This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Digant Raj Kapoor. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

“Can You Afford Your Wife’s Expenses?”: Indian Society’s Frustrating Idea Of A Good Husband

More from Digant Raj Kapoor

By Digant Raj Kapoor:

India’s respectable cultural tradition of revering elders has several shortcomings. The most personal way in which Indians experience this is when it comes to marriage. Indians, both men and women, lack agency when it comes to making the most important decision of their life.

marriage

I have nothing against marriage (arranged or otherwise). Indeed, marriage and the scripted Indian life provide a degree of stability to an otherwise chaotic country. But often, men are forced to accept stable, high-paying professions that they are not passionate about, such as medicine, engineering, finance and consulting, because of the job security and social status that they provide. Haven’t you ever wondered why so many Indian men are doctors, engineers and increasingly lured into the IT, finance and consulting industries? The pressures on Indian youth to marry young explain the career choices men make. Unfortunately, Indian society dictates that money and stability are what men are good for.

In Indian society a good husband is measured by the expense account he affords his wife. The arts and humanities sadly do not make the cut. Entrepreneurship is not always encouraged either and is usually pursued out of necessity. How do you feel about the fact that men have to out-earn their partners? Would you marry a man who made less than you? Even if you wanted to, chances are that your family would not approve.

Not a week (for many, not even a day)- goes by in the lives of Indian youth without being bombarded with questions about marriage. Yes, men are constantly questioned about when they are getting married, especially once they start working. These pressures have very real consequences. This phenomenon’s impact on women is often discussed, rarely is its impact on Indian men talked of. The reality is that Indian society’s attitude towards marriage places huge constraints on the life choices of males as well.

Yes, a man can wait until his late 20s and early 30s before seriously looking for a life partner without having to worry about finding a desirable mate. Unlike women, a man does not have to choose between a career and a family. But the pressure of earning a higher income than his partner in order to provide for his family limits the professional choices of men.

There are certain benefits when one decides to fight the battles and become a ‘career woman‘. A career woman can make the difficult decision to quit her corporate job (consulting, finance) and be employed in a successful NGO. She can afford to pursue a more fulfilling career and live with a big cut in her salary because she does not have the pressure to ‘be the breadwinner.‘ If a man were to do the same thing then he would face considerable familial pressures. While men are afforded a few more years before being pushed to tie the knot, they too must live a scripted life, which inhibits the enrichment of individuals and society.

Even though I am an able bodied male with two foreign degrees I am (thankfully) not a hot commodity on the Indian marriage market given my choice to follow an unconventional professional path (by Indian standards).

Indian marriage, for all its merits, especially the strong support structure provided by deep familial ties, is at its core an exchange of material welfare for desirous traits. It is not romantic (but can be exciting). Perhaps that is why we need such elaborate celebrations. Making the process larger than life makes up for an Indian wedding’s contractual reality.

Featured image for representational purposes only. 

Featured image by Arian Zwegers/Flickr.

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  1. Pragmatic_Dreamer

    This unfortunately is quite true.
    But at the same time there are many Indian Males who get a high inferiority complex & their ego comes in the way when their female partners start to earn more or get more famous than them. (Mainly because this is how they were raised & what they saw growing up)
    It’s a matter of raising the little boys & girls right actually. It shouldn’t matter how much you earn but what matters is that you graduate & work in a field that you are good at or have an interest in.
    And when it comes to marriage, both partners should adjust equally & live as a team. Over-dependency on either of the partners, whether it is related to house-hold chores or earning money, can cause a lot of issues for the particular individual in question.
    Being self-dependent is important & needs to be shown & taught to children from a young age itself.

    1. Happy Human

      ((please delete my similar earlier comment on this reply itself, because there were some linguistic mistakes in my last comment, And there is no edit facility here))

      o come on. Females have a lot of superiority complex. The female ego is narcisstic, and their expectation to hear a lot of praise on their beauty by boyfriend, they are wanting to hear lot of praise always from their male partner and force them to do so. If their ego is not enflated daily, then there will be storm in the house, that why did not you praised my cooked food, why did you not praised my looks , this – that.
      If one asks to these wives, when was the last they themselves vocally praised their husbands for their day and night donkey works – then they draw blank.
      ===============
      I have known a few divorce cases personally , where once wives’ salary became more than husbands’ salary, then wives filed for divorce saying that they do not want to be married to an incomptent man who can not be a provider. Female entitlement knows no bound.

    2. Pragmatic_Dreamer

      Happy Human, Thank you for responding with your views on how you have experienced & seen the world around you. What you have seen however, is just maybe 5% of what actually is going on. The fact of the matter is in our country, the women are still oppressed & still being raised to be good wives & daughter-in-laws rather than asking to be who they really want to be & men are being raised to believe that they have to be breadwinners, providers & protectors of their family.

      Sarabjeet Singh has already effectively put across his thoughts that resonate with mine on your previous comments & I have nothing more to add.

      As for the comment above, I would say the women you are speaking of do exist but their number is on the minority. These women, the ones who ask for daily complements, are usually quite insecure at all times which is why they seek external approval. The reasons why they are this way could be many like their husbands would always make fun of them in public, or never let them do anything on their own or could be due to some childhood experiences; whatever the reason, they are highly insecure.
      If a man expects daily complements then I would say he too isn’t secure with himself. Yes, I do agree complements are needed at times it gives you tiny assurances that the people around you are proud of what you are doing but there’s no need to expect these things if you are truly secure with who you are & what you do.

      Again, these divorce cases you mention, I have no idea about these but yes, there are women who misuse the law or state silly reasons in their divorce cases but the number of those are few. Kind of similar to the men who say they couldn’t control themselves & thus raped the woman who was wearing short clothes. Apparently getting laid of forced upon or getting male attention is the only reason women wear whatever clothes they wear.

      Feminism doesn’t say that one gender is superior to the other, it just states that every human deserves respect regardless of their gender & that no one is entitled to any special treatment just because of the sexual organs they possess. (Btw, here I’m sure you’ll add the fact that there are women seats in buses & colleges but these are just temporary solutions like they have done to improve the conditions of the SC/ST/OBC caste & I hope a day comes – soon enough when all of this is removed. No special treatment because of your caste, gender or religion)

      If you say female entitlement knows no bounds then you actually have no idea on what many (not all) Males think they are entitled to.
      Not every person is the same Happy Human, & I do hope you get to meet a woman who is highly secure with herself & has been raised with good values just as I have met many Indian males with these qualities.
      It shows me that the thought process in India is changing, however slow it maybe, & that there will come a day when Indian Males, Females & the LGBT community would be given the respect that each of them deserve regardless of their gender & they would be able to pursue & do what makes them happy without being publicly judged or condemned for the same.

