Ahhhh… hullo mums …I fully sympathize with you when you open the papers today and breathe a sigh to know you are like the most important person to the entire nation. And as token of our gratitude everyone is offering you a 50% discount on all cuddly, fuzzy, motherly things.
Hand that rocks the cradle and all that.
No need for policies that can actually help you as a person you see. Or change in society. No No… if you demand that you are not saintly enough, and consequently, not motherly enough.
Your son can get you a tube of Volini or your daughter can gift you a package of spa. Music channels can play some obligatory Maa focused songs in non prime time to appease you.
All over the world , from president Obama to Shahrukh Khan can sing your praise for doing the ‘most important job in the world’. What more do you want heh? You are a mother now. Behave. If you don’t, your kids could turn out to be a terrorist, sociopath, plain old bores, people who scratch their crotch in public, immoral sluts, rapists and god knows what.
Dr. Edit Schlaffer’s contention that mothers have the power to stop the radicalization of their kids troubles me. Despite of Women Without Borders’ credentials.
Because too many times I have heard this ancient Indian adage “ Tumhari Maa ne tumhe kuch Sikhaya nahin kya??”
If, as Dr. Schlaffer says, the mothers have the power to stop the radicalization, logically mothers are to blame if the kids turn out to be radical. They didn’t do enough to stop the kids.
As if Dawood Ibrahim would be volunteering at Welfare of Stray Dogs , if only his screwed up mother hadn’t pushed him into crime..
So, why are we blaming the mothers for their kids’ violence? Hulllooo, is Osama Bin Laden’s mother going to be on the FBI’s Most Wanted??
I fully agree that mothers are, more often than not, the most influential person in the life of kids.. And I agree that they do have a huge influence on their kids’ future. We just have to look around to see numerous cases of women who pull their kids up socio-economic ladder by working hard and literally sacrificing their entire lives doing that.
As a sister and wife of men raised by feminist mothers, I also know that mothers do influence their kids’ set of values and beliefs big time.
But the problem comes when culturally we expect women to hold the agency of their kids’ future disregarding the social influences on kids.
It places an inhuman burden on women. Along with the arduous physical labour, and the childcare : they are also expected to mould human beings for future in a socially acceptable way.
Society and kids themselves are ready to blame mothers if anything goes wrong. Or if the mother doesn’t fall into clichés of acceptable motherhood.
So, a woman can not have limitations. She cannot be flawed or weak when it comes to her kids. She has to be pillar of strength, morality and flawlessness. Any small act she commits can be a responsible for what their kids do for the rest of their life??
She shouldn’t have ambitions higher than her child. She should not be a ‘person’ over her identity as a mother.
So Margaret Thatcher was not a great mother: so what???? Do we know how Manmohan Singh is as a father? No. Do we want to find out?? No.
There was an entire drama around Ajmal Kasab’s last letter to his mother in Pakistan. Several reports speculated about how his mother must have looked the other way when her son prepared to commit one of the most heinous crimes.
How much power and agency did she have?? Forget as a mother, even as a person??
And lets say, even if she did have power, how can we claim that her sanskaar caused her son to turn into a terrorist?
Whichever way you see, mothers can not escape scrutiny.
It is a tough burden to bear!!!
But maybe that spa visit for four hours at 50% reduced rate can lessen that a bit??