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Killing Daughters in India

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In the feel-happy planet that is India, where the most powerful politician is an Italy-born woman and where the newspapers are ecstatic over the appointment of an India-born woman as PepsiCo's CEO, there has emerged a news-spoiler that has not been greatly highlighted in the country's media.

This is surprising since the news is revolting and the Indian news channels are constantly in quest of sensational news items to hike up their television ratings.

A few days before India's 60th Independence Day celebrations, government officials in Punjab, one of the wealthiest states of India and also the birthplace of Bhangra music, discovered dozens of female fetuses dumped in an unused well in a town called Patran.

A quack, formerly serving in the Indian army, and along with his wife, was running an illegal maternity clinic where, assisted by a team of nurses, he 'helped' expectant parents determine the sex of their fetuses and aborted the female ones if the parents so desired. The fetuses were secretly thrown in the well.

Allegedly, this killing of would-be girls had been carried out for a number of years. The quack had established the clinic in 1987. It was only earlier this month when one of the nurses, upset over her salary, reported the matter to the authorities. The decomposed remains of placentas and fetuses were discovered in the well and the killings became public knowledge.

The news did not shake the nation. Why?

Daughters Are Not Lovely

Killing female embryos is an unacknowledged practice in Indian society. Everyone knows it is a crime and perhaps morally wrong, too. There are many who do not fall for it, but still it is acceptable. Just be quiet about it, please.

It is also true that many Indians love their daughters as much as their sons, yet the birth of a girl is an undesirable occasion in many families. Girls are seen as a burden on the household, a bundle of shame, and a thankless responsibility. They are perceived as offspring who, unlike the sons, would not carry on the family's name. Instead, a great amount of money would have to be arranged for their wedding dowries, which would benefit the homes of their husband's families.

Remember, in spite of being on the verge of becoming an Information Technology superpower, India also happens to have vast swaths of land that share commonalities with the most wretched parts of the sub-Saharan Africa. There are a good number of poor parents who cannot afford to raise a daughter.

Different Techniques to Kill Daughters

India is perhaps the only civilization that worships God in woman-form, too. That still doesn’t stop many countrymen from killing their own daughters. Earlier baby daughters were killed by smothering, making them lick poison, or simply by not feeding them. Last year in the month of August, again in Punjab, a newspaper highlighted the report of a girl child being abandoned on a highway by her parents.

India has started shining. Developments in medical technology are more accessible. It is easier to avoid guilt complex by an early detection of the sex of the fetus, thanks to ultrasound technology, and opting for abortion, if it is a girl, in a safe, clean, and clinical process.

A Silver Lining

It is illegal in India to determine the gender of the fetus of a pregnant woman. Unfortunately the practice is discreet and willing doctors are easy to contact through word-of-mouth publicity.

However, in March 2006, a doctor and his assistant were sentenced to two years in jail for revealing the sex of a female fetus and then consenting to abort it. This was the first time medical professionals were jailed in such a case.

A Great Nation's Secret Shame

India is a great civilization and a confident country that aspires to become one of the leading nations of the world. It will never achieve this dream until it learns to appreciate the value of a woman as the same of a man.

The good news is that a willing acceptance of daughters is not impossible to arrive at in this conservative country. The newspaper that reported the baby girl was abandoned on the highway also mentioned that a poor couple adopted the baby. The couple happily boasted of already having four biological daughters!

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About Mayank Austen Soofi

  • http://thedelhiwalla.blogspot.com Mayank Austen Soofi

    Oh yes! I’m the Blogcritic of the Day! Thankyou.

  • Nancy

    Well, the upshot of female infanticide is being borne out right now (so to speak), by several areas in asia including India, China, etc., where the numbers of marriagable females are so low, most men either remain unmarried, or have to kidnap or abduct a woman. Humph. Talk about reaping what your own stupidity (or that of your parents) sows. If only the women involved didn’t have to suffer also.

