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Saturday, July 07, 2007

My thoughts for this Saturday

Female – Abused gender of India

It is Rajkot, Gujrat. Broad day light on the 4th of July, a modern looking 22 year old Ms. Pooja Chauhan was walking on the streets in her under garments. She had a baseball bat in one hand and her bangles in another. She is not mentally disturbed but was protesting the harassment meted out to her by her husband and in-laws. One of the two reasons of harassment she quoted for her protest is that she bore a girl child.

A protest like this may be unheard of in India but the reason for her harassment is not. Girl child is unwanted in India so much so that India census indicates that our over all sex ratio has dropped to 930 + females for every 1000 males. Extrapolation of that number to the population will lead to deficiency of several million females.

In this background, one has to wonder why? Why is it that a female gender is so unwelcome in India (by the way many other countries in the Asian continent also suffer from this phenomenon)? In Hindu mythology it is believed that birth of a male child is to pay the debt of the ancestors and failing to do so, leads them to eternal hell. It is also believed that a man’s virility is directly related to birthing of a male child and failure to do so imply that the dominant person in the relationship is the woman. This explains why men feel angry and ashamed when they father daughters.

Movie titled “Mathrubhoomi – a nation without women” by Mr. Prakash Jha, depicted the consequences of lack of women in a society. Family of five brothers gets married to a single woman (for lacking of women in the village) by paying her with an agreement that she spends one night with each brother from Monday to Friday and on the weekends with the father in law. When she tries to run away, she was forced into submission. Prophetically other consequences of low female sex ratio that are depicted are pornography, sexual assault with murder, homosexuality, and bestiality etc.

Book titled “Bare branches” by Dr. Valerie Hudson of Brigham Young University describes the worst case scenario of low female sex ratio – invasion of another nation. As much as one likes to have male children, they fail to recognize that males (or females) only world will sooner or later will implode and we need to address this issue on a war footing.

Under the PNDT Act of India, sex selection abortion is illegal so how do we empower and educate ourselves from self destruction? Are there any viable alternatives for people to consider having dignity and confidentiality to give away their daughters if they choose not to keep them?

This is precisely is where message of adoption must come in to play. Adoption must not only be an option for those who want to be parents but also be an option for those who do not. In the state of Tamilnadu there is a scheme called “Cradle baby” where deserving parents can relinquish the rights of parenthood in dignity and in turn those children are placed in adoption. CARA must explore this model to replicate it throughout the country.

More we ignore it, deeper we are sinking in to the pit of extinction. Let’s not abuse our females because by doing so we are abusing ourselves.

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