Growing up with you, raised by you and being one among you hasn’t been that easy! We bonded really well when you kept talking, and I kept mum. But tables turned when you said something, and I questioned it. While growing up, we got on well as I really didn’t get to know you. But as I grew up, the more I got to know you, the more uneasy I felt. It’s not because I don’t respect you, but the issue arises when I have my own views that you don’t agree with. If I had to cite examples, we could go on forever, but all I need to point out at is education.
Everybody says that every girl should be educated, but how much and till when? Because the same person who rants about education also feels that if the girl is ‘over-educated’, no one would marry her. Goofy, isn’t it? In Indian society, there are three levels of education for a girl:
But what if she moves forward, plans to do research, higher studies and establish her career? Then, she has crossed the line!
Where’s the line? What has she crossed? Our ‘reasonable’ society feels that if a girl is over-educated and has her own values and ethics, then she is sure to form her own views regarding marriage, her dreams, her life, which is not acceptable for a ‘mamma’s boy’ or society! You tell me, how does it feel when you ask your prospective groom, “Do you know how to cook?” “Do you believe in being spiritual?” “How would you encourage your wife’s success?”
How dare you ask the poor boy such questions! How can you put him in a fix? It’s okay if a girl is asked such questions, but a boy… no, no, no, it’s not right! All this is happening just because you outdid yourself! If the girl had not learnt more, she would not have been opinionated, she would not have her viewpoints, and she would not have her opinions.
With her minimal degree, all she would have cared about was if the boy earned well or not, and she would have easily said yes. But now see what has happened! Today, she has her opinion, her thoughts, her morals, and above all, the right to say “yes” or “no”. She doesn’t feel guilty for standing up against the cultural norms, or standing by her principles, or choosing her own partner.
Why isn’t it right, though? People often tell me it is a boy and not a fruit that you can cut open and inspect. I have noticed an interesting fact about the same people. When you buy a house or a car for yourself, you go through multiple options, go through a thousand brochures or even ask hilarious questions to the salesman, which he would not have even thought of.
Leave cars or homes, even while picking vegetables for your household, you tend to ask,” Is it fresh?” “Is it rotten?” And when it comes to your job or studies, we know your queries and options never seem to end. When you take so much care, concern and curiosity while choosing the right house, the right job, the right career, then why not when it comes to the right man? And the same goes for men too.
The education that gives you the right to think, choose, believe and stand up for yourself, can never be wrong. And by being ‘over-educated’, you gain the confidence to face the world. As the saying goes, “If you educate a man, you educate an individual, and if you educate a woman, you educate a nation.” And this saying is not a modern concept; it is a traditional one. So, please stand by what you say. You daughters, daughters-in-law, sisters, mothers and wives, have the right to be educated, go to work, chase their dreams, choose their prospective life partners, and lead a life of their choice. Because we, the women of today, wish to be educated to move along with time and not stay behind.
So, dear society, as you always ask us to stand by you, listen to you and stand by you, we ask you to do the same. Educate yourself, your sons, daughters, and everyone and let them make their own decisions and decide for themselves, and then, you will also understand being educated is never too much!