  • Josh

    Just more proof of why abortion in general sucks. Great article.

  • joey resnick

    whats the big deal?

  • Bob

    I am not sure of this because we do love Indians girls because of their beauty…

  • Charles Paxton Martin

    I am sure there would be no problem in having these babies adopted in other parts of the world. What is happening in India and other places is not abortion (which I do not oppose but do not personally like) but is, on this scale, mass murder.

  • Pazhanikanthan

    This is a great sin for those who do it. Being Indian, I feel depressed and worried to read such news happening in my country. This puts a wrong impression on India and its culture in the International community.

    The only way to prevent this would be people becoming more literate. I believe, the fast changing economy in India will surely change this in a couple of years.

    God Bless to irradicate this cruelty.

  • CommonSense50

    This is not new information. The program 60-Minutes did a segment on this very subject back in the 80’s. Just because a county is progressing does not mean it abandons long-standing practices. It is a sad comment on a country with a rich history, but only when the perception of females as being important contributors will this horrendous practice change. However, almost 20 years after it was first reported, it is still an active practice.

  • Krishnan

    No country is perfect, neither is our country. What is more important is the readiness to accept the faults and work to overcome the problems.

    In India, we recognize this as a grave problem. But it is complex as well. The population explosion has meant that families are getting smaller. Many feel that they need a son who can look after them in the old age; India still being a country where the parents are looked after in the old age by children.At the same time there are lot of families that long for a girl child (my own for 3 generations haven’t had a girl and the day a girl is born would be one of great revelry)

    A complex problem such as this does not have simple solutions. In my life time I hope this problem is solved.

  • richter umali

    It is pretty obvious that the dowry system in India and other parts of the world where the daughter’s family are obliged to the groom’s family for a fortune has contributed greatly to this horrendous practice among the poor and uneducated people. Why can’t the Indian Government do something to discourage this traditional practice? This demeans the woman/bride greatly and diminishes the meaning of marriage.

  • http://thedelhiwalla.blogspot.com Mayank Austen Soofi

    On the face of it, dowry system seems a simple case of an evil practice. However, there are many views to it. In Hindu families, a son traditionally inherits his father’s fortune. A daughter may receive only one opportunity in her life to claim a share in the wealth of the family she was born into. This happens during the time of her wedding. Her dowry!

  • Prem

    India is a wonderful place. You could find almost all kinds of evils, and bliss. Female infanticide used to be rampant in Rajasthan, another Indian state, where new born girls were often buried alive. The boy-girl difference is, fortunately, unheard of in most parts of the country. For example, Kerala has a higher female population than the male population. Practice of dowry is a major contributing factor. Although this has been made illegal by the government, the practice goes on, and has even been encouraged by the educated, IT savvy, H1B holder Indian males.

  • Gopal Krishnan

    It is a fair criticism that you make of the subcontinent and other places where the lack of education, economics and old traditions all play a part in shaping or distorting a societies values depending on which of the three or all of the three factors are most demanding.

    But the problem with such one sided criticism of something that is an issue andbeing fought but maybe not on the front pages of tabloids is that it is neither helpful nor balanced.

    At least in India they discriminate. The killing of unbron foetuses is gender specific unlike the west where it is indiscriminate and where also the killing of people whether they be simply Muslims, suspected communists or Arabs is equall indiscriminate and for the same economic, political and traditional reasons.

    In the west t is called abortion and a ‘womans right’. How come in a world striving for equality, especially gender equality the Indian woman is denied that ‘right’ to abort her unborn foetus? or are Indian women inferior in the eyes of western women and their local mimics?

    To assume that an Indian woman is incapable of making that decision is in itself racist and ageneralisation unworthy of any merit. India has a large population. Nearly a fifth of the world with a disproportionate share of its resources.

    To assume that it is the male alone that makes that decision is in itself ridiculous and as unworthy or argument as the claim that men and not the mother in law that burns a bride for insufficient dowry.

