National Award-winning actor Suriya Sivakumar has reportedly shifted to Mumbai with his spouse, actor Jyotika, and their two children. Reports suggest that Jyotika is acting in a Hindi web series. The couple's children are also said to be enrolled in a Mumbai-based school. Migrating from one place to another be it work or for children's future is an ordinary practice in society, even actors move to different cities, and it is a personal choice, then why is actor Suriya Sivakumar's shift from Chennai to Mumbai making headlines?
Suriya Sivakumar, who had continued to live with his parents after marriage, has moved out for the first time. The patriarchal society in India seems to have been "hurt" by a man leaving his parents and moving to a different city for his wife’s career and his children’s education. Why is it unacceptable for a man to move cities for his spouse? Why should it be "unmanly" for a man to support his wife’s career by moving to a different city for her?
Suriya Sivakumar Shifts To Mumbai
India’s reputed newspapers are writing, "Suriya has left his parents for the first time by moving to Mumbai." Why is the media focusing on Suriya Sivakumar leaving his parents instead of taking inspiration from him for being a supportive spouse who encourages his wife’s career? Haven’t women been leaving their parents after marriage for centuries? Why does it have to hurt patriarchal notions when a man does it for his wife?
Traditionally, women were the carers while men were the providers. Since women were dependent on men for their survival, they used to move to their husband’s home after marriage. However, today the dynamics have shifted as modern women are educated, financially independent, and have dreams of their own. Today, women get married for companionship and not for financial security. They expect equality in relationships because they are on par with men.
However, most women are unable to pursue their careers due to gender roles deeply ingrained in our patriarchal society. Many Indian men, due to social conditioning, believe that only men have the responsibility to care for their parents in old age. They feel family and social pressure to please their parents, even at the expense of forcing their spouse to adjust and compromise on her aspirations. How many men realise that women too have parents to care for? How many men even respect their wives careers and passions, let alone be supportive of them?
Given that women are perceived as unreliable candidates who might quit at any time because of marriage and motherhood, they must work twice as hard as men to prove themselves at the workplace. How is it fair to expect women to drop it all just because they are getting married and expected to fit into the conventional standards of "Bahus?" Why should women who refuse to give in to certain conditions like quitting their careers, moving in with in-laws, or shifting to different locations be berated? Why should wanting to get married require women to sacrifice their dreams and freedom of choice? How long are men going to hold on to social norms and be unsupportive of their wife's aspirations?
So, what if Suriya Sivakumar moves to Mumbai because Jyotika is acting in a Hindi web series? Isn’t that something that makes him an ideal spouse? Instead of taking him as an example, society is busy highlighting that he has left his parents. News sites and social media are busy digging out how his father, Sivakumar, wasn’t really happy with his marriage to Jyotika and how Jyotika's resuming her acting career had allegedly created a family feud. Instead of putting so much effort into unearthing details to villainize the woman, can we take this incident as an example of how men should be supportive of their wife’s careers and needs?
Suggested Reading: Women Should Live With And Serve Their In-laws; Why Not Men?