Patriarchy Burdens Women With Patni Dharma. But What About Pati Dharma?

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Patni Dharma is iterated to women like grandma’s tale at night. Every woman is educated on her duties as and when she becomes a wife. Be it serving or supporting husband and in-laws or meeting unreasonable expectations, Patni dharma is upheld as the primary duty of a woman. But what about pati dharma? Why don’t we hear much about it? Why are men not taught to follow certain duties as and when they become husbands?

In a Marriage , a woman is made responsible to keep it neat, happy and long-lasting. She is taught that managing marriage is the destiny of her life. This is what she has been created for. While Husbands are rarely expected to contribute as supporting pillars of marriage. Their duty is confined to earning money and bossing over the house under the pride of being the earning person of the house.

It is the weight of Patni dharma that keeps many women away from being financially independent too. They are expected to focus more on how they will rear their children and manage the house than on how they will run the country. While I get how important it is to be a good wife if you are married. But why must being a good wife mean sacrifice and submission? I still remember, when my parents were not supportive enough of my career, they continuously reminded me of my patni dharma even though I am not married yet. “If you work for so long, how will you manage kids and husband? How will you be a wife?” my mother used to say.

Although now they have become supportive of me, it cannot be ignored that what I faced is not a reality in other women’s life. But why are men never reminded of being supportive husbands while they spend their time at work? Why aren’t they expected to take out time for their wife and children? Why can’t they do the rearing and cleaning if the wife is busy with her work?

The major problem is the way men and women are raised. Ever since childhood, women are trained to be good wives more than good humans. While men are trained to be earning individuals who can not only fend for the family but also survive on their own. This is the major difference in the upbringing of men and women in our society. Women are brought up to be support systems while men are brought up to be independent individuals.

There is a need to change the outlook not only toward marriage but also toward raising men and women in our society. Both should be educated about their roles as humans, citizens, marriage partners and parents. Both should be made independent to support their own life and that of their families. The responsibility of managing a marriage should not be imposed on women only. Parents must continuously remind men about being supportive husbands and fathers in future.

Nowadays, we are witnessing a change in the way men and women handle marriage. Men are now understanding their responsibility towards marriage and their wives. For example, Virat Kohli took paternity leave from an important match series just to fulfil his role as a husband and father. Though he had to face many criticisms, these voices from coming from those who still think that marriage and parenthood are a woman’s responsibility alone. While doing the right thing, Kohli not only ignored these voices but stood by his wife through thick and thin.

So, it is high time now that we start raising boys not only as individuals who earn but as individuals who play the role of a good husband too. If marriage is an important part of our lives, then lessons about keeping it safe should be imparted to both men and women. Parents must not discriminate between men and women and keep men unaware of their roles in marriage. Because this has been one of the major reasons why men never understand that they have different things to do to be good husbands in addition to earning and providing money. While patni dharma should not make women submissive and dependent. We need an overhaul in how we define pati and patni dharma. The two should be like the wheels of a car, supporting each other in every situation.

The views expressed are the author’s own.