    Tut tut…or is it tit tit. An Indian women got the top job at Pepsi without burniong her bra and chanting slogans. Gloria Steinman, Bella Abzug, Naomi Wolf, Sheryl Hite and Germai Greer must all be playing with themselves vigourously at the news. I mean after all the myths they created their men chose a darkie woman who probably also enjoys screwing in the boardroom, aborting her foetus and managing Pepsi.

  • nicoli smith

    may god dawm these stupid people that practice this evil i have a daughter and if they didnt want a daughter they should have kept it in there pants murder is what i and millions of others call it plain and simple people playing god india should do more to stop this if it want the respect of the world because they have lost mine

  • nicoli smith

    hey gopal krishnan what are you an idiot you must be one of these people that accept and practice this same belive i and and alot of others are against abortion period and about indian women having equal rights open your eyes look around the only people that are holding them back is thier old fasioned husbands you sir scumbag are a racist and a moron come see me ill set you straight

  • Paul Rogers

    So what’s the problem? Don’t Indian women have a right to choose? First you want abortion on demand and freedom of choice. Then you criticize a culture for not choosing to kill the specific babies you would prefer killed. Make up your mind!

  • Water God

    The real trouble here is there own government.
    The fact that the country is becoming a technical icon and about to grow huge is due to the greed of other countries that want to exploit the laws, lack of taxes and reap HUGE profits for them selves it has nothing to do with the country or its development it is all about money. Basically it is capitalizm at its finest.
    The need to practice birth control and social programs to control population growth and educate people. I have two daughters and love them both dearly. Without women life as we know it would cease to exist. We cannot have a generation of test tube babies that would not be right. Murder is not right either and that is what this appears to be, just like China. Adoptions is a good thing but the down side is we cannot even really take care of all of our own people efficiently so bringing more people here just is not fare.

  • http://blogcritics.org/archives/2006/08/21/083743.php Zena

    Easy fix. Get ride of the dowries. The name caring is a cover-up. It really always comes down to the money.

  • Raj

    There is nothing traditional or religious about selective abortion of female foetus. Infact it is a recent phenomenon in India, because of the booming economy, easy availability of high technology and humungous consumerism. It is actually the semi-literate rich and the relatively well-to-do, especially in the rural or semi-urban areas who go for sex selective abortions making use of the ultra sound facility. They want smaller families, nuclear families – with no more than 1 or 2 kids – both boys.

    This will change soon, and is changing, as girls compete with boys at academics, at engineering, at medicine, at business, which they are doing, and compete with boys for the same hi-tech jobs. Nature will even itself out. Technology will be the saviour.

    And for those idiot who snorted about ‘India losing his respect, world’s respect etc. ‘… haha…let me tell you this. If your work that helps you earn your living is done on a computer – whether it is programming, accounting, system support, banking, r&d ….there are millions in India, young men and women, who want your job. Willing to work twice as hard and for quarter the pay, sitting in a cubicle in an office in India. Technology makes that possible.

    We dont need your respect. Or aid. We just want your job. And we will get it. You have seen nothing yet. The greatest event if the 21st century will be the addition of educated Indians and Chinese to the same labor pool that US workers have been competing at for decades.

  • ramond

    I do not think we should buy things from India or drink Pepsi if they kill girls

  • Zipit

    can the author please give more details on the “the most wretched parts of the sub-Saharan Africa”

  • Raj

    “I do not think we should buy things from India or drink Pepsi if they kill girls”

    Great logic.

    An analogy would be,

    World must boycott US goods till Americans make their daughters prostitutes.

    [Edited]

  • Raj

    Anyway, if your grotesque generalisation about ‘Indians are killing girls’ is true, then why worry, soon all girls will be dead, and the 1.1 billion strong Indian people will become extinct, unless by then we develop an asexual method of reproduction.

  • Jaquio

    Gopal Krishnan…”Darkie woman”????? I’m gagging over here!! You would be part of that backwards population you speak of.

