Well before the Census figures were released, India-born writer Kishwar Desai, wife of noted economist and writer Meghnad Desai, who has won UK's Costa First Novel Award 2010 for her novel, 'Witness by Night’, in a newspaper column expressed her deep concern on female infanticide and foeticide. I share her sentiments unequivocally. She rightly said that we don't have any qualms about killing newly born baby girls. She cited a study, according to which more than 1000 female foetuses are aborted every day in India. This 'anti-girl child' attitude was also widespread among Asians living in the West.
If we analyze the statistics, the child sex ratio (0-6) years) has declined to 914 girls for every 1,000 boys as compared to 927 in 2001. This dangerous trend is mostly prevalent in northern states, where people still crave for male child believing that son can only carry forward the family's surname to next generation. We have heard of cases where sons threw out the aged parents from home while daughters came to their rescue.
The Census Report further reveals that Jammu & Kashmir's child sex ratio fell precipitously to 859, making it the third worst state after Haryana and Punjab. Haryana and Punjab, the twin sister states remain at the bottom of child sex ratio at 830 and 846 respectively. Northeast states fared well in child sex ratio. Kerala ranked high in girl child sex ratio with 1084 girls for 1000 boys. The country's capital Delhi is giving a grim picture as well. It has only 866 females for every 1000 males.
Though, we all know the elementary science that when a sperm cell carrying an X chromosome fertilizes with the egg, the offspring will be female (XX); if the sperm cell carrying a Y chromosome fertilizes with the egg, the offspring will be male (XY), still the woman is made responsible for giving birth to a girl child.
In fact, man himself is also not directly responsible as he has no direct control of things at sub-atomic level and here the God will come into picture. So the onus lies with God. My simple question is: do the warring parents don't know this basic fact? Moreover, what is wrong with girl child? In what way is the girl child inferior to male one? The argument has no substance.
Woman are also making strides in every field of life, be it sports, medicine, or politics, to name a few. We should not forget that Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams who went into space along with male astronauts were women as well. The girl can take care of her parents even after marriage as financial independence has facilitated such things. We see instances where the son leaves the parents and daughter fills the vacuum.
Being a proud father of two daughters, I am not feeling disappointed. I profoundly believe that parenthood is important, irrespective of son or daughter. Being influenced by old system, initially, I felt low when I begot second daughter. But after a while when I did a bit of self-introspection, I found so many celebrity fathers like Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who has three daughters; Barack Obama, the US President has two daughters, former American President George W. Bush has two daughters, Apollo Hospitals Chairman Dr. Pratap Reddy has four daughters.
This wisdom has brought a perceptible change in me and now I am immersed in my daily activities with solid planning for the intellectual growth of my children. I have thrown out my old mindset. If I can do that, why can’t you?