Single mothers (in disguise)

Come to think of it, our mythology is replete with single mothers who raise their children alone due to one reason or the other. Sita, Shakuntala, Ganga in Mahabharata, Kunti, Parvati (since she created Ganesha on her own), Renuka, Hidimba and the list is probably endless. Single mothers who were powerful, followed their hearts and did what was right. They refused to bow to the conventions of a hypocritical society which asks the child his/her father’s name rather than the mother’s name. To this too,  Jabaal, the mother of the well known rishi Satyakama Jabaali had an answer. She told him the truth that she was his mother and she did not know who his father was.

Every time, when I have to fill up a new form for my child, the column ‘father’s name’ makes me cringe. The mother’s name in some forms is not even taken. The father’s name is important even if the father is dead and has no role in the upbringing of the child. Why? Why isn’t mother accorded the first place in all forms? After all, it is the mother who is generally taking care of the child. In fact, in today’s society, even if she is married, a mother is expected to earn, take care of the children and the husband. In matrimonial ads, people demand a working and ‘homely’ girl, preferably a teacher who can take the children with her to the school, take care of them and the home when she comes back while the husband comes in his own sweet time for dinner and some rest…..

If in most places, mother is one who does the work, why do we accord so little importance to this better half of the society? Any thoughts?



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