Sept. 19th, 1999
© Akhilesh Mithal

Is Female Feticide to be Considered Civilized?


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Itís common knowledge that the idealism inspiring the founding fathers of the 51-year-old Indian nation has disappeared without trace. As the Persian saying goes, Neys naabood, ("Is not; was not; never has been!") 

Materialism reigns supreme. Money is all that matters. Even if the area concerns human health. Adulterators of food (remember the cooking oil scam!) are not brought to book although they purvey disease and death.

Perhaps the worst case scenario of greed in the Indian (and specially the Hindus and the Sikhs) is dowry. A boy means "income" and no one cares that it is unearned. A girl means "outgo" and therefore loss. Desperate remedies are called for to eradicate the cause. Better take pre-emptive action. Feticide (sex selective abortion) becomes the answer. Modern science has come to the rescue of the Hindus and the Sikhs unwilling to father a daughter.

Since 1981, Amritsar has been the seed farm of female feticide. In report after report the horrors of a female embryo being denied the right to life is highlighted. Laws have been passed but even the registrations of clinics offering gender determination services have no longer taken place on the ground.

As of 1991, the figures for gender ratio were:

District  Male  Female
Amritsar  1000  861
Faridkot  1000  863
Bhatinda  1000  865

As there is no attempt at stopping this heinous practice, the situation must be much worse in 1999. According to calculations there should be some 3 crore (30 million) more females than there currently are in India. That translates to three crore feticides with a few dowry deaths thrown in for good measure. In most of the other countries of the world, and specially in the western countries, there are more women than men. 

The consumer durable sales boom is accounted for by areas such as Punjab. If in these show cases of development mass murder is occurring to prevent female birth itís time to sit up, take notice and do something.

How does this tally with the much vaunted claims of the hoary civilization of the Hindus and the spiritual qualities of the Sikh religion? We have seen no mention of this problem in any manifesto published by a political party whether Hindu or Sikh.
The Akalis and the Hindu League (which is a good title for the Parivaar, also known as the RSS / BJP / VHP / Bajrang Dal / Shiv Sena), should note that female feticide and dowry deaths are not a phenomenon to be found among the Muslims and the Christians. How does his fact tally with the image portrayed by the Parivaar of the bloodthirsty Muslims versus the meek and mild Hindu?

An article in the Dawn (published in The Asian Age on 12/5/99) pointed out that there are more Indian doctors per thousand Americans than there are per thousand Indians. This does not show "spiritual" or "social" or nationalistic or community concern. It demonstrates a greed for money. Also that working conditions are terrible for professionals functioning in India at government hospital level. 

The Hindu League leaders and their counterparts in the other political parties are only after power. The reason why the Hindu League are considered the greater evil is because they are unabashed in their hatred for Muslims, Christians, women and Dalits. Perhaps it is time to work for a cultural regeneration where the present value system can be examined in detail and worked out afresh.

The district of Amritsar, Bhatinda and Faridkot are the most prosperous in the country. The houses are no longer mud and dirt but brick and cement. The apparel is from manmade fiber. The consumer durable sales boom is accounted for by areas such as the Punjab. If in these show cases of development mass murder is occurring to prevent female birth it is time to sit up and take notice and do something.

Compared to female feticide the death by war and by internal strife, by terrorists and by militants are just an insignificant figure. Besides statistics there is the trauma and suffering of the mother. In the August 28th issue of The Asian Age there is the harrowing story of a poor woman who has undergone seven abortions in a row (because all the fetuses were female) and is a physical and psychological wreck as a result. How can people who indulge in such activities consider their society and their own self civilized?

Learn more about Female Feticide or Sex Selective Abortion.


© Akhilesh Mithal, 1991-1999. All rights reserved.
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