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? 

Girlhood Dreams Or Nightmares ?- In Conversation


She is fifteen years of age. A Muslim by birth and a “girl” by accident of birth. Youngest daughter among ten siblings , she had four younger brothers and three elder married sisters. One sister died when she fell from the terrace.

Nabila’s  (name changed) story is not just hers but  reflection of many who are caught between the life of their dreams and the bitter reality life has put them in. Forced to work as domestic help the girl never went to school. The harsh conditions and subjugation at home has made her bitter about her community, gender and society at large.

She does have a mind of her own but that is not enough for her to stand up against the  discrimination inflicted against her.

” I am beaten up for the slightest mistakes while my brothers get away with whatever they do. My married sisters are like furniture at home , they have legs but they can’t dare step out of the house on their own. Elder brother, eldest among the  siblings, decided not to step away from the family after marriage  and is frowned upon and called “joru ka gulam“. He hardly visits us. ” She was in a mood to rant and I probed her by some questions to hear her inner voice.

“Are you ill-treated because of your gender ?”

“Yes, My brothers get the best of food. I cook all meals and work in the house and in three houses here. I am beaten up if I protest. I am the last to eat. When I ask for some pieces of mutton etc. I am abused and told to eat whatever is given as boys need more nutrition and energy. Don’t I need it ?” She looked at me.

“Of course, you do and it is very wrong on their part to do this.”

” I am told not to dress up nicely, apply bindi or henna or any make up. The Hindu girls do it and no one stops them. How am I different?”

“You are not different it is just the attitude of your parents even Hindu girls are treated like you in many houses.It is because you are a girl that you go through this.” I had no other explanation coming to my mind at that moment.
‘” It is about religion too”, she insisted. I did not want to go there and put ideas in her head to voice at home and get beaten again. I had to tread softly.

“Have you ever asked your parents about it ” , I asked.

“Yes, they say I am a Muslim and I must follow rules. I don’t like being a Muslim. The Hindu girls are not treated so badly as us. In just one or two years I will get married and then all will end. ” Her face clouded with the very thought. All men are rascals. My father drinks and both parents hit me with whatever comes in their hands. ( I saw the wounds on her arms the day she was hit by brick by her mother. The reason –  she forgot to put salt in vegetable because of her attention was diverted towards TV serial.) No one loves me. Parents love two of my sisters and the middle one is neglected too. She is beaten up by her in-laws and hardly comes here.”

“Why is that ? Your parents should intervene.” I asked.

“I don’t know. She is nice but has T.B.” she said matter-of- factly.

” I wanted to study in madarsa but wasn’t allowed. A tutor was assigned to teach me Urdu so I could read Quran. I won’t be able to get married if I can’t read Quran. He used to hit me a lot and told abba I was useless in learning and slow. I had just begun to understand but he was paid off and told not to come. In the village I am supposed to lie about my education and say that I study. I got fed up and told my jija ( Brother in law) the truth and was beaten up and kept hungry for two days by my parents.”

I made sure she colored the drawing books and wrote her name and numbers etc taught her to greet in English ( it was her ardent wish to learn the right phrases and how /when to use what ). I noticed that she used a lot of English words correctly even though the pronunciation may not be correct at times.

I also found she was having a lot of difficulty in learning as she was past the age for the basics and was too distracted.

Her dreamy eyes glued to TV she kept asking questions about the latest Bollywood gossip and what attracted her most were the advertising.

She was dissatisfied with the shape of her nose and knew it could be retouched by some procedure. I was aghast.

“Who told you that?”

” I heard somewhere. Priety Zinta got it done.”

“Arrrrrrg , I said ” do not get carried away by all this, it is just an eye wash I tried to explained. She was surprised but not convinced. Lured by the beauty products and the screen Gods and Goddesses she wanted to  change everything about her from clothes, hair color and length to features. The only thing that made her glad was her fair skin. I made sure to educate her on how the advts. are air brushed and natural beauty is what matters , that too inner beauty. The talk was lost on her. With one sentence she silenced me.