    3. krithika

      happy human, i see no harm in a lady earning more than her husband. its the guy who does, and that the undeniable big male ego.

    4. Gaurav

      women have a very bug ego and will never marry a man earning less than her. there are barely a handful of women in india who have married a man earning less than her and the first thing that the women and her parents check is how much a man earns. so all the talk about pragmatic dreamer and others is shameless white lies

    5. kalpana gunwant

      Gaurav dude,

      You will amazed to know that I met 2 types of men while searching for my partner..
      one who says “I want a lady who will earn after marriage so she can support my expenses”.
      second ” I don’t think you should get married …. for girl family views and norms must be first”
      Third ” What the fuck you have such a small income of only 4.5 Lac per anum..” although he was having not more that 6.5 lac per annum with experience of 5 yrs and mine was just 1.8 yrs.

      Now coul plz suggest me with whome I should marry

    6. Haku

      Lol don’t marry an asshole. Unfortunately, there are lots of them. Also, er, is that 3 types of people?

    7. The real youth voice

      You are right brother….. Nowadays men are more oppressed by women……..if men doesnt earn he is subjected to constant mental torture by their wives…..most of the women pretend as they were harassed everytime…….laws are also gender biased…. during the divorce case….. Only women are entitled for food and living expenses…… Even if the man has less earning than her counterpart…….

    8. Haku

      I disagree, at least in India. This “reverse oppression” thing, does happen (eg: some divorce cases). However, at least in India, today, I believe that this type of problem is limited to relatively well off urban people. This is not representative of the rest of the population, where in many cases women have no say over some aspects of their lives.
      However, as we work to get rid of the latter, and we should, we would do well to ensure that latter doesn’t grow too rampant (it is quite rampant in the US, in my opinion).
      Like someone mentioned above, being self-dependent is important. Neither should you insist on another person providing for your finances (if they want to, that’s fine). Similarly assuming that a marriage partner should give up on their career upon marriage is also silly. Both are cases of entitlement.

    9. kalpana gunwant

      Hi,
      Thnaks for your post, that lead me write something on reply for you…
      your thought remind me about my first boyfriend, he was from Delhi… and truely I am just an average girl with short height, not attractive body, donot have attitude like as girls have…
      I never was dramatic with sudden rain, was not demanding, use to play badminton with him for 3 hrs etc.. he conveyed to me that ” I like you because you are confidient, different ho, you talk cool with people” but as we progressed our relationship, he became hard for me as he was always pointing fingre to me if I am not able to pick his phone call when I am in meetings, he simple said ” tum itne sare mardon k beech kar kya rahi the” tha event was nation event hosted by my company and my team was organizer….

      Could you plz answer his question…….

    10. narshing

      We talk just as if Females are Ego less. Why do they have so much ego between females itself. No body talks about that, is it how they are brought up? When one girl is more beautiful than other or when one girl have boyfriend and other dont have, than they have so much of jealousy. but no one try to look at these. It is likepushing under the carpet of female world

  2. Shitika Ujjain

    An interesting article.It is true,when you think of the fact that the celebrations in Indian marriages are conceptualized to be larger than life to overshadow the fact that it is seldom romantic and hardly ever a symbol of what it is usually(and falsely so) portrayed to be.The discussions these days are all women centred.When as a society the concept of patriarchy in shunned and the talk of the town is the new found ‘Equality'(yes,we have understood the subtle difference bw feminism and equality),the issues and concerns of men need to be brought out in the forefront.

    1. Sarabjeet Singh

      what the hell are you talking about ?
      Equality of gender in india is yet to come. Its not even fully there !
      I support feminism because I oppose patriarchy .
      Patriarchy doesn’t respect women or LGBT people

    2. Happy Human

      “Patriarchy” is mainly a boogeyman used by feminists to blame their hurt feelings on. Yes, there are sexist men still around, BUT nobody talks about women who are sexist against men.

      The point is, “patriarchy” is just a vague concept that never talks back. So you can chant “smash the patriarchy” all you want, and the fact that you are never arrested for that pretty much proves that we don’t live in a patriarchy.

      Ok, so if we really lived in a “patriarchy”, then women would always lose their children in divorce court and men would be able to take women’s assets, chaining her to child support for years.

      If it was a “Man’s world”, then Women would have been dying-by-suicide more than Men, where as currently actually Men are doing 2.5 times more suicide in India than women , nobody yet talks about them.

    3. Sarabjeet Singh

      “Yes, there are sexist men still around, BUT nobody talks about women who are sexist against men.”
      You are talking against those women now, aren’t you ?! so don’t say no one speaks against misbehaving women.

      “The point is, “patriarchy” is just a vague concept that never talks back. So you can chant “smash the patriarchy” all you want, and the fact that you are never arrested for that pretty much proves that we don’t live in a patriarchy.”
      Patriarchy is very much real in india and we know when just few days back on holi, punjab university locked women to not let them play holi !
      We know patriarchy is alive when a rape survivor in india spends her whole life to and fro-ing courts for justice .
      We know patriarchy is alive and kicking when privileged men pass verdicts criminalizing gays , ask women to cover themselves lest a rape may happen, telling your daughter to come before sunset while the son returns home next day at dawn !

      yeah such a gynocentric society we are !

    4. Pragmatic_Dreamer

      Sorry to be a party-pooper but the discussion these days aren’t all “women-centered” but actually centered around male-female equality. Ex:- If women are locked up in the hostels during the Holi festival then so should men.
      Patriarchy has to be shunned!
      These issues & concerns of men, women & the LGBT community can be sorted by supporting feminism.