    I guess you are a “White” guy huh Krishnan?? I gues YOU are not a “type” of “Darkie”? DON’T believe the hype!!. If I called you “Darkie” could you take that? I could never get with this Racist, color based faith you believe in. It’s WRONG on it’s face.

    If you are the Educated class India’s in BIG trouble. There is nothing about you that’s better than me. I don’t need to know you, all that I need to do is read what you write. Retarded!

  • Jaquio

    Why is it that when referring to Sub-saharan Africa the writer uses the word “Wretched” as if it is the worst place on earth, especially when comparing it to India?? Huh??? Hello??? That’s not the only thing they have in common. from it.

  • Jaquio

    Raj,

    My parents did not raise any prostitutes!! Are you a joke??? I swear please never leave India. If you are on Western soil, please go back to India. I can garantee that everything about you but your acccent is Western so please keep your insight into the “American Prostitute raising” to yourself. Your guys are allowed to touch in movies now, so I guess you are weel on your way. Right??

  • Raj

    Jaquio – get a brain and read that comment again….. I said saying ‘Indians kill baby girls’ is akin to saying ‘Americans pimp their daughters’…

  • Judy R.

    This is for Gopal Krishnan if you don’t like our Country why don’t you go home! This is the best Country in the world and if you don’t support it go away!! I don’t understand you people if you are so crazy about your country and it standards why come over here, we don’t need you or want you here. Besides you can’t spell at all and you English is pretty bad too!!

  • Raj

    “Besides you can’t spell at all and you English is pretty bad too!!”

    haha… imbecile.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    My, my, a spot of racism and sniping here, eh?

    Values are different in India and Mayank’s article deals with some of the differences in values there, but pay careful attention to what Raj has to say about “wanting your job”. It’s the most honest heads up you’re going to get.

    You’ve been warned. Don’t expect too many warnings.

  • mary brown

    Your article “killing daughters in India” is extremely biased and misleading. To make matters clear it is usually the Christian writers and journalists who constantly pillory and mock the great Hindu traditions as well as the traditions of other religions. What was once the only way a woman could save her honor from rape and debauchery perpetuated first by the Muslim invaders and then by the Christian British, Portuguese and French rulers, was made out to be a religious rite to be accomplished by her husband’s pyre.

    I find it very strange that the west, especially the pro Christian anti Hindu journalists and their Indian colleagues, who for ever delight in misrepresenting all that is Hindu or all that is concerned with Hinduism, without pausing a moment to observe the filth crowding each and every aspect of living in their own Christian countries.

    If there is one thing very well defined and distinct in the approach of these writers and journalists, it is the all out effort of these anti Hindus to hide the misdeeds of Christian Europe and Christianity by attacks on Hindu religion and the Hindu way of living.

    I give some data in the hope that it might be good for them to remember that the numbers of abortion in USA alone is a staggering – 1,293,000 abortions for the year 2004 (data by AGI – Alan Guttmacher Institute (Planned Parenthood)), of this 60% were white women and 34.7% were blacks. In the United Kingdom the figure is 208,000 (data up to 4th November 2005), in France 157,319 abortions were performed in the year 1997 (data by French abortions and live births by department, 1990-1997 updated – 14 March 2004 ) and 84,460 for the year 2003 in Australia (that is 25.2% of pregnancies are aborted). So much for the peace loving Christian fraternity. Compare this to the infanticides in India. Its peanuts.

    Now let us go back into the dark recesses of the medieval period of Christian Europe. In a very short span of 250 years the Christian Europe took nearly 900,000 lives and of this chilling number it is extremely distressing to know that almost all the victims were women – young and old.

    Even the new world i.e. America was an active participant in these killings (most notably in Salem, Massachusetts during the Salem Trials- See THE MALLEUS MALEFICARUM of Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger). No Christian denominations of later times can absolve themselves from this horrendous crime, perpetuated in the name of religion. Not even martin Luther king LUTHER (1483 – 1546) who declared “No marital duty takes place without sin.” “Wives are to be beaten even if they become tired, or even die in child-birth that is why they are there.” Luther coined the phrase “woman’s place is in the home.”

