Female foeticide..A topic that is still taboo in India.. Everyone believes that its someone else's problem..Well that is one of the reasons this topic is still shouting for help..A skewed sex ratio doesn't help any country...
I have seen many a celebrity raise a noise on this..Most of it has been mere publicity stunt than anything of substance..I believe it is time for us, the common man, to realize this ;rather than any awakening or attending a tutorial session....
This wrong notion that "guys are markedly superior to girls" was prevalent in Indian society long ago...Girls were just supposed to keep their husbands happy, making umpteen sacrifices along the way...."Pati Parmeshwar" "Meri duniya aapke charNo main hain" etc. were reality than just mere filmy dialogues.. Sati was a rule, not a convention..A girl was coerced to immolate herself in her husband's funeral pyre cos she had no right to live anymore..What nonsense!!!
A girl had to abort whatever she is good at and sit at home to take care of the kids..Oh ya? Aren't they your kids too pal? You both had them dint you??...Atleast the girl sitting at home for this reason is better than because the hubby believes she shouldn't even be talking to her male colleagues in office.. What about when you flirt openly with your secretary, mate? Lets not be hypocrites here..
Girls were supposed to know cooking as if it was their birthright.."Yeh sab paDhai choD; sasuraal jaake bartan hi to manjne hain"They were supposed to do the dishes, eat in their husband's plate, compulsorily address husband as "Aap"..Most of these are a direct antithesis to the reality that "Respect ought to be earned, not demanded".. (These days girls address hubby as "Aap" only when the in-laws are in town..The name is different when they aren't in town ;))
Even to this day, when one tries to discuss this female foeticide topic with elders of the family (more seen in our grandparents' time and before than in our parents generation), there is an eerie silence in the room; an admission of guilt almost.. Its as if they know that it was wrong and couldn't do much about it..I also see a glint of pride in their eyes that we are trying to change this preconceived notion..
What has changed and why should this discourage female foeticide? Firstly, the emphasis on education (which was non existent earlier). Today girls are walking the same path as guys; shoulder to shoulder, because they are allowed to study..Girls becoming pilots is something that was unthinkable earlier. A lady going to space and being there for many days (Sunita Williams) and another who has gone down in legend (Kalpana Chawla) for her heroic deeds...
Secondly, the restrictions on girls is now zilch.. Earlier they were limited to saree and salwar kameez; today we guys are jealous of the dressing options they have (We can just wear a pant and shirt :)) ..They can party till late in the night like us, they can do most things a guy can do; this talk was surely just gibberish years ago.. Today, its a fact of life..When you see the freedom enjoyed by your lady friends, you are happy that times-they-are-a-changing..
Thirdly and interestingly;I believe establishing co-education systems in all schools across India will help. When you perceive something as unattainable or out of reach, the possibility of atrocities is higher, obviously aided by testosterone levels. Mingling from such a young age with the opposite sex makes it clear that even they are human beings.. This way atleast people giving birth to a girl would have to worry less about her safety!!
Fourthly; abolish reservations for women. The 33% reservations in parliament and elsewhere is a pile of crap. Only when you think you are weaker, you ask for reservation.. In an ideal scenario, open up the field and let the women with merit come forward and not be suppressed or oppressed...This will take sometime, but let us try.
Recently I learnt that a pregnant lady had claimed that she hoped she would be blessed with a baby boy, because "The environment is not conducive to raise a girl".. Now, this is unthinkable.. Honestly.. This is a retrograde step; its like switching 50 years in the time machine. but in the reverse direction..If we educated folks say this, God bless the world... I don't think we have a right to expect others to do the right thing then.
Why would a girl be a burden today? I am guessing Dowry, which is another pathetic custom.They say it is given for a girl's happiness.. Oh ya? Then why are there murders for Dowry? So it is the in-laws and bridegroom's happiness then.."Girl burnt alive;Not able to meet in-laws demands" was something we always saw in the 90's in the newspapers..I believe the perpetrators should be sent to the gallows; no less..The fear of being punished is playing a major role in averting these crimes today. These incidents have reduced considerably..
In that sense, making sex determination tests illegal and bringing the culprits to book in India has helped. We see that these tests are a part of the pregnancy process in the US; but then as long as there is no hue and cry I don't think there should be a problem..
The only reason I can see a man preferring a baby boy is that he gets control of the remote in the hall; Cricket will rule rather than anything else he will have to put up with on TV.. :-)
By the way,they say a girl gets more traits from her father than the mother...In that case it should be easier for us to go against female foeticide than even ladies.
Cos it should bring a smile on your face when you think "One day, I will see my angel conquer the world".. Think about it!!!