      You need to read this:- http://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2014/03/debunked-7-common-myths-around-feminism/

    5. Sarabjeet Singh

      Well said Pragmatic_Dreamer, a gay man worth his salt will never support patriarchy even though patriarchy means ‘male-dominated society’ , it is actually a domination of handful of elite males who dominate over other lesser privileged men , women , LGBT, disabled people and so on.
      I support feminism for this reason only. In India , we don’t respect women who are like 50% of population. so how can we except humane treatment of LGBT which are just 5-10% or disabled people or even animals

    6. Happy Human

      @Pragmatic_Dreamer,@Sarabjeet Singh: When holocaust was being done to millions of jews, all the complaint near by was : “ooh, the smell from chimney has spoilt my picnic”
      Patriarchy is a misnomer. All we have lived altogether as gynocentric lives. Feminism a.k.a Feminazism has made this gynocentrism reach its peak.
      ————
      Females raping small boys – and the news is wishy washed or put in a small corner of newspaper. BUT A girl child is victim , and all the newspaper scream for her.
      One Dowry victim sufferred everybody screams, BUT if due to 498a entire groom family does suicide or is murdered – then nobody bothers.

      If i go any market (be it traditional or new upmarket), most(almost 90%) of the personal wear/items shop will be geared towards woman. So who is earning is not the biggest question, the biggest question is who is spending the money in market.

      If one domestic violence victim woman cries , then entire public – entire society puts that man in jail or kills him or gulabo gang is formed ; BUT if a man is victim of domestic violence, then entire society will either disbeleive him or if they have proof , then society will laugh at him.

      If a female files for divorce then normally husband has to agree and she gets divorce in few months. If a husband is sufferring cruetly from wife and he files for divorce , then he will be totterring for years and decades around court, still if the court grants him the divorce – he is very lucky.
      ——-
      Victim is a victim , any gender victim shoould be given support. But projecting as if male victims do not exist and projecting as if all females are victims or projecting that all victims are females — all are misleading.

    7. Happy Human

      if husband enters extra marital relationship, wife files can case on him .
      BUT if wife is in extra martial relationship, then husband can file case on his wife’s male boyfriend, but the husband CAN NOT file case on wife on this issue. What a funny “law!”

      and @Mr SarabjeetSingh: you seem to be in some dreamland. In the “women-only” spaces, feminists do not allow the entry of those individuals who have undergone sex change operation from being male to female.
      And we are not yet talking of those cases where the individual has not undergone biological operation , he/she has just assert the gender through assertion. Feminazists are only interested in gays who are lesbians, for the male homosexuals they only provide lip service, and they themselves do the bigger discrimination.
      LGBT movement is separate from Feminazism. Any attempt to think that Feminazists are friend or part of the movement is just a propaganda with no factual truth on ground, apart from the lip service.

    8. Sarabjeet Singh

      Your arguments are nothing new ! have heard them before many times before.
      But, even if feminism is anti-thesis of patriarchy, I am still somewhat in support of feminism. I will give feminism the benefit of doubt.
      Why ? because patriarchy has been for so long and is increasingly turning repressive, atleast in third world countries, why should we support them? now you may wonder why I am anti-patriarchy when I myself am a man and the reason for that is simple:
      Patriarchy hated me and discriminated me for being gay. It is ‘straight guys’ who mock and harass their gay counterparts and exclude them from male fraternities by calling them ‘sissies’ , ‘faggots’ , etc. Most homophobes tend to be men. I have not found many women homophobes as many as man homophobes.

      Ok , now thinking abt ur arguments 1 by 1:
      yes some females do misuse laws like 498a but in a country like india, women are still highly oppressed when it comes to sexuality.
      No I don’t think 90% of consumer items are for women. I find enough trendy clothes in mens aisle .
      Yes , some feminists have hate gay men but is patriarchy an option ? unless straight men openly accept their gay counterparts, don’t cry that feminists are taking over.

    9. Sarabjeet Singh

      Happy Human , a simple test for how much straight men love their gay counterparts :
      Show me one mens rights organization or one MRA who support gay mens rights . They always speak about mens rights but not a word on gay mens rights.
      Now contrast that with straight women feminists who openly vouch for their lesbian counterparts.
      No wonder patriarchy is considered so exclusionist !

    10. Aditya Malpani

      You can say some things are myth about feminism, but can’t you see how prominent feminists are nothing but hypocrites and haters. Look at Matt Taylor, doesn’t he have right to wear what he wants?….Or is it the feminists going to decide what is decent and what is not.
      http://9gag.com/gag/aoZRjYe?ref=fb.s

      Looking at this lady Jessica Valenti wearing tshirt with quote “I bathe in male tears” and she is a prominent feminist.

      Also look at Indian feminists supporting article 498a which is rampant in its misuse as conviction rate is almost 15% according to NCRB. And since it is a non-bailable offence the person suffers a lot for long dragging cases. http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/in-search-of-the-ordinary-woman/article5222195.ece
      You can read a retd judge supporting this shit saying that misue isnt rampant citing study by a NGO. NCRB is too foolish it seems.

      The anti-sexual harrasment laws were amended and made gender specific. It assumes female as victim and male as preparator. Any other combination is not allowed and feminists applaud that. One even told me that such laws can be minor inconvenience for bringing change in patriarchal society.

      If you say these feminists have hijacked the movement then it is upto the real feminists to get it back. And dont say emma watson cos her heforshe is similarly misogynistic.

    11. Tanya

      I’m sorry but your understanding of Feminism is highly flawed if you think that there are differences (even if they are subtle) between feminism and equality. That’s like saying only women are the victims of patriarchy (because patriarchy refers to male superiority).
      Feminism started out as a movement for the UPLIFTMENT of women during a time when women were quite LITERALLY the property of men.
      However, this article is actually the perfect example of the true definition of feminism, which is equality of the sexes. Yes, you can say that there are people who’ve turned the definition of feminism=male bashing, but it is those people who are misusing the essence of the term. The definition still remains the same.

  3. Sarabjeet Singh

    Lol , reading articles like these make me think maybe Its a blessing that I am gay 😛

    1. Rex

      Lol, just you wait till gay marriage is legalized here,Your folks will start sending you photos of guys and say puttar, eh launda kinna changa lagda si!

    2. Sarabjeet Singh

      How can India legalize Same-sex marriage in near future. I doubt we will even realize it in 1000 yrs !
      India is yet to accept inter-caste, inter-religious marriage.
      Indians can’t wrap their head around women equality and a lot of other important things . Our country is entrenched in religion and dogma, antithesis of individual liberties.
      Also, “lagda si” is a past tense 😛 learn punjabi first before u use it , don’t make urself look like a comedian 😛

    3. Sarabjeet Singh

      also what exactly did u mean by word ‘launda’ as it has multiple meanings : sodomite, chap, ..

