Post Independence

After celebrating 68 years of Independence on August 15th, lots of people were chatting and facebooking about what has changed after Independence. Ironically this full page front page ad on the post independence day newspaper seems to sum up what is so wrong with our society. The ad involves a top newspaper, a well known jewellery store and two well known celebrities. You would expect the message to be positive given that it was the day after all the Independence Day celebrations.
Unfortunately this ad is wrong on so many levels it’s almost impossible to blog about it. This ad could  be legally banned in a lot of countries.
At a time when womens equality is a norm and people are professing  that marriage is a relationship rather than a social obligation, this ad drags India back to the dark ages.

The first page states,”If you have a girl in the marriage-able age group it’s a lot of tension”. It then comes up with an interest free EMI plan for the parents to buy the jewellery and “take care of the tension”.

It indirectly, but blatantly, assumes that parents of the girl have an obligation and an expectation to deck her up with jewellery or give jewellery to the in-laws – an illegal practise to the best of my knowledge.
The ad also dis-empowers the girl and expects her parents to “take care” of her wedding and marriage. She is thus depicted as a liability to her parents.
The ad then disregards the importance of a relationship in marriage and makes it materialistic – stating that the tension in marriage is the jewellery. It seems that if you sort out the jewellery issues in a wedding the rest of the 50 odd years of a marriage will be a cakewalk!
Everyday at work I see parents and grandparents beam with joy when a boy is born and grimace when a beautiful girl baby is born. This ad not only shows us the reason why but also encourages this disparity.
I know what some people will say – “This happens a lot in India; so just shut up and accept it. Also the ad never directly states what I’ve written above – so don’t come to conclusions!”
At a time when the common Indian is trying hard to break free from all the shackles that bind us and achieve true independence, it is appalling that people, corporates and the media strive harder to pull us back and halt our progress.
I know I have been brutally honest in this blog entry and it is quite different from my usual light-hearted entries, but I hope that some readers will realise why and also share their thoughts on this issue. Share it on social media if you think its worth it or take it a step higher and write to the newspaper or celebrity.

Author: Benji

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