” All that is alright but it is my outer beauty which will get me a loving husband and good home. My sisters are not that fortunate but they are good home makers. See how unhappy they are. ” Looks Matter”. That ended the matter. A devout follower of her screen  idols she went back to her dream land.

I tried to persuade her to learn to write more but she didst want to do it at the cost of leaving a movie or a serial  mid way. I told ma she could be a great film critic and columnist if she knew how to write.

With a sigh I went back to my work but she was wired and switched off the TV.

“We will do to the temple and do Puja one day.” She suddenly became animated and I realized what a brilliant smile she had. I smiled.

“Why would we do that? I don’t believe in God.” I wanted to get  reaction from her.

” Why don’t you believe in God? Your Gods are so colorful and plenty. Choose any one you like. It is fun to visit temples. you get Prasad and the atmosphere is so lively and the pujas are so creative.” She went on with various descriptions and incidents while I searched for something to burst the bubble.
“Our Allah lives in a book. At least your Gods are real . You know how they look and there are female Gods too.” She stressed on this a lot.
“We have a male God that too formless.” She very strongly showed the disapproval.

I laughed and told her all these Gods were creations of our imagination and none is real.

She refused to believe. “You can not imagine and create, there has to be someone , some model, you see”, she explained.

“I don’t get jobs because of my religion. My sister had to change her name to Hindu one to work in the houses as domestic help. People think we are trouble makers. Very few treat us nicely.”

I saw her point. I had a domestic help who called herself Seema. Her real name was Najma. She faced the same problem. People are prejudiced against Muslims. A sorry state of affairs but it is true in many fields. I knew a couple who refused a PG accommodation to a Muslim student just because of her religion. People do not rent out places to Muslim tenants at many places.

I told her my reason for being non religious. Told her about the ugliness of ritualistic religion and how God has just become a mode to spread hatred and how religion has become a puppet in the hands of few.

She nodded her head in agreement and quoted something she had heard on TV about Hindu Muslim clashes and about terrorist attacks.

“All Muslims are not terrorists” she said looking straight into my eyes.

“Agree with you completely” , I replied. “Terrorists ,fanatics can be in any religion even Hindus are utter fanatics.”

Confused about t he identity of “her” non visible God and “our” unreal Gods she concluded that a God who creates disparity, division, discrimination and much more. I explained that some self-centered men with an agenda of their own use religion as a tool to do all that she is talking about and people blindly follow because of fear and ignorance. The problem is bigger than what she is facing and seeing around her.

To Nabila all that mattered was the unjust behavior of her parents and the close-knit community she was part of. I watched the girl fidget with her duppatta with down cast eyes full of sorrow, pain and deprivation.

“You get such nice clothes to wear and the bangles, ear-rings etc. ” “Your father does stitch nice fashionable stuff for you. ” I wanted to get away from the topic of religion.

“I pay for my clothes. It all comes from my salary. Only during festivals or marriages etc. my father spends.  I give all my earnings to mother but now I have learned to keep some for myself and buy things I like. She beats me at times but abba says it is her money at least she is not asking us for it. Mother is the root of all evil”, she said with anger in her voice.

Who told them to have ten children? Their first-born was a boy then could have stopped after next child who was a girl. Why brings so many mouths to feed? She is fat and useless. Only sells roasted corns and hits me. Always irritated about something or other. She is greedy too. ”

I agreed as I had once spoken to the mother at length and knew exactly what Nabila was referring too.

It was a difficult life she was living. Precariously suspended between her girlhood dreams and reality. Dreams which will make her a misfit in her community due to many reasons including the socio-economic ones.

