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.