It’s complicated! A relationship between an individual’s independence and Indian parents is complicated.
In India, independence comes at a high cost. The structure of our society is such that even if an individual becomes an adult, is mature enough to take his/her life decisions, and earns for himself/herself, he/she will still lack independence, thanks to the Indian families. The reason for this strong statement is that no matter how old an individual grows, there will always be some sort of parental control.
Independence is not just about turning 18 and getting a job. It is much more than just that. Independence is about gaining maturity, taking decisions, small and big, all on your own, realizing responsibilities towards yourself, family, job and society. It is about being able to take complete charge of your life and not have anybody dominate it. Absolute independence involves being financially, physically and emotionally independent.
Now ask yourself if you are independent or not.
Indian family values, undoubtedly are strong and one of the best, yet there remains a large issue that needs to be dealt with. We all have been raised in an environment where, since childhood, we are made to believe that parents are always right and hence should be obeyed. This teaching has come in the way of independence of many. Obeying the parents has slowly led many ‘potential independent individuals’ to let the parents control their lives.
The feeling of lacking independence stems from as minor thing as asking for permission to go for an outing with friends to as major thing as asking for permission to go abroad for a job or marry a person you love. Incapability of being independent leads to distress among the young adults.
However, the scenario in the west is completely different from that in India. In the west, if an individual aged between 16-18 is still living with his/her parents, is considered weird. Parents in the west encourage their children to start a life of their own, independently.
Becoming independent to an extent where an individual decides moving out of his/her parents’ house is a big step. It has its own pros and cons. However, there is nothing wrong about it. This choice totally depends on the individual.
In India though, if an individual decides or even expresses the will to move out of the parents’ house and live independently, is shamed and ridiculed. The opinion that gets formed about him/her is that he/she has no love, care, and respect for parents, and is shying from the responsibilities. What is hardly acknowledged is that the individual is simply trying to become independent.
Having a separate home from that of parents’ is still a big step for many Indians. Nevertheless, in other cases too, young adults are still forced to do what the parents ask them to do. Those who wish to become independent and take the steering wheels in their hand undergo a lot of struggle.
That struggle though, is worth it. Independence is something that everyone deserves to have. It is how one grows. Becoming independent is a process. It won’t happen overnight. However, once you become completely ready to take your own responsibility, make sure you don’t let anyone control your life or allow anybody to order you with what you should do and what you shouldn’t.
Sure, friends and family are important in life and they do provide great support and advice, but you should always take the last call. Make sure you become the boss of you.