Exposure to electronic and print media ( she is supposed to look up the newspapers( Hindi and English ) everyday even if she can not read) is making her aware , discussions with people like me make her think again about what  has been instilled into her.  I wonder if her dreams will prove to be nightmares for her as she grows up. I have watched her trying to copy the hair style or pull her dress off shoulder when no one is looking . Many times she has asked me questions about various cosmetics, clothes. Questions about the page 3 pictures in newspaper, smoking ,drinking by women and sometimes about the various places around the world whose names she has gathered from somewhere or the other. It is beyond her imagination to measure distances between places. To her the world consists of her village and a few more places in and around that  and distance is what lies between the village and Delhi which is her home now.

Working at different places has opened some windows of her mind and it scares me to think what may be the result of it. I already see a rebel in her. A spark which may either make or break her. Naive and happy-go-lucky girl of fifteen she is maturing quickly for her age ( physically and emotionally). She is aware of her fair skin and good looks, aware of her body and the exposure to TV is doing no good to her. She is exploring life outside of her cramped living. Her aspirations to be like her favorite heroines or the girls whom she sees in advt. is taking a grip on her psyche and do her more harm than good. I feel for her and try to educate her as much as I can so that she doesn’t get waylaid.

A fear always looms large in my mind. What will be her fate eventually? Will she keep turning under layers and layers of social norms, customs, rituals, duties, obligations, adjustments ? Will she find strength to at least break  some of this chains and make a place for herself?  What is the future of this girl who has dared to dream?

It was time for her to go home.

I watched her as she brushed her hair, washed her face and gathered her things.

” Do you sometimes feel it would have been better if you were a boy?” I asked

She looked at her shimmering bangles, her new salwar kammez and henna on her hands.  Caressing her freshly brushed hair she said ,” I don’t think so. I love to dress up.Though by birth and by religion I am cursed. ”

The lift doors opened and she was gone before I could say anything.

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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National Girl Child Day Post: A daughter that never was and A Poem


I dedicate this post to all the daughters and their mothers across the globe. Let me begin by posting one of the most beautiful poems I have read about a mother daughter relationship. you can read the entire poem on kavita kosh site Mera Naya Bachpan by Subhadra Kumari Chauhan.

I always wanted a daughter and after my first child even thought of adopting one to complete the family but unfortunately the family did not agree and just my luck that I had another son after four years.

The radiologists at that time saw my desperation for a girl child and smilingly said, ” maybe it’s a girl, so smile young lady”.

Delighted I bought  little pretty dresses for the baby which was due anytime. When I found that I had a boy agai.n, I wept but then the cherub was such a delight that I gave all my love to him. I had to dress the little one in frocks and other girly clothes for sometime, to the dislike of my MIL but I fulfilled my little desire.

My little boy in a lehnga I wore at the age of one year

shubhang not even one in a pretty blue frock

I decided that day to do as much as I could for any poor girl who needed any help in any field especially education. I regularly help the girls in the neighborhood, the maid’s daughters and give out books, clothes and other things to the needy girls encouraging them to study and make their mark in the society on their own.

My cook’s all three daughters have completed their graduation  done courses in computers etc and are now working at good posts in reputed companies even MNCs. what a proud moment for a mother who is now nearing 60 and all her life worked in other people’s houses to raise , educate  and make her girls independent. all the three girls save money for their future and never give in to age-old customs and pressures of society. Kudos to one such brave mother and all her daughters.

Here are some lines from the poem I want to share with a translation by me . I can not match the beauty of the original but making an effort ot send the message to all my non hindi speaking friends..

मैं बचपन को बुला रही थी बोल उठी बिटिया मेरी।
नंदन वन-सी फूल उठी यह छोटी-सी कुटिया मेरी॥

‘माँ ओ’ कहकर बुला रही थी मिट्टी खाकर आयी थी।
कुछ मुँह में कुछ लिये हाथ में मुझे खिलाने लायी थी॥

पुलक रहे थे अंग, दृगों में कौतुहल था छलक रहा।
मुँह पर थी आह्लाद-लालिमा विजय-गर्व था झलक रहा॥

मैंने पूछा ‘यह क्या लायी?’ बोल उठी वह ‘माँ, काओ’।
हुआ प्रफुल्लित हृदय खुशी से मैंने कहा – ‘तुम्हीं खाओ’॥

पाया मैंने बचपन फिर से बचपन बेटी बन आया।
उसकी मंजुल मूर्ति देखकर मुझ में नवजीवन आया॥

My translation of these lines.

