Indian Families


The stigma surrounding mental health is problematic for children that are brought up in an Indian household. Often due to parents’ refusal to accept the fact that there may be something wrong with their child.

Studies suggest that one in every four individuals experience mental health problems once in their lifetime. The stigma associated with mental health arises from the fear of being judged by society. There is a dire need for normalization of mental health issues that arise due to imbalances of chemicals in the brain. According to a survey, more than 50 percent of parents stated that they had never given ‘the talk’ to their children. The others claimed that they were clueless about how to address this issue. There were also some parents who claimed that they never felt the need to discuss the matter of mental health, as it was not important.

The narrative that mental health is not real because one cannot physically see it is utterly baseless. The brain is as much an organ as the heart, and moreover, it controls every part of the brain. MRI scans show the faulty production of chemicals, such as dopamine or serotonin, which are responsible for causing mental health issues like anxiety and depression.

Rebecca, a student of St. Stephen’s College, opines, “Some parents are supportive if we consider mental health and the others aren’t, but they can’t be blamed because this is how they were brought up and that reflects in their parenting.”

In addition to this, men are more likely to attempt suicide than women solely because they are conditioned to unhealthy insinuations such as “boys do not cry” and “man up”. These unhealthy behaviours are learned at an age when boys are extremely young. Seeking professional help does not come easy to children because their parents never created a safe atmosphere for them to talk about what they may be going through. Moreover, professional help cannot be sought without informing parents due to high expenses.

Many children and young adults continue to suffer in silence because they are afraid of what their parents might have to say about their situation. However, they fail to realize that communication is essential and talking to their parents may actually bring out their empathetic side.


Feature Image Credits: Kids Helpline

Suhani Malhotra

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During Sabrang, the annual cultural fest of Deshbandhu College, extreme mismanagement led to disappointment among the participants of the group folk dance event.

On 5th March 2019, Riwayat the folk-dance society of Deshbandhu College organised Ruhaaniyat, a group folk dance competition as part of their annual cultural fest, Sabrang. The event saw extreme mismanagement on the part of the organisers due to which there was a time clash between the folk dance and fashion society’s event. Although, the event saw participation from 11 teams but only nine were able to perform, out of which Ramanujan College was disqualified.

Abhishek, the President of the Bhangra Regiment, the folk dance Society of Ramanujan College stated that the competition at Deshbandhu was cancelled by the teachers due to mismanagement after more than half of the teams had already performed. He stated, “Even our team was disqualified. According to them, we took time in microphone set-up when it was discussed with their co-ordinator before hand.”  Shubhanshi Bharadwaj, President of Nazaakat, the folk dance society of Gargi College claimed that it was one of the worst competitions they took part in. “While we were performing , we were asked to step down during the performance because of time constraints. Fashion societies were also waiting for their event to begin. In all this ruckus, two societies couldn’t perform.”

The Bhangra Society of Shri Guru Nanak Dev Khalsa College and Bhangra Inspire from Shri Guru Teg Bahadur Khalsa College even after waiting till 6 p.m, all ready with their outfits, were not able to perform at the competition. The President of Bhangra Inspire said, “The organisers started the fashion show abruptly and told us that we will perform after. But they continued with the fashion show for a long time. We asked them to let us perform since we had been waiting for long in our costumes. But we weren’t allowed.” Post this, the teams had a heated discussion with the teachers and the Student Union where the teams demanded that the event be cancelled.  But the Union opposed this and an announcement to conduct the event the next day was made. However, it became impossible for different societies to return to perform the next day for the competition. A week later, the President of Riwayat, the folk dance society of Deshbandhu College texted the members of Mridang, the folk dance society of Miranda House and Nrityakriti, folk dance society of Maitreyi College that they have secured first and second position respectively.

Shubhashini also stated that teachers were being extremely disrespectful towards the teams. She added “When the presidents of different societies went to talk to the teacher, she told them she will slap them or ask the bouncers to throw us out. It was so disrespectful and  disheartening to see a teacher behave this way.”

The President of Riwayaat accepted the occurrence of mismanagement. She said, “The event began extremely late because of the inauguration. Everything got delayed and the fashion society started demanding the stage to conduct their own event. All this led to a huge ruckus.” Talking about their decision to release the results a week after the even she said, “Other teams who had performed demanded that the results should be announced. We understand it was a mistake on our part  but it was our duty to disclose the results.”


Feature Image Credits: Rishabh Gogoi for DU Beat

Sakshi Arora

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Indian millennials and Gen-Z have been trying to uproot the culture of making bigoted comments in everyday conversations a thing of the past. Somehow, it seems difficult to call your elders out for the same, but it is important to do this if one wishes to live in harmony with one another.

The conversations around the dinner table at night are similar in most, Indian middle-class families. It heavily revolves around religion and minorities. It hardly matters if the parents are highly educated or amiable. They absolutely hate certain religious minorities and believe all of them actively engage in terrorist activities and that their religion teaches violence. They believe that Hijabi women are unequivocally oppressed and have no control over the course of their lives. Middle-class Hindus often declare how they can’t trust minorities anymore and engage in overt and covert bigotry by calling them names or refusing to rent out their flats to them.

Have you ever noticed how your mother takes out another steel glass for the housemaid and the man who takes out your garbage when they ask for water? The housemaid always sits on the floor while watching television while the other members of the family sit on the sofa. This is all casteism. Sometimes, your parents ask a person’s surname to know their caste and if that person somehow qualifies an exam or gets selected for a government job, they attribute it to the reservations in place for them. All of this reeks of ignorance and privilege.

Women are often subjected to misogyny by the society for every action of theirs. Older people in the neighbourhood, largely women can’t help but talk about girls who wear skirts or talk to boys in a demeaning manner. The middle-class impression of a gay man or that of transgender people has been taken from ‘The Kapil Sharma Show’. The public laughs at this representation of gay men or trans people, from a show which is infamous for its homophobia.

In 2016, there was a spate of attacks on Africans in Delhi and Noida. They were beaten up with cricket bats, bricks and iron rods for no reason at all. However, the government refused to call it a ‘racist attack’. The discourse going around at the time in every Indian middle-class family was that Africans can’t be trusted because all of them deal with drugs. So, they think it’s a reason good enough to attack them. Same goes for racial attacks on people from North-East. When they go to metropolitan cities like Delhi and Bangalore, they are called by racial slurs like ‘chinki’ and are harassed by their own countrymen. South Indians are collectively called ‘mallu’ and face colourism.  Being prejudiced against minorities and marginalized communities has been so ingrained in us, right from the childhood that this sickening mentality has been normalized in our daily conversations.

It’s not easy to change the narrative around these subjects. Our parents grew up with these ideas and even if you call them out for their prejudices, they would ask you to shut up because after all, they have seen the world and know better. All we can do is learn as much as possible about caste, class, race and gender and recognize privilege whenever it benefits us. The next time your parents and relatives or neighbours make any problematic comments, calmly tell them where they’re going wrong. I am hoping this is how we’ll change our society and its thinking, one family at a time.

Feature Image credits– Indian Express

Disha Saxena

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