    Then we have St. JEROME (died 420) who was the first to translate the Greek bible into the latin Bible, the Vulgate, and is patron saint of the misogynists: “woman is the gate of the devil, the way of evil, the sting of the scorpion, in a word, a dangerous thing.” Hundreds of such quotes are embedded in the history of the Christian world – never to be erased of forgotten. This is the honor granted to women in the Christian world.

    In the present times not a single Christian denomination is free from pedophiles priests, reporters Brooks Egerton and Reese Dunklin relied on published reports, court records, interviews and church records obtained in civil litigation. Most protected priests were accused of sexually abusing minors – primarily adolescent boys, but also younger ones, and a sizable number of girls of various ages. The newspaper’s study also covered behavior that indicated a sexual attraction to minors, such as viewing child pornography or, in one case, trading sexually charged e-mails with someone a priest believed was a minor. (Source the Dallasnews.com, special article on the bishop’s sex abuse).

    The others are culprits are – All Protestant denominations – 838 Ministers, 147 Baptist Ministers,251 “Bible” Church Ministers (fundamentalist/evangelical) ,140 Anglican/Episcopalian Ministers, 38 Lutheran Ministers, 46 Methodist Ministers, 19 Presbyterian Ministers, 197 various Church Ministers (source reformation.com).

    Christianity is an organized religion run through the church, represented by the priests. The question is “does the bible teach such behavior?” .This is debatable. DOES the way Moses, on the advice of Eleazar the priest, had thirty two thousand women children raped, and their fathers and mother slain by the sword and their little brothers butchered – all in front of their eyes (Numbers 31/13 to 18); OR the description that the Lord gives of women’s anatomy and the ways he describes the acts of lust being performed on women and the ways and means of punishing women is blood curdling and sickening, (Ezekiel chapter 16; Ezekiel chapter 23) etc and the highly disputable controversies of the New Testament, have a bearing on the Christian behavioral patterns? And does it reflect on our social, economic and political outlook? Serious thought must be given to these aspects rather than finding faults with others.

    Rarely do we observe this phenomenon in the Hindu fraternity, and even when it does occur, the people deal with such priests in a way befitting the offense. There are no sheltering lobbies. So in the future it would be wise for all the anti Hindu writers to first clean the muck in their own religion rather than sling mud on the Hindus or for that matter any religion.

    It is no wonder that many Christians like me are turning to the Veda-s for peace and happiness and a non violent life style. I am certain many more are in the line. Long live Santana Dharma.

    Mary Brown.

  • http://thedelhiwalla.blogspot.com Mayank Austen Soofi

    Mary,
    I did not use the word ‘Hindu’ in my article. It is you who are talking about it.

    Your facts about other religions might be true but it still does not weaken the case that killing daughters inside the wombs, simply because they are females, is wrong. One can not shy away from the ugly truths by denouncing other cultures.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Mary is not that far off the mark in her comments on Christianity. Infanticide was very common in Christian Europe particularly in hard times or war. Is this to be blamed on Christian misinterpretation of the Torah and other Jewish works? Probably, but I’m not scholar enough to say. But I’m willing to bet that Mary has misinterpreted the text and that millions of other Christians like her have done so as well.

    Let’s take a look at Numbers/Bamidbar 31:13-18. The events in question take place after a war against the tribes of Midian, fought because the women of Midian had seduced Hebrew men and gotten them to worship idols, this done at the instance of Bilaam the evil sorcerer. The Hebrew army kills the men and leaves the women to live. Moses, surveying the scene loses his temper.

    Bamidbar 31:15-16 Moses said to them, “Did you let every female live? Behold – it was they who caused the Children of Israel, by the word of Bilaam, to commit an outrage against Hashem regarding the matter of Peor (the seduction referred to above – RiJ); and the plague occurred in the assembly of Hashem (G-d).