    4. RandomDude

      I am pretty sure he meant chap.. sodomy is not a personality trait that parents would happily highlight while showing the picture of a prospective groom … but then again since you are gay that might be a desirable quality.. but that’s besides the point.

    5. Sarabjeet Singh

      ‘Gay arranged marriages’ .”Hamara beta aapke bete se bahut pyaar karta hai” 😛
      That sounds a very cute nd interesting concept bt I am afraid it ain’t happening . Besides concept of arranged marriage would fade off from indian social landscape before gay marriages kick in .
      Already, in urban areas, there’s lots of love marriages and for good reasons

    6. yukti

      So Mr. Writer what’s your opinion when it comes to this issue .
      Because it is not clear per say ! Your attempt to reflect the other side of this concept is very well understandable , but I would like to know that what is really your take at this common conception because apparently you too seem to be stuck in the stereotypical shit.

  4. Pramada Menon

    Well those who do not want to enter the rat race of being an engineer or getting married or being the primary bread earner has the choice to do what he wants. How many of us actually do that? You too can have the flexibility if you chose to exercise it. The point is that we are pushed into gendered roles and often times we go along with it. What if we didn’t? Maybe then we could chuck it all up. And I do not quite see the need for all the elaborate celebrations. There are many other contractual realities in life that we do not gloss over by celebrating in an insane fashion. Its time to change the times!

    1. Sarabjeet Singh

      well said . Most parents don’t force their kids to get married. They may whine and worry about their future, but if you are independent , your parents will most likely not bother you.
      We ourselves buckle under pressure when infact we have the option of not doing so. We ourselves don’t make our choices, we go with the flow rather than choosing our own direction and then blame parents, society, what not

    2. Lizzy

      My husband did that. And yet we were married and are perfectly happy. Its all about finding somone who can accept the way of life a guy chooses to live.

    1. jeeka krishna

      So the pakistani fundamentalists have also started to vist youth ki awaaz and they are already spamming the comments section to their own country’s news website ? But what can i say about a country that fails to realise that people maybe naturally gay/lesbians but are taught to be religious ?

  5. jyoti tiwari

    awesome article is the only thing i can say , kudos to the writer for saying the truth !

  6. Arnab Ganguly

    Indian marriage market is hypergamic in nature where every women seeks a man who outearns her by at least a factor of 2 or more. Marriage for women is a way to rise in the socioeconomic pyramid. You will seldom come across a woman who will pick a husband from below her social strata and provide from him. Marriage for women is a way to get provided for. For most Indian women a job is a but a way to get a better match however soon after they get married , most want to quit with the excuse that they want to “give more time to the marriage” .However the man is expected to keep working like a donkey even as his educated wife stays at home with a ton of modern household gadgets and maids and calls herself the homemaker. Before marriage Indian women can show extreme resilience and hardworking nature . They make do with little money ,stay in hostels/PG’s , cook food ,travel in crowded buses and trains, use cheap phones with prepaid plans and wear relatively inexpensive clothes. However immediately after marriage they suddenly expect settle into a mode of self-entitlement from the husband as if demanding clandestinely that from here onwards they would need to maintained and provided with economic benefits in-lieu of maintaining physical relations with the husband. Men must demand to stop becoming providers and protectors and in the spirit of equality allow women to don these roles. They must rear kids and seek alimony as a dependents if the marriage dissolves. This is my opinion would be equality that women have sought for so many years.

    1. saisri2k2

      Excellent comment Arnab, I agree with you strongly.

    2. Pragmatic_Dreamer

      Absolutely right Arnab. This is the problem these days.
      Women are being raised to be dutiful wives & daughter-in-laws first, then to concentrate on their careers, & that men:- husbands & fathers exist only to provide for them & men are raised to be providers & breadwinners for their families instead of anything otherwise.
      You are right when you expect your wife to earn as much as you do or more & also when the wives expect their husbands to help equally to raise their children & in house-hold chores.

    3. pankaj bajpai

      i agree.

    4. Sangeeta

      Very well said….men should help in housework too if the wife is working…what I see most of the time is Indian women work at office and at home too…while not many indian men help with house work…if we speak of equality then equality has to be everywhere.

  7. KarthikaKarthika

    Unlike women, a man does not have to choose between a career and a family.

    That line is more than enough to show how much the pressure of society is affecting a woman as an individual. That is not fair.

    1. Pradeep

      True…!!! You are right…!!! But the very fact that man does not have to choose between career and family itself is a social pressure…..coz a Man DOES NOT have an option to forego career….!!! he is SUPPOSED to work come what may….which is equally unfair…!!!

    2. Arun Babu

      Excellent comment Pradeep. Men does not have the option that women have of sitting at home. if any man tries that, society will call him effeminate. so vis-a-vis women’s position, men are equally taxed here.

    3. Sarabjeet Singh

      ‘Stay-at-home’ dad are not uncommon thesedays . I think the trend is more likely to grow and for good reasons !

    4. Nirupama Sriram

      oh?? WILL you sit at home while your wife earns and has an amazing career?? take care of your children, your in-laws, bear emotional and verbal abuse sometimes physical too!! cook , clean, be a gracious host to her friends, manage the household etc etc need i go on?? oh and top of all this, forgo your family that pampered you like a prince, follow you wife like you’re on lead-strings to every corner of the earth, not bothering about YOUR friends or family. Carter to her every whim n fancy???!!??!?! IF you ARE ready for such a life, maybe then you can escape your “social pressure”, forgo your career and live your ‘life’!!!

    5. RadhikaPradeep

      this can never with men.. not even in the wildest of their wild dreams!

