Satyamev Jayate – Are you ready to do your bit?


It takes a special kind of moral courage and commitment to self and society to address issues that have been pushed under the carpet for so long. Issues that are associated with our everyday lives and yet we have an ostrich like attitude towards them.

Female feoticide/infanticide ( do read the link Unnatural selection published in The Caravan magazine), new-born girls dumped into bins to die ( womb to bin )  all crimes against women, child abuse (including CSA), child labor, child marriages, beggar mafia, gay rights, honor killings and mining and wood smugglers nexus, Deforestation, e-waste, elephant and tiger poaching, farmer’s suicides and many more such burning issues need total involvement of masses, stringent laws and punishments, and most of all strong administration.

Isn’t it sad that it takes a Reality Show on National TV hosted by a film actor to awaken the masses and bring their attention to what’s happening right under their noses?

Didn’t we all know that female foeticide exists in our society and needs to be abolished. If we decided not to wake up to the grim reality will this celebrity reality show really do anything ? If it does then it would be a miracle.

Sad, that despite the regulations, campaigns, awareness programs, sting operations, newspaper reports, blogs, media coverage the truth is that the evils have managed to dig their claws deeper into the core of society and government is feeding the monsters.

Amir’s effort is credible, there is no doubt about it but the questions which bother me are  –

Will it also become a twelve day wonder like all other reality shows?

Will it just keep gathering accolades week after week?

Will people just sit down in the comforts of their homes on Sunday mornings and watch the show, listen to the stories,  write/ talk / tweet about how “brilliant” it was, how much they “enjoyed and liked” watching it( I was appalled to see wall post of some people on Facebook saying how much they “enjoyed” the program and congratulating Amir and other panelists).

Did they miss out the silent tears and agony that had now dried up in the eyes of those who have suffered?

Was it all just a staged event for them?

Did they miss the point somewhere?  I hope Not.

I hope this doesn’t become a routine where an issue is brought up every week , raises the TRP, trends on twitter and other social media networks and dies a silent death.

This needs to go beyond. The social change, the mindset change needs to be bigger than this.

I sincerely pray that the fight against issue of female foeticide or sex selection  does not get limited to sending SMS to Rajasthan Govt. or signing a petition. It needs to get more real than this reality show. It needs to cover the entire nation.

Another thing that makes me ponder is- what next ? What are the options, what actions need to be taken, what is an average person literate or illiterate (for education has nothing to do with this inner awakening) going to do in this direction?

The issues have been raised, the horrifying painful truth brought out once again from under the carpet, Govt. agencies, Doctors, medical practitioners’ nexus exposed , Now What?

Will some one wake up and take an oath to eradicate this evil from the root at least by doing his/her bit ?

Anyone?

The website of Satyamev Jayate  , the Facebook page  , the twitter handle  , the You Tube channel  , will they just provide praise and links and act as promotional sites to increase rating OR offer solutions, knowledge, support systems ? Will it be the nucleus to the Sunday program  where   people get involved and work in the direction of bringing the much required change?

If Not, then all the effort will be  a lost cause. People will choke over their morning coffee watching the show like benumbed spectators like we have been doing since centuries. Aware but always in denial. Telling ourselves that somehow it doesn’t matter to us.

Let this not be just an “exquisite piece of TV journalism” .

Let it be the spark to ignite the flame in every heart to abolish each social evil.  To change the narrow mindset, to fight against controlling, insecure, prejudiced deep patriarchal attitudes that are entrenched in our society’s collective psyche  resulting in skewed sex ratios,  lack of brides in some states, men are forced into bachelorhood due to lack of brides,  thriving racket of trafficking of women where they are sold and resold ( remember baby falak’s story )  and any related crime against women.

Sex-selective abortion statistics are mind numbing (Thirty million girl-children killed in the womb in the past six decades).

Simple language, no screaming to bring some pressing issues to the fore, important points explained for the benefit of those who may not know the facts, the inter- relation of some other crimes which are born under the wings of this one , the positive stories of those brave people who not only fought against the evil and emerged victories but made decided to share it with millions of viewers , to give them courage and reason to step forward and shed fear. The change brought by Deputy Commissioner Kishan Kumar of NawaShahr where the sex ration is equal . ( 1000 girls per 1000 boys)  was an exemplary story. Exemplary for everyone; masses , officials, government. Y chromosomes of a male are responsible for the gender of the baby. An important fact which should be brought into focus more strongly.

The show presenters  took care to cover all aspects  but there needs to be a constant engaging,  proper interaction  with the masses, follow-up to show what efforts were taken on that particular issue.  I hope it  helps in sensitizing Indians about so many issues that they would generally ignore and provoke them into some sort of positive action.

Amir says,” “I want to be part of this silent campaign in a very dignified way without hurting any body’s ego.”