I was remembering my childhood

when my little daughter spoke

blossoming  my  little home

like a beautiful fragrant forest

” ma come” she called out to me in baby voice

she had eaten mud

her little mouth  filled with some and

some more she held in her little hands for me to eat

her  body radiating with joy and

every part of hers filled with wonder

her face beaming with ecstacy and the glow of victory

I asked ” what have you got?” ” mama eat” she replied

with a heart brimming with mirth, I said ” you eat”

I found my childhood again,

it returned in my daughter’s form

my life  rejuvenated

watching  her delightful charm

***

Give your daughters a healthy, secure, safe, educated, and respectable future. Let them blossom and fill your world with joy and pride.

Stop female infanticide, child marriages and crime against women. They have their own identity stronger than just being daughters, sisters, wives, mothers etc. Give them winds to fly and discover their own horizons.

Poem: A Childhood Lost


She sat huddled in a corner
staring at the pool of blood
between her aching skinny legs.

Her large eyes vacant and dry
her trembling body tattered and torn
and her soul, bruised and ridden to dust.

Her childhood innocence crushed
by someone’s scavenging lust
someone she was taught to trust.

He ripped her veil

and shamed her forever

violating her with a single thrust.

Alone, in the shadows of her
shattered dreams
She tried in vain to wipe forever
the events of the night
her chilling screams.

Her heart, pregnant with
Emotions unknown,
unheard, unseen

Slowly she closed her swollen eyes
and shut herself to the
rising shame and fear

Too scared to speak
too hurt to cry
as the mist began to clear

They found her body in the morn
along with her clothes
bloodstained and torn.

And beside her tender fragile frame
was written in her blood in shame
a single word that said it all

“Daddy”

copyright Tikuli

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Read my article on child abuse prevention

Child Abuse Prevention Month Post( April)- A Daughter’s Letter to Her Parents

Nanhi kali(the tender bud)I too want to blossom:Female Infanticide


girl-child1The village was slowly waking up to yet another day. The birds had left their nest in search of the early worm and one could hear the bells in the temple on a distant hillock.

Very few people were out at this time. Two figures emerged from behind a cluster of houses and started walking hurriedly towards the thick fields full of wheat crop ready to cut.

They had a mission. They were going to commit a crime no one will know of. A little bundle slept peacefully in the arms of one of them.
On reaching a specific spot near the canal, they unwrapped the bundle and mercilessly held the little baby girl’s head under water till the helpless infant stopped struggling to breath.

They pulled it out and quickly buried her in the previously selected makeshift grave. This was the second girl they had buried in three years.

washing their sinful body in the silent canal water, they returned and vanished behind the rows and rows of houses.

Nothing stirred, even the air became still, as it witnessed this gruesome act of murder.

“Female infanticide is the intentional killing of baby girls due to the preference for male babies and from the low value associated with the birth of females.”

What we are up against is a deeply ingrained patriarchal attitude to which even the medical profession and the women, who in spite of being the victims, unthinkingly subscribe to.

What is the future of womanhood in the land where the girl child is killed using every possible means by her own family especially her own father, brother and in many cases even mother. Many a times they are simply not allowed to be born.

According to a report by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) up to 50 million girls and women are missing from India’ s population as a result of systematic gender discrimination in India. In most countries in the world, there are approximately 105 female births for every 100 males.

In India, there are less than 93 women for every 100 men in the population. The accepted reason for such a disparity is the practice of female infanticide in India.

Five million girls were eliminated between 1986 and 2001 because of fetal sex determination done by unethical medical professionals. The rate of extermination continues to increase after census 2001.

The practice is taking an alarming proportions and is shockingly common in even rural areas where people do not normally have access to sex determination facilities.