    6. sim

      nirupama the real problem is not all girls do what u said ..one of friends wife dont go to job sits at home never cooks or do any household work siting feminism and curse him daily…its not the case with evryone ..on oneside village gals toil with drunk card and unworthy husbands ..and pay big dowry…but on the other sides girls in city go to much on feminism ..and not ready to marry even a bank ast manager who earns 10 laks …and ready for zero dowry…bcoz they all want guys with 20 lakh salary or more ..even though they earn 2-5 laks …and girls earning ten laks strictly ask for 40 laks or more ….they dont even try to chat and find humanity values and never respond to guys who earn a modest 9 or 10 lak per annum…in my opinion there is luck factor in getting higher salaries to an extent..girls shud be ready to marry/atleast ready to date or chat with a boy who earns decent 5 lak per annum or more..and asks no dowry

  8. Shalini Chawla

    I feel sorry for men!! 🙂

  9. Mamata

    Do you also realise that come what may,it is this pressure because of which Indian men are chauvinists and do not let their wives or girlfriends to pursue a better career opportunity..because the societal fabric is such that it will question them,how come their wives are more educated or better earning than them;the pressure of the unsaid “dowry” mounts and in societies where love marriages are taboo- women are educated at less better schools and colleges.More so,even if she faces a pathetic in-laws,or a rowdy husband,she is not supported by her parents because they do not have the wherewithal to support her – as she is not well educated and cant be remarried because the girl’s parents have already spent their fortune on her marriage..life is tough both ways here and we the youth,should realise and understand this!

    1. Sarabjeet Singh

      and thats why an educated and employed woman is an independent woman and she can assert herself in front of her husband .

  10. Dyuti

    “Unlike women, men do not have the choice between a family and a career.” I have a genuine problem with this statement. Marriage is an ordeal for women! Who says women marry out of their own free will? Women in Indian are often coerced into marriage more than any man in this country! And if you really want fight it, you will have to abandon your patriarchal and sexist ways and understand women rather than keep whining about the condition of men! Trust me, you Indian men are much better off than us!

    1. Ankit

      I think the author did well to mention the ordeal women are put through. Unwarranted criticism ain’t relevant here given that this article nowhere suggests that women live a better life. This article in fact highlights something which is seldom discussed and hardly acknowledged.

    2. saurabh

      Dyuti,

      I guess you completely misunderstood the point of writer, “Unlike women, a man does not have to choose between a career and a family” its the original line and it indicates that women don’t have choice but men do.

      Thanks,
      Saurabh

    3. Observer

      Ooh! The author might have missed the memo about this being a competition on who suffers the worst. Do tell me more!

    4. Human Being

      The fact that you’re whining about this and still going back to the kitchen with bangles and blindly following the societal norms of ‘getting married’ and shit, shows you’re 2 faced, full of shit and patriarchy doesn’t exist. Or you’d not be freely whining here.

  11. Priya

    I agree there are social pressures and all the blah but seriously I think its high time we stop whining and stand up for ourselves.

  12. Ram

    I always envied the life of a techie’s wife. If I can choose in my next life, I will become a wife of a techie, have all the freedom and no responsibility whatsoever for life. That is the way to enjoy!

    1. Prateek

      What makes you think so?? Do techie’s wives have no responsibilities as compared to other people’s wives??

  13. P K KRISHNAN

    marriage is method to sustain your successor.As per hindu cult you should have some body as your heir to light your pyre.In a way it is a bondage to take you out of waywardness and all dirty wickedness most of the men in their youth commit,which will end up in serious crime.There are very many few like swamy Vivekananda and Sankaracharya who controlled their passion.Once you get a wife and then children a sense of responsibility is induced in you where by you start behave responsibly.which is a must for the mankind to grow.

  14. Rishi

    I am on the line on this. Having lived in Canada for many years I always thought I’d be way too liberal in my choices because I am very far left on my outlook on life. I wasn’t ever even going to get married. Just be in a union or whatever. Think about this: why would anyone ever want to get married? Look at the population of this planet(and of India especially). Everywhere you walk you see people. More people mean more competition. I think it is inherently selfish for anyone to want to bring something in this world. So for a long long time I lived with this perspective.

    Lately however I am having a change in perspective. Its about a bond-companionship and trust. Aspects which are sadly disappearing in this chaos we call “modern society”. And I even think arrange marriage is the way to go if you do decide to get hitched. Think about this-who are the only people in this world who truly love you? Not your best friends or even your siblings. It is your mother/father. If they’re involved I think it would be a simpler transition and you’d do them a favor. Of course these are just opinion based on my perspective. I am still only 28(I think marriageable age should be around 50).

    I also notice most of the comments here are political in nature-All about gender favoring and the curse of feminism. Sadly this is so true in every culture(especially the western world). You must face the fact that women are liberal and into their own. Nothing like the older generations. What I wonder is…is it for the better? Was it a figment of my childhood that everything seemed so serene and calm and happy. Picnics, Doordarshan and family theater outings?

    Marriage is just another part of existence at the end of.
    Find your passion(s) and just live.

    1. R

      I agree with everything you said, but I don’t think arranged marriage is the way to go. Maybe you just need to find that one special person who shares your same view on union to share your bond-companionship and trust with.

  15. Abhinav

    Has anyone here read new divorce law, if not please go through it. Proper bullying.

  16. Babu

    Totally wrong conception….Come out

  17. D

    While talking about pressure on men for marriage, you seem to compare men and women for all the wrong reasons! Perhaps, you could have quoted a few studies rather than just your view point

  18. sarab20121989

    Reading comments here and the huge number of dislikes ‘woman sympathizing’ comments have got, I must say Indian society is still very homophobic/sexist in nature !
    Isn’t this forum supposed to be for (western) educated, modern youth.
    Well , folks, you’ve jst got a degree in western education , you might have studied in foreign unis but your mind is still no different than that of an 100 yr old in some remote indian village.
    In the name of ‘sanskriti’ and ‘culture’, u guys are unwilling to change. BLAME WOMEN for breaking your back by making you work like a donkey but conveniently forget women are still second class citizens in india, considering how patriarchal this society is. ALso forget how men have so many privileges and cost of this is to break your back after marriage.

    what a basket case this country youth is !

    1. Himansh Rakheja

      Boy oh boy, That is how people give it a turn which it never intended to take. The article no where mentions that women have less problems than the amount understood by most logical humans including you sir. Neither does it say that women force men to work for a higher salary and not the job one is passionate about. I talks about society, normal general society, it could include anyone including/excluding the wife. Even if one woman expects the man to be earning more ,that creates a pressure on the candidate set for the woman. So i do agree to what ever you said, totally…absolutely agree with it, apart from the part where you blamed the author of being someone who ignores the condition of women.