    So there is a solid reason to kill the nubile women who were not virgins, wasn’t there? By the way, the Hebrew text does not mention rape at all. Did that term creep into the Christian version Mary used?

    Now let’s look at the Book of Ezekiel. One of his themes was that idolatry is essentially the same as adultery. In Chapter 16 he outlines the concept.

    Hashem takes Jerusalem and clothes her, makes her glorious as one would a beloved bride and then, as one continues to read this bride pursues other “lovers,” idols, sacrificing her children to them. So Hashem makes sure to describe a fitting punishment for this harlot before giving her forgiveness.

    Ezekiel was reading off the punishments the Jewish people would suffer for their disloyalty – punishments we indeed have suffered.

    Now, let’s look at Ezekiel 23. This is an analogy – the example of two adulterous women are used for Judea and Samaria. There are no actual women involved. The adulterous “women” are the tribes of Israel, divided into the two larger groups of tribes, Judah, Shimon and Levi, and the remaining tribes. The punishment meted out is not against the “women” themselves, but against the entire Children of Israel.

    Thus Mary – and thousands of others before her reading the Hebrew Bible wrong – have misinterpreted its message. No surprise here.

  • Joan Bias

    Ruvy’s right. Ezekiel 23 doesn’t really describe the killing of two “whores.” Rather, it says you should treat idolators LIKE whores. Kill them, defile them, cut off their noses and ears, etc. It’s a metaphor.

    There’s also some crap about having a horse cock.

    Of course, in the very next chapter, God kills a real woman, E’s wife. Then he tells E not to mourn her.

    That book really is full of some horrible, hateful, evil, murderous sexist shit. The God character is a particular prick.

  • richard brett

    It is very obvious that when we speak or write about the people of any nation we explicitly imply and refer to the majority of its people, its prevailing socio-economic conditions and traditions, until and unless specified otherwise. This is the point which I think Mr. Mayank Austen Soofi failed to appreciate in commenting on female infanticides in India and more so in the backdrop of the picture of the book by Ms. Mala Sen on female infanticides in modern India. Infanticide cannot be justified nor can abortions, anywhere in this world, but when ever it is mentioned why does it have to be India, a predominantly Hindu country? Why is it that there is reluctance in commenting on Christian countries on these matters?
    I firmly and wholeheartedly agree with every word that Mary Brown has expressed. The data she has quoted speaks for itself. What Mary has written about Moses or of the chapters in the book of prophet Ezekiel in the bible (also repeated in many other parts of the bible) is very correct. Though it is true that God speaks of cities and tribes in the 16th and the 23rd chapters of the book named Ezekiel BUT the descriptions in them are of the women’s anatomy and the language used is very obnoxious, and coming from God himself makes matters worse. Why does it always have to be women? And why such filthy language to describe them? And why is it that women are always punished by God? Is it their fault that they are born as women – do they have a choice or do males have one? Women are the mothers to mankind, giving birth to folks with good and bad tendencies, should they be annihilated for the bad offsprings? Why shouldn’t they be honored for the good ones they bring forth in this world? Do women have a choice to the progeny or can they ever forecast the propensities and tendencies of their offsprings? The answer is – no, they cannot! Then why blame them and hold them responsible? What’s to be said of the Scripture and the God and the Religion which flings obscenities at women and promotes discrimination and violence against women? The whole of mankind ought to hang their heads in shame for this.
    Only the Veda quote, with out any contrdicting itself,that the mothers of great men ought to be revered more than the great person himself and therefore the mother’s name is prefixed to the person’s name.
    I conclude that killing infants or abortions are very barbaric and cannot be justified – then be it in the Christian countries or for that matter anywhere else.
    Richard Brett.
    About me – I was associated with missionary work, working in the North East and Central India. I am a practicing Hindu and for the past six years am studying the Veda and Upanishads along with several of my missionary friends (all practicing Hindus).

