indian couple?

    • Perfect question. The answer is NOTHING. The couple can choose to live with parents/ in-laws, uncles-aunties, friends, strangers or even the Prime Minister of India. There is nothing wrong in it. Had the couple chosen to live with anyone else except the man’s parents, every single person in this country would have asked, “WHY??” The reason this question is not asked by most is because in our country, it is not just common but also seen as being righteous for the wife to be part of the husband’s family. This righteousness stems from patriarchy. Staying with the man’s parents is considered the norm, not the exception.
      I am just asking “Why?” to the norm. What value could a couple get by choosing to live with parents/in-laws? I am not saying it’s wrong. But there is a ripple effect to every decision you make on society. Even today, most indian parents think that their daughter is “paraya dhan” and their son is “ghar ka chirag”. It is assumed that the daughter would leave her parental home and go to her real home, i.e. her husband’s home and once married, has no responsibilities towards the parents . This is the root cause of obsession for male children and female foeticide. The only way this can be stopped is by making marriage an equal deal. Sons and daughters need to be treated alike. Sons-in-law and daughters-in-law need to be treated alike. That’s why people who fight for equal rights (e.g. feminists) see a problem in continuing a tradition that perpetuates social evils.
      Again, I am not saying Abhi-Ash need to think about the society or the greater good before making personal decisions. It’s their own life and their own choice. But still, it makes me wonder the reasoning behind their choice and whether it was choice at all.

      • Sruti says:

        You know–i get the part where you talk about equal rights, i absolutely agree about what you say that sons and daughters need to be treated alike. And yes –i agree that the norm of living with the guys parents only needs questioning, however if you ask what value could a couple get by choosing to live with parents/in-laws– there is a lot to gain. Atleast i’ve gained by living with in-laws.

  7. Amodini says:

    I doubt that Ash has any notions of feminism – she married a tree before she married Abhishek : http://www.fridaynirvana.com/fiction/2007/02/the-new-and-improved-aesops-fables-ash-and-the-tree.html

    • Yeah, I had read that news. In an interview Ash denied it, though.
      I know a couple who wanted to get married but their parents were opposing it based on astrology. The couple was ready to do any silly ritual to get their consent. It’s unfortunate that people have to go through this either saying, “What do we lose by doing it?” or because they themselves believe in astrology.

  8. How often we complain about nosy neighbors and meddling relatives! Unfortunately, for a celebrity the whole world plays that role. So, she chose to use her husband’s last name or her FIL brought his grand-daughter home! Aishwarya Rai is more famous than Bachchans! World media noticed Abhishek because of her! The grand dad chose to get his daughter home! It could be love not patriarchy. My point here is stop evaluating each nitty-gritty of their life with the goggles of idealism. Because they are famous they can’t be regular or their father can’t name their child coz that would promote patriarchy? I think these are personal matters and should not be used to define/judge their liberal mindset.

    PS: This is not coming from Bachchan/Rai household fan.

    • Thanks for commenting on my post. Visitors’ comments really help me qualify my statements, help me better communicate my take on the subject and also increase my understanding and evolve.
      What criteria do you think is appropriate for getting a feel of mindset of the people of the society? Would you be okay if this analysis were done based on some anonymous person?

      Yeah, for celebrities, the whole world plays the role of a nosy neighbor and meddling relatives! Some celebs consider fame to be positive; others consider it as a price for the money they make. I could have done a similar analysis on my neighbor or my relative or even a passer-by because I am interested in bringing about a change in the world; a change that frees humans from gender roles. I wouldn’t have mistreated or disrespected that person for their choice. But the impact they make on society is my concern. In a society where patriarchy is the norm, people have no qualms being part of it. In fact, a lot of people find it very virtuous. Girls and boys are not treated equally. I am not affected by the choice they make. But I am affected when their choice is upheld as the epitome of virtuousness or is being projected as the right thing to do. And I also question whether the choice is actually a choice or a decision made due to a lack of choices. In a society where people have guilt creating a separate household than that of the parents or assume that the parents can start living with them anytime they please, we need examples to show that there are other options too. None of the options give you a label of a “good person” or a “bad person”.

      If your neighbor or relative treats daughters as “paraya dhan” and sons as “budhape ka sahara”, what would you do? Create awareness to change the society or say it’s their personal choice?

      • Yep, I know changing the society. There are people who are trying to change the society the other way also. You know, to protect us from ill effects of western culture. Those people who claim to safeguard indian culture by not letting girls wear jeans.

        So, they would call be besharam because I wore a short skirt and you would call me oppressed because I wore a sari. They would call me loose because I drink and you would call me orthodox because i don’t drink. They do not want me to have a choice and you presume I don’t have a choice! Both of you missed the critical factor ‘my choice’.

        Unless she told you herself, I think all the information you collated are from media reports and using them you want to label, I would say your choice!

        • OO, do you realize you are contradicting yourself? On one hand, you are fighting for your choice, but on the other hand, you are telling me what I would call you if you wore a saree or did not drink!! You are not even considerate about my choice of opinion or words!!

          If people are trying to safeguard the society from the ill-effects of western cuture, I don’t have a problem. They are entitled to their opinion as I am entitled to mine. They are free to do whatever they want to, I don’t judge them.

          As far as celebrities are concerned, I can rate them based on their degrees of feminism or beauty or whatsoever.

          • Well, the point was to draw a parallel about how seemingly ‘modern’ or ‘traditional’ neglect individual’s choice! When I said ‘you’ I meant in general and not you as a person.

            I don’t understand why I should be consider a third party’s opinion on my dress or drink when whatever I m doing is perfectly legal and does not concern them at all?

            • You don’t have to consider a third party’s opinion; you have the choice to ignore it. Their freedom to express their opinion is legal too. If they think how you dress or whether you drink, impacts them, it’s their choice, it’s their reasoning and it’s their life. As long as they are not illegally forcing you to act in a certain way, you are good (at least legally).

        • pArtOfSociaty says:

          Bachchan family which is a public figure is just taken here as an example.
          Aishwarya adding “Bachchan” to her last name, moving in with in-laws ,Amitabh carrying granddaughter from hospital are the images we see. These portray the picture of “Adarsh” culture. Which has huge influence on masses in India. May be Bachchans believe in equality, might not be believing in patriarchy , might be using it to gain popularity among masses or may be it works very well for all of them. Whatever it is , it is their choice but this image (patriarchy,inequality) does influence the masses in India which is sad. People should not just follow ideas blindly but choose based on reasoning.

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