It’s not her fault!

A hush falls upon the operation room, and the man who had been sitting still on his seat rises, expectant, as the nurse swoops in with news like a judge, ready to deliver her verdict. His eyes don’t reflect the smile on his face or the elation in his voice, as she tells him:

It’s a girl.

Anticipation turns into shock, which manifests as anger. Anger and hate towards the woman who gave birth to a female. His uneducated mind doesn’t think twice before assigning the blame to his wife while the poor woman at this very moment lies in an OT, paralyzed by effort. Without hesitation, he marches into the operation theater, and pushes through the staff to look at his wife’s face, and show her the venom on his face, in his eyes, inside his mind.

Her tired and teary eyes beg for mercy as they talk, eye to eye as the hospital staff watches on, wordless, understanding only too clearly this exchange between the parents of the newborn. Even though most sympathize with the mother, they see this outcome as inevitable, after all — the woman gave birth to a daughter, not a son like she “should” have. Their education tells them that the prejudice in their minds is artificial and unnecessary, but still they keep silent. Still they wish never to be in the place this couple is today.

The silence is contagious.

So is the attitude towards having a girl child. Why do we still discriminate against women? Why do we simply nod away all the instances of women doing as good as, and in many cases, better than men at what they do?

Why do we nod off the truth that is front of us? There is no place for outdated, barbaric traditions such as female foeticide in our society today. Women aren’t objects, meant to grow up without education and other opportunities men get, and be “settled off” with some man (who might even not be her choice) or the other.

Girls aren’t financial burdens. India has had in its history an array of women who have not only excelled in their respective fields, but have taken this country to new heights. They stand testament to the fact that women can achieve just as much in life as men.

The slaughter must stop. Even now, the birth sex ratio in urban areas in India is 115 boys per 100 girls, which is highly suggestive of female foeticide. This data contradicts any assumptions that female foeticide is an archaic practice that takes place only in rural and uneducated sections of the Indian society, where, in fact the birth sex ratio is closer to 103:107, which should be in a “normal” scenario.

Dantin Kakkar
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