What is the first image that comes to your mind when I say, ‘Indian Fatherhood’? Possibly a big newspaper covering a grumpy-looking father’s face at the breakfast table or a bespectacled face with a scary-looking moustache.
The visual combination of painting distant Indian fatherhood is multiple. Mass media has been feeding that image of fatherhood for the longest time. It is only in the past few years that you see smiling young fathers throwing their child in the wind in front of a big house for insurance and house paint ads. We are finally seeing images of fathers actually interacting with their children in mass media. From helping with lessons to making them learn to ride a bike. The wheels are rotating on perceptions of Indian fatherhood.
Behind the slow turn of society’s conception wheels, is a rising army of active fathers. These fathers are donning fatherhood with a different hat. The new-age Indian fatherhood hat is decorated with equal parenting duties like cooking, lesson preparation, and childcare round the clock. Most importantly these fathers see childcare beyond its gender filter. You may see them with a mohawk or beard bling or a paunch in a polo shirt. They don’t stick to one definition, but just one goal of being beyond earning the bread for the family.
What is driving the change in Indian fatherhood?
For a majority of these fathers, the wish to change their experience of fatherhood stems from not wanting boring fatherhood. For others, it is a wish to bridge the gender gap in childcare and be a good partner.
A decision I took was that I refused to have boring fatherhood. I also decided to be the best version that I can as a father throughout the journey. This meant being fearless, committed, evolved, and involved in the role of fatherhood.Bhushan Danani, author of Dad So Kool
I interview four young dads present across the country to dig deep into their role as active fathers and what it entails for their partner.
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