The family waits until the mother gives birth, and when they find out that a daughter is born, they go ahead and kill the baby by adopting various means such as strangling the baby, giving her poison, dumping her in a garbage bin, drowning her, burying her alive, or suffocating her with pillows etc.

Many a times female foeticide is the easy and simple way out for those male child hungry couples. Sometimes Barbaric methods are used to kill the fetus, endangering even the mother’s life.

What is disturbing is that female infanticide is not considered a big crime and rarely do culprits get convicted. Surprisingly, Sex-selective abortion are not always forced upon by husbands and in-laws , they are often done in consensus by the mother.. Since she is the one who has given birth to the unwanted female, it is her who must do away with it. She is forced to do so at times, and willingly does so at others since she herself desires a male child for various age old reasons rooted in our society.

A research was conducted to analyze the patterns of female foeticide and infanticide in China, India, and other countries in Southeast Asia. ( I searched the net to discover this and I am quoting )

The report concludes:

“( The magnitude of the phenomena of female foeticide and girl infanticide in India, China and other parts of Asia has reached a critical level creating a worldwide demographic imbalance with, in turn, drastic economic and social consequences. Over 100 million women are now missing in Asia which will result in a 12 to 15 percent excess of young men in the next twenty years.

[…]

It will take generations to change people’s mindset but the situation worldwide is so dramatic that we cannot afford to wait any longer. It is imperative that the International community calls on the governments and all actors responsible for this human and demographic tragedy to enact laws and take urgent measures to fight these violence and discrimination which, by denying the first basic right of all – the right to life – denies all other human rights. )”

What are the causes of 10,000,000 female infants killed in the past 20 years in India.

1. We need a son to carry our family name , to ensure continuity of our family line.

2. A son is needed to perform the last rites so our souls will attain peace.

3. A girl means expense as we will have to pay dowry and get her married.

4. We need a son to take care of us in old age while a daughter goes away to another house after marriage.

5. I need a son to complete my family.

When I look at these reasons, which mainly people give for wanting a male child, I wonder what kind of family line they want to continue, with what value system. won’t it be better if it finished then and there. and if every one thought the way they do where is the DIL going to come to carry forward the esteemed family name?

How many sons take care of their old parents in reality is a question to ponder. Look at the old age homes where mothers and fathers spend their last few years trying to hide the vacant dreams in their eyes.

Why not educate the girl child and make her self sufficient. It is known that you educate a girl child , you educated a family.

Why not oppose the dowry system and take law seriously. For it is one of the main reasons for female foeticide and infanticide. We should stop programming the girl child from the moment it is born to accept the so called Indian values, customs and rituals. Is it not needed to end the need for dowry itself instead of finding shortcut solutions to this evil practice?

We should stop the discrimination at home where the girl is underfed and her share is snatched to feed the good for nothing brother. The girls are advised and taught to stay indoors, learn to cook and wash, clean and sew for they have to go to another house after marriage.

She is not sent to school as education is considered a taboo for her and of no use to her as she is that unpaid slave who has to just birth children and slog for her husband and other members of the family.

She is snubbed and frowned upon if she dares to talk of her dreams, aspirations or in some cases abuse from the hands of family males.

This is our country where women are seen as images of Goddess.

What hypocrites we are?

We invoke our scripts and religion when it suits us and do what is convenient for us when it suits us.

We do rituals and offerings, go on pilgrimage to various Devi temples and abuse the woman of our house, kill the unborn daughter, ill treat the one who survives and sell her to some good for nothing hand pecked boy .

For their entire life most of the women live chained in the hollow bonds of being a daughter, sister, wife, mother and die every moment fulfilling the demands of that relationship.

Somewhere their essence, their identity is lost and they mutely take on the wrath of the hypocrite society.

I think the time has come for a collective uprising against the murder of the very essence of womanhood. To bring the change and to be the change.

This is a NaBloPoMo post for today

(image courtesy Google. All credits to rightful owners )