Thursday, February 09, 2006

Where have all the Good Women Gone ???

[Continuing discussion thread here on Amardeep's Blog]

Its really shocking and apalling that female foeticide is co-inciding with wealth, irrespective of religion, caste, lifestyle or region.In India, abortions following the sex-determination tests have become a way of minting money for both India's high-qualified as well as quack doctors. Take the wealthy areas like Western-Maharashtra sugar belt, Haryana-Punjab, NCR, Greater Bombay, Gujarat, western UP and South Indian capitals; data from all these regions show that the sex ratio has declined to alarming levels. Now-a -days the dowry system has been superceded by lavish marriage-parties. My friend says in her community (Agarwals), the cost of a girl's marriage easily costs 50 lakh bucks (thats more than a hundred thousand US $). Indeed such mind-numbing figures are one of the main reasons for parents to opt out of giving birth to girl child and murder the baby in the womb. The doctors who gleefully abet this crime are all linked amongst each other. The Ultrasounds often is connected to the abortion centre and the gynaecologists. The lure of easy money has led to several cases where eventhough the child whose sex was determined was male, the USG doctor declared it (him) to be a girl (business for the abortion doc)!!!

To make matters worse its often seen in adoption centres that only boys are adopted. Orphaned girls are left in the lurch and you all know what happens to them when they grow up (unless they are very fortunate to get education). Also the percentage of girls dropping out of schools is alarmingly high than that of boys. Add the fact that still in 2006 girls are married off at ages of 15 to 16 (now it is 100% legal), we see that we are moving back to the dark ages of society.

In work too, it is so abvious that women are forced to the back-seat even when they deserve to be ahead. Be it panchayats, our parliament and legislatures, our companies, commercial and media establishments, we see that only a handful of women are in charge. India's inability to even out things related to sexual discrimination against women has been very poor. My sister who is studying post-grad radiology in the local Government College often has seen cases where parents never let girls get any check-ups done, but if its a boy they are ready to spend every last penny on him. I have also heard more first hand reports on various such things - like girls being forced out of school and also forced into work by their families.

In affluent classes and the middle class, the situation only worsens in previous mentioned communities during wedding time. When will people ever awaken? Coming from the city of Pune that pioneered women's education in India through great examples like Savitribai and Mahatma Phule and Anandi Gopal Joshi (India's first/second lady-doc), I am really ashamed by the depths that our society has reached in being so prejudiced against the female child. No matter what the government, NGO's or police does in this regard; female foeticide and injustice against the female child cannot be eliminated without socaial uprising.

Rang De Basanti, which wanted to awaken a generation, perhaps forgot concerns like this one and went ahead with a hopeless message to kill corrupt politicians. I hope some director comes up with a better theme especially like the issue I have discussed here!!!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Cartoons v/s The Islamic World: Blasphemous Or What

The hulla-bulloo over the Danish Paper Jyllands Posten's cartoons (links here and here) that caricature Prophet Mohammed took an even more violent turn with a shootout in Afghanistan.

While the west defends the freedom of speech and expression (as we all should), the Islamic world has erupted with anguish, provoked by French, Italian, German and other European (and later websites) widely publishing the same cartoons.

Being strongly anti- fundamentalist and pro - freedom of expression, I stand in support of the Danes who are using web forums (fora?) and other means to justify their right of freedom.

Too bad no one can police or censor the Internet completely ...

Nyaa na nana naa naa

PS: Will we be provoked by this brilliant Big Bazaar Women's Day Ad ??

is the question

I still hope IIPM sues me !! :)