      And nothing, i repeat nothing should be a cost of privileges a man has, they both should have an equal status. AN EQUAL STATUS. The condition of woman in this country is painful and pathetic and should be changed and even this thought process of the society which(in this rare case) is an injustice towards men should be abolished. THAT IS WHAT EQUALITY SHALL BE. Some one who is at the receiving end of any injustice should get a logical treatment and an equal one, be it a man or a woman.

  19. Ranjit

    I still remember the pressure exerted by my relatives and the mental trauma I had undergone when I decided to resign my job (though my wife was also working) and join for research after marriage. I became an object of ridicule for many. Whereas my wife could easily take the decision to leave her job (she was the only person earning) and join for research without much hassle.

  20. Nupur

    I agree largely with what you are saying! there are pressures for men! dnt knw y this is so strong..but most of us have given in to society pressures! the least we can do is ensure is we love the person we marry! atleast some solace!

  21. Balsher Singh Sidhu

    The last line of the article really sums the Indian marriage scenario.

  22. K

    It’s ridiculous and deceptive to say that women have it easier in these few hand picked areas of life such as career choice. India is among the worst countries to be a woman in.. Professionally, for personal safety and in terms of gender equality and opportunity.. So really your arguments are hollow and irresponsible.

    1. Human Being

      YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY WRONG. INDIA IS THE BEST COUNTRY FOR A WOMAN TO BE IN. Where else will she get manginas pandering to her(except the US), where else will she get free reserved seats in buses, seats in schools and colleges and jobs and free education for girl child. Where else can she cheat in a marriage and still not be in jail or have any kind of charges pressed for infidelity? If a married woman has extra marital affairs with another man, that man would be charged, and the wife is ‘free’. What the hell kind of a sexist, anti male femi nazi logic is that? Also, did you just say ‘hand picked areas like career’ ? YOU MUST BE RETARDED OR JUST BUTTHURT AND BAWNING. What’s bigger than career? Almost nothing. Career is ‘what you do’ ‘what defines you’ in today’s date, especially in India. I know it shouldn’t be like this, but in India it is. Career is taken as the most important thing in life, even more than life itself, even more than health and well being of a person.

  23. Aditya Singh

    Women are also pressured a lot to get married.

  24. Nikhil Kamble

    I am a 22 year old guy, not much of a scholar but yes I am a thinker, I think a lot. And after reading your article and remembering what my dad said few years back. I think you made an excellent point! A very true and precise comment on the Indian Society and their lookout towards the Indian males !
    Standing ovation and hats off !
    Really liked your article!

  25. Rahul

    I hear the feminist army is preparing its ammunition.

  26. Pradeep

    Very well put in words which I had in mind but could not frame them linguistically

  27. Suveda Vignesh

    The understanding of the different (other than being an Engineer and or a doctor ) careers is absent.The scene of research careers in India is a perfect example where passionate youth leave ‘what they love’ and go for ‘ what could feed their family after marriage’ Jobs.

  28. memoirsofasoul

    Something I had posted on very similar lines… So might interest readers
    http://memoirsofasoul.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/can-men-detest-patriarchy/

    1. Human Being

      Another butthurt femi nazi bitch promoting anti-male feminism crap and propaganda the falsely made up word ‘patriarchy’

  29. Vijaylaxmi Sharma

    Being able to wait out your early or late twenties to figure out your career than constantly being told to hook up now or it’s only going to be divorcees or baldies later, is the biggest comforter and you can’t deny it.
    It doesn’t matter if you’re 20, 30 or 40, you’ll always be able to marry a girl in her early twenties. And earning more than your partner, I don’t think it was an issue created by women?
    Men thought it was better to struggle than letting their ego take a backseat. Also, remember in a traditional society men were always the breadwinner, because they couldn’t handle their wives stepping out of their house and outsmarting them  

    So, no wonder we’re still struggling with the change.

    1. Human Being

      Men are naturally strong and better at pretty much everything than women. Physically or mentally. And even early men, cave men and women knew it. Even animals are smart enough to know who is stronger and who is the protector. Stop going against nature. Its not the fear of the women ‘outsmarting’ them, which they do anyway, after marrying them and looting everything they have. Its about men being stronger, and better and more capable and so everyone decided several thousand years back, that it would be better for men to be breadwinners and woman to cook food and take care of the children, as women are ‘better with kids’ naturally. ITS NATURE, YOU CAN’T GO AGAINST NATURE. IF YOU TRY, THERE WILL BE DESTRUCTION’S, LIKE THERE HAS ALWAYS BEEN

    2. madhvi

      @Human being…
      its true that men are naturally physically strong but u cant say like dis dat they are mentally stronger than women.
      ans as far as i concern its not naturally that women can handle children better , men also can do the same they can cook food , dey can manage household things. Its just a matter of understanding and communication btw the two.

    3. Babar

      Marriage is the rape of a man’s bank account, which is why women always marry men richer than them. Have you ever seen a woman marry a man poorer than her?

  30. just a human with no gender,no religion and no nationality

    I believe that there are no emotional differences between a man and a woman. The differences are made by people and situations around a girl or a boy.
    Why is it that a man is judged by the number of digits in his salary and a woman by the ratio of of salt and spice in her food?

    Men and women have been bound by stereotypes for ages.In the case of marriage and family,
    a) Why is it that the girl has to leave her family?
    b) Why is it that the boy becomes the sole provider and protector?
    c) Why is it that the girl has to be the shy and quiet one?
    d) Why is it that the boy who has to be the loud one?
    e) Why is it that the girl has to go for jobs without stress and less salary?
    f) Why is it that the boy has to go for jobs with a salary of minimum 5-digits?
    g) Why is it that the girl is the one to look after kids?
    h) Why is it that the boy is not allowed to be nurturing?
    i) Why is it that the girl is the one to obey and listen?
    j) Why is it that the boy is the one to order?
    k) Why is it that the girl who has to clean and cook?
    l) Why is it that the boy who is the repairman and plumber?

    1. Babar

      Men and women are different psychologically, physically, mentally, emotionally, and biologically. Men and women think, act, behave, and react differently. Men and women are different.

  31. shruj

    ummmm……..nice observation.. but i believe that u always have a choice.. no matter what the situation is..

  32. Dilip Muralidaran

    //Even though I am an able bodied male with two foreign degrees I am (thankfully) not a hot commodity on the Indian marriage market given my choice to follow an unconventional professional path (by Indian standards).//

    I’m always amused how people fighting one form of discrimination are oblivious and have no problems contributing to the discrimination of another section of society they just do not care about.

