Sweety Arora aka our ‘friendly neighbourhood advice-giver’ thinks that “the second a girl starts saying no, it means beti bigad gayi!” Watch her hilarious story, and tag a friend who knows a Sweety Arora. 😉 #BHL
Posted by Youth Ki Awaaz on Thursday, 5 October 2017
Growing up in India, we’ve all perhaps known or met at least one Sweety Arora in our lives. Typically, this person is someone who is confounded by the very idea that young people ‘these days’ make their decisions themselves, prefer to make their own choices and freely speak their minds. And they waste no time in labelling us as ‘Bigda hua ladkas/ ladkis’.
For me, it was my mother’s friend. I still remember the day I tried convincing her that I wasn’t interested in getting married unless I felt ready to get married. I rationalised and substantiated my decision, saying I needed to work and build my career in the best possible way – and for a week the topic of conversation was “Girls these days are way too independent, they think they know everything about life.” What’s wrong with that, I ask myself? My response was to blatantly ignore her. It’s been a couple of years since this happened, but the injustice still rankles.
That the society of the world’s youngest country is still uncomfortable with girls making independent decisions is frankly, a bit ridiculous – as is the desperate attempt to grab for control in the guise of experience. And the irony of a Sweety Arora making a selfie video, commenting on the fact that her daughter shouldn’t do something hatke isn’t lost on me – because such societal stereotypes are full of the same kind of hypocrisy! And this needs to change.
Have you ever met or been labelled #BHL by a Sweety Arora in your life? Tell us how you tackled it! Share your story on Youth Ki Awaaz and follow #BHL, our campaign with BBC Media, developed in partnership with UNICEF India.