Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Female feticide

Readers of my blog are aware of my irritation whenever a mention is made of my country is progressive and is going to be a super power in the years to come. I have often written the reasons for this. One more addition to this disgust.

Couple of days back the newspaper carried an item of finding ten dead female fetuses. Imagine this scene where a mother agrees to kill/abandon her own baby just because the baby is female. Ten mothers must have done this at one time and apparently it must have been from an institution based facility. This attitude is not confined to economically and socially poorer section of the society but is spread across the board. The rich and well off resort of feticide in utero by getting the sex of the child determined by sonography. The law does not permit determination of sex this way. But who cares for the law in this country?

Why is it so? The reasons are mainly economic. The girl child is a burden as she is not going to be economically or educationally empowered. She will remain illiterate or semiliterate and will await her marriage [ultimate doom or salvation].The rich too feel the female child a burden because of the same reasons. They spend enormous amounts of money in getting the girl married and often even educated girls are victims to this malady.

What is the solution? Economic empowerment and a movement to boycott ostentation in performing marriages is required. Women should learn to say no and should not consider marriage as an end all of life.

The best example of social empowerment of women is seen in Kerala. Matriarchal society, women’s education and employment have resulted in their social and economic emancipation and there is no reported case of female infanticide in Kerala.

There is already a skewed sex ratio in the BEMARU states. If you take the census of younger people it must be worse. There may come a time when like Draupadi [one of the main characters of Mahabharata] a woman may have to manage many husbands. Worse still is the scene where like water wars, women wars may be fought amongst men. Will the status of women get better then?

I wonder.


Anonymous said...

I agree that in Kerala a lot of women have the "freedom" to work and there are working women in practically every house since last few generations. However, the average woman in Kerala is hardly "emancipated", Sir. Women can not travel in buses after 6 pm. If you are travelling in the evening in public transport and get molested (which you surely will, if it is evening), you will get to hear "Who told you to be so brave?".

If you notice carefully, all women dress alike. Which is very strictly modest. Not even a strand of hair shd be out of place. God forbid if you decide to have a slightly eccentric haircut or wear something bordering on outrageous (like skipping the dupatta and wearing a kurta pyjama, which is modest by any means) be ready to be stripped naked by the eyes of all the curious onlookers while they fold and unfold their dhotis.

I feel the average household in Kerala runs on the woman's income without any real empowerment to women. The husband is commonly found drinking his income away. I think women in Kerala are expected to take care of children and home and it is also their duty to earn the livelihood. Even in the typical Malayalam movies, the woman is always singing and talking in hushed tones and biting her lip and bearing all the suffering.

Also, Sir, foeticide is not common in Kerala, but the dowry menace is rampant. What is worse is dowry is being called by fancy names like "share in property" and what not. Giving at least half a kg of gold is absolutely essential in Christians/Hindus/Muslims alike. A proof of this is the sheer number of gold advertisements and loan offers. Even in a remote village, you may or may not find a grocery, but you will always find a gold shop the size of a palce. Popularity of gold is only next to toddy.

My thoughts said...

That is interesting. Keralites are known to be different when they are out of their state. And my experience of keralites is with these expats and it has been with rare exceptions good and the comments are thus based on what I have seen and observed of them. Now I know it is no different and the illness there fore all over in this wretched country, keral included