No more hypocrisy!

Many years back, my uncle’s colleague was in tears when he described the unreasonable demands made by his daughter’s parents-in-law before, during and immediately after the wedding. My uncle felt really bad that all he could do was to offer his colleague a shoulder to cry on. I remember my uncle giving us a detailed description of the unreasonable demands and telling us how the bride was shocked and disgusted by the behaviour of her parents-in-law.

A few months later, my uncle attended the wedding of the same colleague’s son. My uncle was dismayed to observe his colleague torturing his daughter-in-law’s parents, making almost exactly the same unreasonable demands that his daughter’s parents-in-law had made. What pained my uncle, and all of us, was the fact that his colleague’s daughter, who had been shocked and disgusted by the behaviour of her parents-in-law, seemed to enjoy the spectacle of her parents doing the same things that her parents-in-law had done. Her shock and disgust seemed to have vanished into thin air!

This kind of thing happens all the time.

We are shocked and disgusted when we, or our loved ones, are victims of any form of discrimination.

But how do we react when we, or our loved ones, are perpetrators of the same form of discrimination?

Does our attitude towards any sort of discrimination depend on whether we gain or lose by such discrimination?

At the workplace, all of us like our seniors to treat us as equals, but don’t many of us love to boss over our juniors?

How many parents can claim that they genuinely try to treat their daughters-in-law just like they treat their daughters?

Women belonging to ‘upper caste’ families may complain about gender discrimination, but do they speak out against caste discrimination?

How many of us try to ensure that the economically weaker persons in our lives are treated with dignity?

Do we discriminate against certain persons or groups, particularly when we think nobody else will know about it and/or when we think we can get away with it?

Are we shocked and disgusted when we, or our loved ones, are perpetrators of discrimination?

Or are we shocked and disgusted only when we, or our loved ones, are victims of discrimination?

Let us all try to remove all kinds of discrimination, irrespective of whether we, or our loved ones, are victims or perpetrators.

Let us stop being hypocrites.

(This post was originally published on Nov 23, 2013.)

14 thoughts on “No more hypocrisy!

  1. Yes these demands of dowry should be stopped completely. On the contrary, the husband’s parents should give the girl’s parents for looking after her, giving her best of education and giving her to some unknown family to look after bettter themselves. Shame on the people who demand dowry, they should be jailed. Dirty people, their thinking is only money, devil’s mind, no humanity, no love, no God. Govt should bring a law to bring all these people under death law like Saudi Arabia.

    • Dowry is a social evil that must be removed. This must be done by a combination of strict laws and educating people who still believe in dowry.
      However, I do not agree that Saudi Arabia and similar countries are role models for the creation of law-abiding societies. They have their share of equally bad, if not worse, social evils.

  2. I was always thinking that ill treatig daughters in law will vanish after the girls get good education and earn well. But no, it still continues. The girl has to earn well and give the money to the parents in law. She won’t have any right to help ‘her’ parents or bring them to her home when they get very old. This is never going to change.

    • We cannot expect any social evil to disappear in a short time. When a practice like dowry is made illegal, people will continue the practice in a clandestine manner, or they will create ways to do it in a way that cannot be proven to be illegal. We are very innovative people, but unfortunately, we often use this talent for wrong things.

  3. It is indeed surprising that a girl who has gone thru the miseries of harrasment is also a party to such treatment by her own parents.

    Talking about workplace ….. Where I worked I had a batch of seniors who had instructed us NOT to teach or guide Juniors/ Freshers about forseeing dicey situations but face problems. Their logic was “If you teach others you do not have an UPPERHAND”. I was pulled up rebuked several times by my immediate bosses for giving proper guidance to juniors because “they should learn the HARD WAY” . (which I never agreed as I always believed that if I have faced a situation/ problem I will guide them so as to not let them land in such situations/problems.

    • Whether in personal matters or in professional matters, there are some people who believe that others should suffer the hardships or problems that they themselves have faced. We all need to practise the belief that others should not the hardships or problems that we have faced. Of course, we should not be overprotective.

  4. As good as we are in analyzing others’ faults, we seem to gloss over our own faults.

    Blogging, it turns out, is an escape from our own failings. It should not be.

    • “As good as we are in analyzing others’ faults, we seem to gloss over our own faults.” You’ve summarised this post perfectly! Whenever we notice some fault in others, we should first ask ourselves whether we are also guilty of the same fault and take corrective action if we are before trying to correct others.

      I do not understand why you say that blogging is an escape from our own failings. Please elaborate.

  5. Well well well what can i say we are like that .. hypocracy is built in i think.. as you said when we are in position we find it hard to digest but then do the same to others ..

    this is what makes me mad when people complaint oh the mother in law is bad.. then the daughter in law becomes a mother in law and she does the same thing to her new daughter in law..

    parents want their daughter to be treated like a princess but wont treat their own daughter in law like one …

    • That’s a great quote! However, while it may be possible for exceptional human beings, I wonder if it’s really possible, or even practical, for average human beings to practise this. “Being aware of shortcomings within yourself is generally far more useful than being aware of shortcomings in someone else” would be more achievable.

  6. Seen such type of thing many times. Especially among those who consider themselves social reformers, activists, bearers of public morality and righteousness etc. Really horrible.

    • Quite a few social reformers, activists, etc. look great from a distance, but their true colours are visible when one sees them at close quarters. Such people are more dangerous than people who openly accept that they are normal human beings who are susceptible to normal human weaknesses.

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