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OK to kick son’s wife?

March 25, 2010

“a mother-in-law who kicks her daughter-in-law or keeps threatening her with divorce will attract no punishment for cruelty under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code, the Supreme Court has agreed to reconsider its judgment given last year in a matrimonial dispute case

SC ruling that kicking of a daughter-in-law by her mother-in-law and the threats of in-laws to get their son to divorce his wife did not amount to cruelty as defined under 498A of the IPC would defeat the very purpose of the provision, which was meant to protect women from cruelty and harassment in matrimonial homes.

.    “Such a judicial understanding of cruelty will be a license for domestic violence, both mental or physical. It may also encourage wife-beaters. If unchallenged, it will undo the positive steps taken by the government and Parliament to provide a just legal framework to address the increasing number of cases of domestic violence and protect the lives and dignity of women within the domestic sphere,”

I fail to understand why should a mother in law physically assault her daughter in law or for that matter mentally torture her? What right does she have to torture her? Just because the daughter in law is an outsider, just because the son pays little more attention to her? Or is it the insecurity of the mother in law that her throne will be snatched away by the newcomer? Or is it her jealousy of the young person, her youth, her age, her new modern ideas? Or she tries to assert her authority by ordering, abusing and oppressing the new comer. Whatever may be the reason but Mother in law -daughter in law tussles have been going on since ages.

This treatment is not restricted to new daughter in laws only. Till the time the mother in law is alive she treats the daughter in law with hatred only and considers her as an outsider only. Exceptions may be there. There may be many in laws who treat their daughter in laws like their own daughter but in majority of cases the story is the same.

Not only in India but I have read that in developed countries and rest of the world also the feud between Mils and Dils goes on. A mother in law never feels close to her daughter in law.

But why should a mother in law torture her daughter in law?

She eagerly waits for her son to get married, she plans for the marriage, she wants to see her grandchildren (which will be delivered by the daughter in law only), she wants the daughter in law to take care of her, the whole family, look after the house, carry on the family traditions, she wants her son to be happy and then she makes the life of the daughter in law miserable by her taunts, negative comments.

Doesn’t she realize that by ill treating her daughter in law she is indirectly spoiling her son’s and her grandchildren’s life?

On one side she abuses, tortures, humiliates, insults and at times physically assaults the daughter in law and on the other side she wants the daughter in law to do all the household work, take care of the family ( as if she is a maid servant), keep the torch of family traditions and values burning. Is it not asking too much from the daughter in law?

How much close would she feel to her matrimonial house? What would be the bonding factor for her

I think one of the reasons for breakdown of joint family system is the authoritative attitude of the mother in laws. The young girls these days are not ready to bow down to undue dictatorship of the mother in a law that is why they want to live away from the mother in laws.

And why does she forget that she was also in the same shoes once upon a time. (Saas bhi khabhi bahu thi)

17 Comments leave one →
  1. March 25, 2010 12:33 am

    “I think one of the reasons for breakdown of joint family system is the authoritative attitude of the mother in laws.”

    Agree with you on this to a great extent. I’ve been watching breaking down of joint families because of this reason often.

  2. March 25, 2010 10:04 am

    Is that even a question? I mean, it is NOT OK to kick anyone without reasons.

    And Haresh seems right. Must be the reason why men tend to have housing of own before they decide to marry so that they can avoid the feuds like this. It is fun imagining the guy’s mind. On one side his mom. Another his wife. 😀 Heheh.. 😀

  3. March 25, 2010 11:33 pm

    A woman’s worst enemy is another woman:-) My personal view is that jealousy and possessiveness makes the mother in law mean but nothing can justify kicking and abusing any other human being

  4. March 26, 2010 10:53 am

    though i’m against any kind of physical or mental assaults ……..then still i can’t understand why somebody would like to do that in a family…………………

    i have not experienced anything like this till now and hope to never do ………….

    maintaining a joint family isn’t the easiest things in the world…..when you have to live up expectation of not only one person but everyone around you…………..but these kind of things do make the youngsters to not get into a marriage ………………may be that’s why younger generation is so afraid of commitments

  5. March 26, 2010 11:14 am

    Mother is not prepared to share her son with another lady even though she has gone through this process with her MIL.
    No law is required.A mind set is required.

  6. March 26, 2010 10:16 pm

    Thanks for visiting my blog. You write about really thought-provoking stuff!!


  7. March 26, 2010 11:17 pm

    I hope this ruling is overturned. If a human being abuses another human being it should be a crime irrespective of the nature of the relationship.

  8. March 27, 2010 12:09 am

    Supreme court really need some rehabilitation.

    At the same time, i would urge the modern day women to treat your mother-in-law like your own mother. Just do so and you have a new friend in her.

    Try that to see the results.

    Nakli Reporter

  9. March 28, 2010 3:17 am

    for this many aspects one has to consider,
    breakup of joint family system there are many reasons and as said rightly one of the reason is no one is ready to bow neither mother in law or daughter in law no scope for compromise

  10. Azahar idris permalink
    March 29, 2010 7:46 am

    No matter for what reason I will always hate men who physically and emotionally abuse women!

    Whenever I heard stories of husbands hurting their wifes, adults hurting chidren, my blood will always boil.

    I always remind my sons to be good gentlemen, to look after their wife and sisters.

  11. March 29, 2010 6:55 pm

    Yes true and this may be because of age old traditions witnessed wherein a husband or MIL treats the girl from ‘other family’ a ‘Pairon ki jutee’ (Hindi). After all we learn from elders. As long as DIL are reckoned as ‘Parai’ , treatment meted out to her will be different. Slowly this mind set is changing in urban belt now.Hope for the better.

  12. April 2, 2010 6:01 pm

    that’s true
    it is one of the reasons of the breakup of joint families.

    This true in maximum of the cases, but no body has the answer,that the same lady who awaits the time for her son to get married, can torture his son’s wife afterwards.

    there may be several reasons.

    but one point is also there, daughter in law should also treat her husband’s mother as mother but not in-law, and the same applies for so called mother in laws

  13. April 3, 2010 11:22 pm

    Hey !! Long time no post from yur side?

  14. April 12, 2010 2:22 pm

    “a mother-in-law who kicks her daughter-in-law ”

    hmmmmm times have changed i have seen many examples of daughter-in-law terrorizing mother-in-law and pop-in-law 😛

  15. April 15, 2010 4:35 pm

    God bless women!

  16. D.P.Acharjya permalink
    March 31, 2011 9:09 pm

    My experience is that my wife tortured my mother because she is not educated and curtural(modern).

    If any penal code against my wife, pl tell me.

  17. February 7, 2012 9:44 pm

    Outsider is not an outsider until arrive with honor and respect to the family and accepted with a life know either a man or woman.
    Why women will suffer!!!!!!!
    Close minded family members are also responsible for such incident……..insider also behave such like outsider.Son’s mom could understand if she don’t get the negative support from the family member.i.e.sons,father,sister,close relatives,family friend etc.

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