    While the author rightly points out patriarchy working against men, as much as it is designed to work against women, he does not seem to understand that there are other sections of society who get a raw deal and perhaps a non-aggressive approach in vocabulary to describe his point, may be an option.

    As a disabled bodied male, i make twice (or thrice) as much as most of my college or school mates. I often far exceed the monetary expectations of earning capacity by women (and their parents) but i generate no interest in any woman. If by some miracle i do generate interest in a woman, it certainly does not with her parents and eventually, i run into the same brick wall.

    At the heart of this problem lies the objectification of genders and gender roles.

    A foreign degree is a desirable object. An able body goes without saying, is common sense. Stereotypes about who can earn more money and who can live a comfortable or affluent lifestyles exist. Such stereotypes do not get broken even when evidence exists in the face of it, all of the time.

    While it is the male who perpetuate the ideology of objectification, women take equal parts to sustain this platform of discrimination. While women have learnt to say no, thanks to the constant onslaught of human rights and women’s rights advocacy, its high time women learn to say Yes and stand by that decision.

    Perhaps they can start by calling out and pointing out the flaws of reasoning when their parents try to arrange their marriage. Its easier said, than done. Nevertheless, its about time we upped our game for the good of both men and women.

  33. apoo

    It is partly true but it is not 100% right. This is a perspective by the author in certain aspects of life. But the reality is not always the same!! I understand its pressurising when peple expect men to settle down before they tie the knot. There are many cases where the girl and girl’s family see the vision of his life to be than his bank balance. Also there are many cases where the girls are ready to bare equal responsibilities. Also all girls dont see the criteria of guy earning more than her. I respect your views… But it is completely generalistic to say all marriages are exchange of wealth- materials and being unromantic…

  34. priya Joyce

    “Indian marriage, for all its merits, especially the strong support structure provided by deep familial ties, is at its core an exchange of material welfare for desirous traits”

    Exactly!!.

    I completely agree to it and the direct economic benefit for a highly earning boy’s family is the higher dowry they can expect. And for the girl’s family is its the prestige.

    Economics everywhere.

    Awesome post.

  35. Deepika Narayan Bhardwaj

    Well written article. In fact no issues that men in India face are ever discussed. Parents force their sons into marriage, incompatible ones at times and then when it doesn’t work out, they are the ones who face the disasters. Much needed to talk about is how the laws of marriage are absolutely biased against men. As a man you can be accused of dowry/domestic violence by mere accusations and you can do nothing about it. Hope you get some time to write on that perspective too.

  36. Soysabs

    A “foreign” degree is pretty much a paid degree. SO you are lucky you won’t be getting much pressure. 😉

  37. Manas

    Kudos to Digant for pouring out his mind on a subject rarely discussed in mainstream discourse of marriage and family. I must admit that I, too, feel somewhat the same as you do on certain aspects. But, from experience, I can assure you that women in our society also have to face the dilemma of choosing the right profession for similar reasons of marriage eligibility. There are men who would not marry a woman unless she is earning well, which automatically means that the woman must receive an education that empowers her to make money.

  38. Malabika Biswas

    Sir,I completely agree with your views on this matter.In a country which has literally reached the stars by the collective efforts of men and women ,our society still continues to harbor the general mindset that men should earn more than women.In an otherwise harmonious marriage ,where a woman earns more than the man,the marriage is looked down upon .It is very unfortunate that men cannot make more unconventional career choices ….pursuing PhDs in humanities and science is considered a very inferior choice just because it takes the man longer to earn…nothing is sadder than a man having to sacrifice his choice of career only because the society forces him to do so.Why can’t we be more like a foreign country such as the US,where the woman continues to work and earn and supports her husband while he continues to work towards a higher degree!!

  39. Sowmya

    Digant, I think you are reiterating the script that liberal arts or unconventional careers are not lucrative. This is not true! Any career can be lucrative if you are passionate about it. Likewise, a conventional job in engineering/medicine/IT will not get you very far if you go through the motions mechanically without really liking what you do.

  40. Rahul

    Arranged marriages have a whole lot of negative implications on the Indian society and many of them go unnoticed. Here are a few important ones:

    1.) Increased population: Even people who have no interest in giving birth to children have to do so once they get arranged married. One of the main reasons why there is such a major population rise here.

    2.) Lack of creativity: As the article rightly suggests, Indians are forced to follow the herd when it comes to education and career choices. No matter what, everyone has to get an engineering degree. How do you expect creativity to flourish under these circumstances? Also one of the reasons why most Indians end up leading mediocre lives.

    3.) Cut Throat Competition curbing progress: As Indians we are always in competition with each other because we are all after the SAME goal. To get a job and get married before 30! Yes, a little competitive spirit is healthy, but it is hard to make much process as a country when there is such cut throat competition.

    4.) No recognition for gays: If you are gay and you do not come out, you are done for under this system. You need to get arranged married and be part of a life long unsatisfactory relationship. This is not only unfair for the gay person, but also to the straight person who he/she is married to. I know many Indian guys who are gays but still choose to get arranged married.

    5.) Ridiculous pressure to get married at all costs: If you stay unmarried after a certain age, say 30, the pressure on you is immense. People don’t even respect you anymore and in most circumstances you have to succumb to the pressure. In other words, I cannot make an independent decision even as a fully grown adult. I either have to become a rebel or listen to what these people say for peace of mind.

  41. Dharmesh

    Though it seems to be trivial and hilarious , I have never seen my friend-girls worrying about buying a flat and nursing a home loan. They are free with their finances of whatever they earn. Men are supposed to be “settled” when it comes to their marriage, and I always wander what does the word “settled” mean to each woman!! Patriarchy is not a sweet cake for Men also.

  42. Anish

    Hi…
    Nice article.
    Just want to add little clarity.
    Nowadays marriage is just being an event of celebration only.
    So called Indian Marriages that are being discussed in the article are not actually Indian Marriages.

    They are just parties with a meaningless n respectless “thanthu” that are being performed these days.

