In India, the gender bias is not restricted to Maharashtra or not reflected through the names only. This is the scenario not only in rural areas, but even urban areas are not untouched by this stark reality. The only difference is that urban parents have access to sophisticated tests to determine the sex of the foetus, and can decide whether to give birth to it or not. But, in villages, couples keep trying till they get a male child. And the girls born during these attempts put in the framework of unwanted.
The girl child becomes the target of attack even before they are born. Even the United Nations world population fund indicates that India has one of the highest sex imbalances in the world. From this we can figure out that how girl children are brutally killed even before their birth. The girl children become target of attack even before they are born.
In India, the state which is leading the chart in female foeticide cases is Punjab. Inspite of the fact that the land where Guru Nanak dev spoke for women many years ago. Punjab remains the heartland of pre-natal sex selections and post-natal gender discrimination in the country. The sex ratio in Punjab has been skewed since 1901 as is evident from the census figure that the sex ratio in the state has been consistently lower than the national average ever since.
The gap in female-male ratio has been ranging from 45 in 1991 to 184 in 2011. The basic reasons for such adverse situation, lies in the socio-cultural fabric of the society. The birth of a son is preferred over that of a daughter since ancient times. Being a patriarchal and patrilineal society, the sons are charged out with the responsibility to carry on the family name. On the other hand daughters are considered as financial burden.
They are seen as liabilities, especially because of the banned but ramphant practice of 'dowry'. Dowry is the main culprit behind this heinous crime and blot on humanity. It has become the part and parcel of their thinking and psyche, since marriages has become very ostensible and expensive affair for the people of Punjab. The worst affair of the picture is that the people have started becoming fixed in their convictions and opinions that female baby is burden in their family and 'sooner the elimination better it is for the family.
Even the abortion clinics display advertisement as 'spend Rs 500, you will save Rs 50,000'. In other words, kill this one. If this one lives, you'll loose Rs 50,000 in dowry. For those yearning for son sex determination clinics are modern temples. The aforesaid things present the clear and a dirty picture of Punjab.
But the question arises, is only Punjab suffering from this unethical paralysis? If yes, then you are highly mistaken. Some heart wrenching incidents will make you realize up to what extent a girl child is unwanted. The recent incident of female foeticide reported from Beed district in Maharashtra where women used to come to the doctors' clinic to get their female child aborted for Rs 2,000. Just think about the doctors' connivance in the illegal act. Doctors whose aim is to save the lives of people, happily kill the foetus for a meagre 2000 bucks!
And more heart wrenching is the fact that the aborted foetus were very often fed to dogs.The aforesaid case is not the only example but there are numerous such heart-wrenching cases of heinous crimes. Sadly, there have been numerous incidents of a foetus being found lying in farms, floating in the rivers, wrapped in a bag, etc. The struggle for a girl child starts the day her existence is known in her mothers' womb; the fear and the struggle to survive swallow most of the girl's life even if she is 'allowed' to live in this cruel world.
If this practice continues, then soon a day will come when Mother India will have no mothers, potentially, no life. Ironically, all these incidents are happening in a nation where the nation itself represents the mother figure 'The Mother India', in the land where the girl is seen as incarnation of Goddess 'Lakshmi'.
As a goddess she may be Lakshmi, Kali, Sarswati and Durga but as a human she is 'unwanted girl'. In our highly prejudiced society, girls are considered as financial 'bojh' (burden) on the family. On the contrary, the ironical part of our so-called modern India is those sections, which come under reserved category or you can say the tribal population of our nation from where the cases of female foeticide are not reported.In the tribal area of Jharkhand they plant trees when a girl child is born.
And according to their belief, female is meant to nurture and by planting a tree they bring nature and nurture together. The matter has been discussed by many social and political leaders. Even the film stars have taken initiatives to curb this unethical practice. But, it is a matter of serious concern and will continue to be so, until and unless the mindset of people remains orthodox.
Amitabh Bachhan in Kaun banega Crorepati reverses the idea of three deadliest words of orthodox Indian society 'It's a Girl' by making it 'Mubaarak Ho Ladki Hui Hai'. This pre-fixing of word mubaarak is still indigestible for many orthodox people. So, to stop this heinous crime a collaborative step is needed. We all are proud citizens of India. The need of the hour is to realize our responsibilitiesand put a halt to this evil crime. What can we do to curb the brutal and undesirable practice of mass killing of girls? A determined drive can initiate a spark to light the lamp and show the world that we all are part of the great Mother India.
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