Sabarimala Woman Hit by Mother-in-Law: Who Gives Indian Elders the Authority to Beat Family Members?

Social Commentary

Sabarimala Woman Hit by Mother-in-Law: Who Gives Indian Elders the Authority to Beat Family Members?

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

M

y mother’s fascination with the cane started when I was about 11 years old. She first laid her hands on one courtesy a generous Catholic neighbour aunty who seemed to have found a solution to all of her son’s antics in the cane. “Arré, just give them a whack of the cane, men,” she told my mother. “All their masti will go in one minute. See Dominic na. Go to the Bandra Fair, nice ones they have re.” Suddenly, the fair didn’t seem as much fun.

From there on, I was caned for climbing up trees, playing with the boys, coming home late, answering back, fighting with my brother, messing up the house. Basically I was caned pretty much every day. And the cane was just a choice on bad days. On good days, my brother and I got beaten by the broom, chappal, combs, and even cooking ladles that happened to be in the vicinity.

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