When issues like these are raised, when dying fires are stirred, when centuries old norms are questioned, when nexuses and mafias exposed , not one but many egos will be hurt.  Are we ready to push through all this and  join our voices with his?  Will it create That impact in the hearts of its viewers?

The choice is ours.

Speak up, Fight,  or Suffer.

So,

Are you ready to do your bit with or without Amir? 

Bhed (discrimination) – A short story


“The children are starving since last two days. Please get us something to eat from somewhere.” “I can not see them suffering.”

“I am trying dear, morning till evening I try to get something that can sustain our children. Even I can not see the family going hungry each da

“Why don’t you try the garbage dump?” “Maybe you may find some leftovers there.”

“Absolutely out of question, that place stinks and the entire colony throw its garbage there, it’s such a bad place, I won’t go there.”

“Please this one time,” she said with her eyes welling.

“Oh! Alright I will go.” He turned and hurried towards the garbage dump at the end of the long road.

It was cold, foggy and there was no sign of sun.

She waited impatiently. Her children cuddled close to her. She looked fondly at all of them .They sure will have food today.

Hours passed and she started getting worried. Her eyes fixed on the road.

She could hardly see beyond the nearest tree, but then she saw him running toward their home. He held something in his mouth.

The children gathered around her full of hope.

He dropped what looked like a loaf of meat, in front of her. Trying to catch his breath, he sat on the ground.

“What is this?” she started inspecting the thing lying in front of her.

“Oh God! This is a new-born human girl child.

Their eyes widened at the sight of the dead female infant.

“Are you sure”?

“Yes, I am”. “Someone who did not want a girl child threw her in the garbage dump.”

“How heartless and cruel these humans are. Thank God we don’t discriminate between our children.” She said licking the nearest one fondly.

The puppy, happy at the sight of food and love, wagged its tiny tail.

“Let’s have our meal quickly, it is a question of our survival”, he said.

No one moved.

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Laadli- A Girl Child Campaign- Have you pledged support against female foeticide?


Laadli is a campaign against female feticide. I came to know about this site while working on a story and I decided to promote it as part of my campaign for the girl child.

You can pledge Here or   SMS LAADLI to 575758 to pledge your support.

Although we have a law against sex selection  it has proved inadequate and every year 10 million girls go missing due to either foeticide or infanticide.

The law :

The Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act (PCPNDT Act) 2003 provides for the prohibition of sex selection, before or after conception. Its purpose is to prevent misuse of technologies such as ultrasound that enable determination of the sex of a child before it is born. It is illegal to test the sex of the foetus for the purpose of eliminating the female. The law provides for imprisonment, which may extend to three years and fine up to Rs. 10,000 for the first conviction.

When we talk of female foeticide there is a lot that needs to be considered

the fact that a girl is killed before she is born , a crime so appalling  and yet it doe not shake  conscience of the people involved in committing it.

that  sadly women are the abettors in these crimes and  encourage or force the mother to be to go for sex determination tests and the moment sex of a fetus is determined to be that of a female; the unborn is killed.

that there is technology privy to this heinous crime and those very doctors who should stand up against this practice help it take stronger roots for the love of money.

They are  involved in first determining the sex of the baby, then carrying out “safe medical termination of pregnancies

that it is a crime under the Indian Law

the Pre Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) 1994 Act, the Section 307 IPC (of attempt to murder) and along with crime of abatement of murder .

yet no arrests are ever made nor any case registered as millions of girls go missing.

With more advanced methods  being used for sex determination the practice which was once done slyly has gained a bolder form. Doctors who are considered life savers take part in this heinous crime against womanhood just to make some extra money and it is unfortunately not just the lower strata of the society which goes for the tests but the so-called educated middle and upper class too visits these clinics for  termination of pregnancy if it’s a girl child.

The slogan of many ultrasound sex-determination clinics is: “Spend five hundred rupees now save five lacks later”

These are the lines from a folk song  from UP which tells how unwanted a girl is

Prabhuji mein tori binti karoon
Paiyan Paroon bar bar
Agle Janam Mohe Bitiya Na Dije
Narak Dije Chahe Dar…

Oh, God, I beg of you,
I touch your feet time and again,
Next birth don’t give me a daughter,
Give me Hell instead…


I have written some more on this issue , one can read the articles here

A daughter that never was

Nanhi kali – I too want to blossom

discrimination – A short story


First they died of neglect or poisoned after birth and now they are killed for just being girls right there in the womb.

There is an urgent need to start a crusade against female infanticide and foeticite. There is a need to change the mind-set and evolve a system with a strong enforcement mechanism to check the strict implementation of the laws that protect the rights of living for a girl child.

Why is GIRL CHILD  still a curse word in our society ? Who is responsible

Here are some books one can read related to the topic global sisterhood network

also a very informative article here on Gendercide watch: female infanticide

As the International Women’s Day approaches , let’s join hands and raise our voices for every little girl born and unborn .

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