Married at 21, a mother by 22: this isn’t judgement of the choices Mira Rajput has made in her life, but just a summation. For as long as she has been in the limelight, Mira has been at the receiving end of online baiting. It was unclear at first what irked everyone: who she was marrying, the age at which she was marrying or how soon she decided to have a child. Before the Koffee With Karan Season 5 appearance however, the noise was mostly scattered and confused. After the episode aired however, what happened can only be politely termed as a whirlpool in a tweet-cup.
The fact that two celebrities could blatantly advocate arranged marriages in this day and age had Twitterati and editorials both frothing at the mouth.
Wait up, though. Is it okay to justify, advocate and advertise an orthodox trope that is already the cause of much heartbreak in India? Not really. But does that take away their right to talk about their private experience and voice their thoughts? Hardly. Everyone IS entitled to their own (ignorant) opinion.
This brings us to the issue at hand. On International Women’s Day, Mira was once again questioned about her decision to be a stay-at-home mom.
What do you mean?
Among other things, she said:
“..I love being at home, I love being a mother to my child, I wouldn’t want to spend one hour a day with my child and rush off to work, why did I have her? She is not a puppy; I want to be there for her as a mother.”
Ironically, later on in the interview Mira goes on to say:
“It is my choice to be at home. A working mother makes her own choices too; neither can be shamed. Feminism is not man versus woman.”
How lovely. But haven’t you shamed working moms, ready? Did you forget that your husband’s mother Neelima Azeem was a working mother?
And just so that we’ve got this right: according to you, women who work double shifts to raise a kid or many, confuse their offsprings with puppies? That means single moms who fight social stigma and face endless financial and emotional pressure while raising their children are basically fostering pups?
Somebody let these women know, please.
(Also, WHO told you puppies can be left alone? They cannot. Never adopt a dog.)
For many middle-class, lower middle-class and BPL families – who want to feed their kids, send them to school, and / or save money for their higher education – not going to work is not an option.
And let’s not forget moms who WANT to get back to work as soon as possible. Who do not wish to compromise on their career in anyway while also raising a child.
Not everyone can afford the sort of help Mira can. Just like there’s no shame in being rich enough to do that, there’s none in a women leaving her child in a creche while she works.
Mira’s statements are a reminder that she’s just a 22-year-old struggling to juggle her roles as a wife and new mother, while being a celebrity. Just an urban, financially-secure 22-year-old who has never seen or even dealt with the trials of having to make ends meet.
Perhaps next time when you’re asked to defend your decisions, tell the nosy buggers to back off. Don’t drag other women down.