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Sunday, April 03, 2011

GENDER INSENSITIVE SOCIETY RESPONSIBLE FOR SKEWED SEX RATIO

We boast of women empowerment, but when it is put to reality test, no encouraging signals are seen. The census figures of 2011 epitomize the disturbing picture of Indian society, which has become heavily gender insensitive.

Governments can’t be blamed singularly for this sorry state of affairs. It is all of us, who are collectively responsible  for this barbaric trend. We need to introspect and shed the old and archaic mindset.

Well before the Census figures were released, India-born writer Kishwar Desai, wife of noted economist and writer Meghnad Desai, who is the winner of  UK's Costa First Novel Award  for her novel, 'Witness by Night’, in  her column expressed  deep concern on female infanticide and foeticide unequivocally. I agree with her sentiments. 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 is  also widespread among Asians living in the West.

If we analyse 2011 census figures,  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 could only carry forward the family's legacy and surname to next generation. We have heard of cases where sons threw out the aged parents from home while daughters come to their rescue.

The Census Report further reveals that Jammu & Kashmir's child sex ratio  steeply fell   to 859, making it the third worst state after Haryana and Punjab. Haryana and Punjab, the twin States remain at the bottom of the rung with child sex ratio at 830 and 846 respectively. However, North-east 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  shocked with  only 866 females  for every 1000 males.

Though, we all know the elementary science that when a sperm cell (male) carrying an X chromosome fertilizes with the egg (female), the offspring will be female (XX); if the sperm cell carrying a Y chromosome fertilizes with the egg, the offspring will be male (XY). Inspite of this, still the woman is made scapegoat for giving birth to a girl child.

In fact, man himself is also not directly responsible as he has also no direct control of things at sub-atomic level and here the God comes into play. So the onus lies with Almighty or what you call Super Intelligence beyond human comprehension.  

My simple question is: do the warring parents don't know this basic fact? Moreover, what is wrong with girl child? In what way the girl  is inferior to boy? The argument has no substance.

Women are making rapid strides in every field 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. The girl can take care of her parents even after marriage as financial independence 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 believe that parenthood is important, irrespective of son or daughter you beget. 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 realised that there are so many celebrity fathers with only daughters. Take for instance,  the then 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 and  India's Apollo Hospitals Chairman Dr. Pratap Reddy has four daughters.

The Western society is not infected with this kind of problem.  India, being the oldest citivization must prevail on the wisdom of ages and bring  perceptible change.   
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