  • shvkumar

    It is time that Men realise that they are behaving like donkeys and being sold by their parents to the highest bidders and their parents kill daughters.

  • http://indiagrowthanddevelopment.blogspot.com/ Sanjay Garg

    In 2003, this issue was explored in much greater depth and significantly more nuance. A summary of the month-long, heated discussion was posted here by Prof. Beloo Mehra.

    Excerpt………..
    Barbara Miller coined the phrase “The Endangered Sex.” Amartya Sen used the phrase “Missing Women.” They were referring to those who are also known simply as “Unborn Girls.”

    These are examples of some of the sensationalist terminology social scientists and activists have been using to highlight the problem of “female infanticide or female feticide” in India. In this article, I will mostly use the more value-neutral term “sex-selective abortion” though at certain places references to other terms will be made to emphasize or highlight a point.

    This article presents an analysis of a month-long intense discussion that happened at our E-group surrounding this highly charged (emotionally, politically, and culturally) topic of sex-selective abortion. The purpose of this article is not to project any one particular understanding of the issue. Instead, the objective is to tie together several different opinions, facts, interpretations, and arguments in some sort of a thematic analysis that provides readers with a multi-faceted view of the issue(s). I believe such a layered presentation can then allow for more critical discussion and dialogue among the readers.

    It all started when I posted an article that appeared in the October 24, 2002 edition of The Hindustan Times. The article titled Death of an Unborn Girl was written by Arundhati Roy Chaudhury. Citing “the dramatic drop in the sex ratio of the girl child population in the 0-6 age group, from 962 girls per 1,000 boys in 1981 to 945 girls/1,000 boys in 1991, and 927 girls/1,000 boys in 2001” as one of the “disquieting trends” that surfaced in the 2001 census, she asks the question: “Are girls being deliberately eliminated? Is technology (ultrasonography, amniocentesis, chorion villi biopsy, foetoscopy, material serum analysis, etc.) assisting in this systematic elimination?” Her reply: “To a great extent, yes.”

    The article was enough to spark a passionate discussion on the topic, as is obvious from this reaction by a fellow member

    Sanjay

  • Pande

    Hi,

    I would like to see what are the latest census results and how much the government/NGO’s and the media have been successful in diverting people from sex-selective abortions.

    The author has missed out on a definitive conclusion as to how prevent this and how much of it has been implemented (cnotrol measures).

    Lastly, there has to be a Government law that would give a reward to anybody who alerts of such misdeeds occurring around them, to prevent it.

    Thanks,
    Keep Typing For The Good

  • dr mitu khurana

    It is well known fact that sex ratios are continuously declining and it is only a handful of women who have complaint against being forced for sex determination which in itself is punishable by law.

    despite the fact that government is making such huge claims regarding the fact that it is trying to curb the menace of female feticide; my experience is showing a dismal picture of the P.N.D.T department.

    I had complaint tht sex determination of my unborn twin daughters was done, which in itself is a violation of the P.N.D.T act. Also that my husband and in laws tried their best to kill me and my daughters. I managed to save them by running from my in laws house.

    I had also sent a copy to the prime minister. Thinking that perhaps, if GOVERMENT makes so big claims, you will surely help me bring the guilty to book. This was sent on 10th of April 2008. This was followed by a number of e mails to your e mail address shown on internet as your official address.

    In fact before coming to you, I had been to the residence of Dr Puneet Bedi, who is a member of core monitoring committee. He just took all my statements as that of a victim and refused to take me seriously. Also he warned me that in case I file the case, the concerned hospital being a big hospital, I will start receiving threats and bribe and finally I will settle with my husband and the case will be no where.

    It was followed by a letter to the appropriate authorities (C.D.M.O. North West Delhi); along with copies to P.N.D.T department, Nirman Bhawan on 9th may 2008.

