Indian Brides: "Hang Up to Save Your Marriage"
SOURCE - https://www.mobiledia.com/news/89833.html
In an official statement by the Punjabi State Commission for Women, or PSCW, asked new brides to cut down on cell phone conversations to save their marriages. The Commission says more than 40 percent of women who consider divorce do so because their husbands or in-laws suspect them of having an affair if they talk too much on the phone.
Women's reactions to this advice have been mixed, highlighting a gulf between older and younger generations as well as a divide in comfort over technology.
"Talking over mobile is a very serious issue," said Gurdev Kaur Sangha of the PSCW. "Many cases have come to me where boy and his family members think that the girl is talking to another man over the phone and they want divorce. This also led to domestic violence."
On the other hand, younger generation women find the advisory problematic. "This advisory is a big joke, simply glorifying male chauvinism," said Pankhuri Bhalla, a writer for a fashion magazine. "Every day I have to call at least seven to eight people in connection with my stories, but it does not imply that I am having an affair with someone."
In India parents often still arrange marriages without giving their children much choice in a partner, so many couples come to marriage having had to cut ties with secret boyfriends or girlfriends.
This reality spurs fear from spouses and families that such ties might still exist, prompting them to keep close watch on phone-toting brides in a society that is still highly patriarchal.
Also, in traditional society women go to live with their husband's family after marriage, but now the advent of cell phones threatens this ancient pattern of life. Where beforehand women would have great difficulty traveling home, and thus be forced to bond closely with their new family, they can now keep up strong connections with their parents via mobile phones.
But even maintaining familial connections can prove problematic in a new marriage, as women in traditional homes are expected to rear children and maintain the house. This new role as a married woman may prompt them to express frustrations to their own families rather than discuss problems with husbands and in-laws, weakening already tenuous emotional connections and in some cases leading to abuse.
As technology reaches further and further into India -- the country now boasts just over 800 million phone subscribers and growing -- clashes like these are sure to continue.