An Indian couple are suing their son, demanding that he and his wife either produce a grandchild within a year or cough up almost $650,000.
Sanjeev and Sadhana Prasad are making the serious demand, claiming that the refusal of their son to provide them with a grandchild is affecting their mental health because they have exhausted their savings raising and educating their pilot son and paying for a lavish wedding
“My son has been married for six years but they are still not planning a baby,” the couple said in their petition filed with a court in Haridwar last week. “At least if we have a grandchild to spend time with, our pain will become bearable.”
The compensation they are demanding – 50m rupees ($646,000) – includes the cost of a wedding reception in a five-star hotel, a luxury car worth $80,000, and paying for the couple’s honeymoon abroad, the Times of India reported on Thursday.
The parents also claimed to have forked out $65,000 to get their son trained as a pilot in the US only for him to return to India unemployed, the paper said.
“We also had to take a loan to build our house and now we are going through a lot of financial hardships,” the couple said in their petition. “Mentally too we are quite disturbed because we are living alone.”
The amount they are requesting includes money spent on their son’s education, wedding, honeymoon abroad and a luxury car worth Rs 60 lakh.
The case has been filed under mental harassment that the couple is allegedly going through because their son and daughter-in-law refused to produce kids.
The father of the son said, “I have only one son. I spent all my savings on his upbringing and education. I sent him to the US in 2006 for a pilot training course. I spent over Rs 50 lakh for the same. He returned to India in 2007 due to the economic recession abroad. He had lost his job and could not find another for over two years. I supported him financially during this period as well.”
“Almost six years have passed and there is no child. We are facing immense mental harassment,” he added.
The couple’s lawyer, Arvind Kumar, said the petition would be taken up for hearing by the court in northern India on 17 May.
India has a strong joint family system with many generations – including grandparents, nephews, aunts and uncles – often living in the same household.
A country with a strong cultural lineage, children are expected to continue the family name by producing children, and training them along the lines of the family tradition and culture.
India comprises a heritage of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, belief systems, political systems. Many families in India train their children to pursue and education and be as entrepreneurial as possible.
Education in India is primarily managed by state-run public education system, which fall under the command of the government at three levels: Central, state and local. Under various articles of the Indian Constitution and the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.
Free education is mandatory and provided as a fundamental right to children aged 6 to 14, with private education optional.
The refusal to continue the family lineage is viewed as bringing an end to the family line, and thereby abusing any financial support provided by the family.