    When no one even called me to enquire about the case, I filed an R.T.I as to what has been done on my complaint. Than a raid was conducted on the said hospital on 3rd June 2008. (I.e 2 months after my initial complaint on 10th April.) I got the answer that the central P.N.D.T department has conducted the raid, and then again there was silence. Finally I received a registered letter dated 16/7/8 from C.D.M.O North West Delhi (only in response to R.T.I) that the hospital had been raided (already conveyed in June 2008) and no form F was found for the USG done in that hospital. (This is a violation of the P.N.D.T act. )

    This also stated that a show cause notice has already been sent to the doctor. (That means the notice was sent before 16/7/8. I was also asked to appear before the authorities within 15 days. I went there on 29/7/8 (i.e. within 15 days of the receipt of the letter) at 10;30 a.m.

    I asked about the value of my statement in this case, wherein I was told that the law needs to be explored. I was also suggested that I should not do anything in the spirit of youth, which I `ll repent later. I was also told that I should try to reconcile with my husband, and the wish for a son was not something I could not fulfil, as I could always get pregnant again.

    I was also asked the benefit I’ll be getting if the ultrasound machine is sealed, as the ultrasound machine was a very useful tool in the diagnostics, and someone could have to suffer for the eventuality of the ultrasound machine being sealed. Lastly I was advised to inform the office, in case of resettlement with my husband, so that the doctors are not troubled.

    After that again no action was taken. I had to give the matter in media, a notice was sent to me on 6/8/8 asking me to appear before the enquiry committee on 12/8/8. (By now 5 months have already lapsed after my initial complaint). Here also I was told that it will take months for the enquiry committee to arrive at any conclusion. And also I was asked if I have any direct evidence against the hospital. Sir the very fact that the gynaecologist had asked for only kidney, ureter, bladder ultrasound, which was not done properly, but a detailed report of the foetal ultrasound is given. Also that it is the same office which has given in reply to R.T.I that form F was not filled. (Which is mandatory under P.N.D.T ACT)

    After my meeting and after waiting all this time only to be told that the case may not be filed at all. It seems that either the authorities are not serious in the claims that they are taking the matter of declining sex ratio seriously or certain people are trying to shield the doctor or the hospital. The only thing which is being done is to convince me somehow to withdraw the case.

    Sir, on one side you implore people to come out and report sex determination, and on other side if I am daring to come out and report I am being treated as a criminal. Sir it is not surprising that no woman dares to come out and report sex determination. And I am sure even if some woman does she will either silenced, or the file will be dumped on the pretext of conducting enquiry. Sir when it has been established that no form F was filled, and a show case notice was sent to the doctor more than one month ago, than what’s the point of appointing a enquiry committee now. And if that’s the trend, why was it not done earlier. Why is the complaint being taken as something to be noted when there is no other work? Why is it not being taken seriously?

    the government is not at all serious about saving the girl child. Rather dump the P.N.D.T act. Increasing the punishment will achieve nothing, because it is your government people who see to it that nobody is convicted.

    My case is already in the media and a public knowledge and the way your government deals with this case will make the difference weather any other woman comes forward or not.

    it is better not to waste so much of public money for the issue of saving the girl child, when nothing is being done and all that’s being done is to discourage women from filling complaints. If this is the way P.N.D.T work, despite the fact that they do not have many cases, I do not see any use of their being present at all. DAUGHTERS ARE DYING ANYWAY, AND NOBODY REALLY BOTHERS….

    Hoping things will change and someone will really practise what is preached. Hope some one will take action before me and my daughters are killed, which can happen anytime, as neither police nor P.N.D.T department has anything to do with our safety.

  • yo man

    india men want sex from women..but they cann’t raise women..

  • Martine

    Add that to the honor killing where women who are the victims of rape, who leave an abusive husband, or who fall in love with a non Indian are killed by their father and brothers. Beaten to death by the people who should protect them. Prized for their beauty? I do believe that Indian women are prized for their beauty by their fathers and husbands. But prised for their courage, intellect and independence? Not so much.