    One should know the real idea of what a marriage actually to an Indian, then we may use the so called title of INDIAN MARRIAGES 🙂
    -Regards,
    Anish

  43. Bhaveen

    I would like to share my blogpost on why I decided to remain single and never get married:

    http://bhaveensheth.blogspot.in/2013/03/bhaveen-sheth-dotsim-and-one-fine-day-i.html

  44. kalpana gunwant

    Hi friends,
    its really very heart touching thought that gave me another way to think on.
    What I personaly feel that both man and woman are equal at all the things… both of them have heart, grievences, strength, responsibility etc…. In somewhre men are not being asked and somewhere women are not asked about their likings..
    In India marriages happens between two family cultures, Bhramin to Bhramin, Thakur to thakur….
    Boy and girl has to marry to satisfy their specific society..
    Beta/ Beti ne Graduation kar liya to bade ho gaye, Job lag gaya to shadi layak ho gaye, job ke 1 saal ho gay kab shadi karoge, 2 saal bad tumko apne baccho se pyar nahi hai uske liye koi match Q nahi dhundhte…. beta /beti ki umar nikalti ja rahi hai etc etc…

    for girl.. He is from our cast, gov job hai, dekhta bhi acha hai, sabhya lag raha hai, apne level ka hai….
    for boy.. dekhne bhi sahi hai ladki, pariwar khand to bahut acha hai, padhi likhi bhi hai….

    What if I like a boy who drink alcohol…. what if the boy i like have only one issue… just about cast…

  45. Anoop

    I’m 24 years old now. And I try to think of the India I would be living in when I turn 60.
    What would be the youngsters of that generation be like? Would they be using their own logic and reason to reach at decisions? Would they laugh at the idea of arranged marriage? I hope they do.

    More importantly , would they look at me and laugh when they hear that I married a girl because my family told me to?

    I would rather die than waste my life like that.

    I say here that I’m an Indian. I believe in freedom and truth. I do not want likes in fb but I want my character to be polish. I do not seek a job. I’m building my passion into a business. I choose to be kind to everyone. But only respect the ones who respect themselves. I’m not attracted ONLY to fair girls. I see beauty in every girl who is smiling and kind and bold. I do not care about dowry let alone the opinions of my neighbors and relatives. I do not care about your sexual orientation/caste/creed/religion and money. If you are nice to me , I will be nice to you.

    I’m an Indian man. A growing one, for that matter. And I’m the future.

  46. SRM1318955

    Quite true..its an informative article…..marriages these days are just like selective breeding!!!!! Not heredity i mean but like the boy should earn more than 50k to 100k, etc etc should belong to a well cultured family and bla bla……..but sometimes i feel its to maintain the race or the purity of the race or tribe and many other………what i believe is life partner is not to be chosen, but to be found out who it is, that one will change everything and will make life a paradise……dont choose, wait for the magical moment to come, look in the eyes bcuz eyes are mirror which will reflect ur true self, this someone can be anyone i mean it ANYONE!! Even the one u know since decades, this someone is the one who is ur life partner………..

  47. Inderbir Vats

    It is misandry. Since childhood boys ate told ” Agar padhega nahi, to kiya kamayega aur kya khilega “

  48. Jayant Kanva

    Patriarchal society hone ke karan boy par well educated,high income etc. Etc. a pressure rehta hai.aaj jab hum gender equality ki baat karte hai to bhi girls (arrange marriage mein specialy) in sabki demand karti hai. Tab na to girls na feminist is baat ko sweekar karte hai ki boy yadi kam bhi kama raha hai to hum pariwar ko support kar dengi.but samaj chunki patriarchy par chalta hai(in most of the countries) isliye pahle to girl ke mother,father,society, aise riston ko mana kar dete hai ya khud girl apni padhai,job pressure ki baat kehkar high income boy ki demand rakhti hai .

    1. Ar Bhawna Malhotra

      seedhe baat ye hai ki agar girl zyada kamaegi to obviously office mein zyada pressure hota hoga…. kissi ke bhi sath hoga. Phir if you expect her to manage home as well to kaise chalega. agar main ghar bhi dekhun aur office se 5 lakh bhi laun… to tum 10 lak to kamane chahiye na….. wo aur baat hai ki we earn 5 lakh each and share household responsibilities….ya main 10 lakh laun tum 5 lakh aur ghar tum dekh lo……….dustra banda bhi to insan hai…. uska bhi dimaag hai…. aaram karne ka man bhi karta hai

  49. DrReena Soni

    I don’t about the peer pressure but SIMPLY I.know dis that I will.marry a man.of good heart nd even with a salary less than me because with time we can get sucess nd lots of merry but once we break up a good relationship then it cant be established well again , mutual respect nd love , care can’t be with any one , even a man with a very good salary but dishonest can’t win a good relationship nd I treasure relationship a lot , wid my recent encounter witha irs officer for marriage proposal I am pretty convicnced that even with his good salary nd respect he never wanted to make a healthy marriage so I left his marriage proposal nd still waiting for the ryt man

    1. Trinath Mishra

      not everybody thinks the same as u reena ji…. most girls think about job security, nice yearly holiday trips and a charming husband… my own experience about that… i’m a homoeopathic doctor with my own clinic but no job…. i have a pretty good income ( more than mbbs doctors of my age) but still i have been rejected because i don’t have a job ( which gives half the money i make)

  50. Md Tahseen Akhtar

    I am an engineer & entrepreneur and running a success full business, few month back while I was searching for a bride on a matrimonial website.

    I texted a girl who liked my profile very much (Because me and my parents are against dowry system and she was getting a great deal ! a free groom ) but she rejected me, she and her parents are searching a groom with job.

    I was shocked to hear that.

    I made an observation that she is willing to marry a employee but don’t want to marry the employer. It clearly shows that our country got freedom but still people have mentality to become slave. Bride family need a slave, they don’t want an independent person.

    I am a free spirit and I don’t want to marry some gold digger and ruin my life, trying to please her with money.

    1. Trinath Mishra

      same here my friend… i’m a homeopathic doctor with my own practice but i haven’t joined govt. job…. i have a nice income but still i was rejected because of no job security( whose salary is only half of what i make)… i don’t understand the mentality of people..it is really bizarre

  51. Parag Badgeri

    Mr Digant Raj Kapoor

    I am saying This is in the most heterosexual way possible that I love you sir

    Thank you for stating the pressures that are on men that require them to be the breadwinner…

    The feminists may take this harshly but if they do they’re seriously living their lives under a rock…

    Men just don’t have the liberty to follow their passion, without accepting the fact that they are gonna die alone.. (coz no girl would wed them for their unconventional career choices)

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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