The Indian mother-in-law and what women have never done?
Veena Venugopal, author of "The mother-in-law: The other woman in your marriage," explains to The Economist why Indian women are increasingly treading on each other's toes.
An elderly woman in north India, laughing ruefully, recalls how, after her rural wedding, it took “three days to work out which man in the new family was my husband”. Even today, some honeymooning couples take along the saas. A woman in Delhi says that, when her Bengali mother-in-law visits, she insists on sleeping in the marital bed with her son; the wife budges over, or decamps to a sofa... Last year over 8,200 women were murdered over the non-payment of a dowry (which has been legally abolished), over half of them in three northern states: Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. In May this year India’s Supreme Court warned of “an emotional numbness in society,” whereby daughters-in-law are kept as near slaves or attacked out of “insatiable greed”. Brothers, cousins, even the husbands themselves, sometimes carry out the attacks. But the mother-in-law is often held responsible.]
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