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Well! someone had to say it🙌
A while ago, I read an advice column. A young mother had written in to say that she read her daughter's diary without permission, and discovered an unsuitable crush. What should she do about it?
I don't remember the columnist's answer in detail, but I do remember that they scolded the mother in no uncertain terms. "You had no business violating your daughter's privacy like that, and you should be ashamed of yourself. She will not find it easy to trust you again."
I couldn't help but think about it in the Indian context. The very idea that a child deserves privacy, or that children could distrust their parents for good reason - we don't permit such things to be said in Indian society. Our cultural mores dictate that parents can do whatever they want to their children.
Don't like their hair? Cut it. Suspect they have a boyfriend? Read their diary to find out. Don't allow them to put a lock on their door. Don't permit them to have phone conversations in private. You own them absolutely.
These rules (of course, unequally applied to girls more than boys) begin at childbirth, and well, they never really end, do they?
Children are little people, with feelings that can be hurt, with dignity and autonomy that can be violated. But so many Indian parents don't think that way; they see the child as an extension of themselves.
And then they wonder why they don't have a good relationship with them as adults. Well, why would they? When they've spent 18 years of their child's life controlling, overruling, gaslighting, and terrorizing them?