Sex Selective Abortions

A girl being born in the family was never considered an auspicious moment in the olden times. The situation has not undergone a drastic change even in the modern era. A minuscule percentage of people gleefully accept a girl child with open arms but even today majority of the families in rural India and a large chunk even in urban India kill the girl child as soon as she is born.

Sex selective abortions (Giving preference to male child over female) are a major issue which privileged people like us fail to understand but the numbers speak for themselves. 90 % of the foetuses aborted in the past few years have been reported to be girls. What could the reason be for such a crime to be committed year after year for centuries? It is not just economic factors or cultural beliefs alone but a combination of these that lead to killing of female child and give preference to males. Lack of education, the age old dowry system, the notion that a boy will help to earn a living and support parents when wrinkles will cross their foreheads are other reasons why girls have always been considered as a burden on the family. The boy girl ratio has always been in favour of the former and the prime reason for that is female infanticide.

Life is a struggle for a girl child as soon as she is born. In olden days when technology was not at its developing peak as soon as it was found that the child born is a girl and not a boy she was either killed or abandoned by her parents in a garbage bin or outside a place of worship. Now with technologies like ultrasound the gender of the foetus is determined even before the child is born and if it’s a girl the foetus is aborted at that stage itself. What a pity it is that on one hand people worship female forms as deities and on the other hand the same set of people kill a child if born as a girl.

T V shows like Balika Vadhu, Na aana iss Desh meri lado and similar such shows portray this plight of women where if the daughter in law gives birth to a girl, the mother in law and even the husband abandon the child and the mother as if she has committed a crime for which she gets not capital punishment or life imprisonment but to live in a society who blame her life long for an act as wonderful as giving birth to a innocent child. These shows do bring out the past of Indian culture and educate todays youth but the major audience being house wives and women of old age who are not educated it somewhere fails to craete a positive impact.

Yes India as a nation has progressed, conditions of women have also improved , the boy girl ratio has improved but round the country in small nooks and corner which if taken together form a larger part of the nation giving birth to a girl child is considered a sin.

IndusLadies International Women’s Day Blog Contest

A Girl Gext Door

It was a fairly bright Sunday morning. Light breeze coming in from the balcony caused the strands of hair from her face to move away gently. Being a holiday Anjali woke up a little late then normal at about 10.00 am. Lazily she went about her daily routine of newspaper and breakfast. She spent the next few hours catching up with her parents and making plans for the evening with her friends.

She had a nice family lunch of Rotla N Dal (Sunday food) which was a weekly affair. Over lunch the family spoke about Anjali’s college, her dad’s business, family matters etc etc…. Discussing the latest bollywood flick was another thing that the family always did. She then helped her mom with cleaning and tidying up the table and kitchen.

By the time afternoon set in Anjali had nothing much to do. Her parents had gone off to sleep and she all by herself. She avoided sleeping in the noon. To kill time she surfed the TV for a bit but the idiot box had nothing much to offer and so she started reading a book. She loved sitting by her balcony window and reading. The breeze picked up a little and Anjali covered herself with her favourite shawl. Every now and then her long wavy hair would fly across her face and she neatly tucked them behind her ears. She loved the feel of the breeze blowing through her hair and face. It made her feel fresh. After reading for a while she gossiped on phone with her friends and had a good laugh over it.

The balcony of her house was sea facing and she kept on looking and admiring the water for some time. At the same time She took a green colour nail paint (which she has just purchased 2 days back) and started applying it. She being right handed could apply it well on her left hand but not so properly on the other one.

It was 4.00 pm by then and she had a quick brunch. She got dressed in her favourite denims and a green top to match her nail paint. Before meeting her friends Anjali went to the church close to her house. This was something she did every Sunday since past 5 years. The visit made her calm and gave her peace of mind. At around 6 pm she met her gang at their hang out place (Cafe Coffee Day). She chilled with them, sang songs, played silly games, gossiped about college, hogged on yummy food, went for a drive to Worlii sea face. In short she had a fun evening with her friends and was back home by 10 pm.

Last few hours in the day Anjali spent deciding her next days plan. She again read her book for a while, surfed the internet and chatted for a bit. It was midnight and her eyes were tired now ready for a good sleep. She gave a good night kiss to her mom and cozied up in her bed. Before closing her eyes she made a silent prayer to god and thanked him for giving her a wonderful life.

Indians Down n Under in Ozstralia

Over the past year and a half there has been an alarming increase in the rate at which Indian students have been targeted down under. Every second day the dailies flash headlines of such attacks. This is a perturbing fact and has raised several questions. What has led to sudden rise in negative intensity towards Indians? Are these racist attacks? Does it have something to do with the growing superiority of Indians in the job market? Is it merely looting for fun and money? Well whatever the reason or cause be it has created waves in the Indian and Australian media and is affecting the ties between both the nations.

The controversy has gone through several twists and turns from both the ends. The Australian government assured Indian students and government that they will employ stringent methods to stop the attacks. Australian High commissioner called these as criminal acts but did not completely deny that it involves racist intentions too. Nothing noticeable has yet been done to curb the attacks. In fact the latest development in the case has been the Victorian Police Chief Simon Overland’s advice to Indian students living in Australia to “try and look as poor as you can.”

Rightly so the Federation of Indian Students of Australia (FISA) has condemned the advice. Giving such advice will only lead to the Australian government’s $3.5-million campaign to attract Indian students-in an effort to combat recession to go down the drain. It will in no way help to solve the real problem. Currently close to 1, 50,000 Indian students are studying in Australian universities. Many of them are returning to India as they fear being attacked. Parents who can afford are transferring their child’s admission to universities elsewhere in spite of making losses as heavy as 20 lakhs. Quite a few of them are also cancelling the admissions even though the students are mid way through the course.

Finding the measures taken by the Australian government inadequate Indian students in Australia have taken it upon themselves to shield each other and stand up to these violent acts by forming protective groups. Even the reactions in India have been quite strong from all fronts. The Indian media has lamented the growing number of attacks and questioned the security lapses. The casual attitude of the Australian government has not been appreciated. The effigy of Australian PM Kevin Rudd has been burnt and protest march organized outside the Australian Embassy in New-Delhi. Even though Australia is a very attractive option for students to study abroad and get a residency many students are thinking twice before taking admissions. Shiv-Sena has gone to the extent of demanding a ban on Australian Cricketers playing in the IPL- Season 3.

The current scenario presents a dull picture but things can still be brought under control. The Australian government and students should organize rallies with messages of peace and support for Indian students to ensure that they stay back and also fear setting in amongst people in India dose not reach peak heights. Indians too have to realize that burning of effigies and a ban on Australian cricketers is only going to worsen the situation and is not by any means a solution. Cricket can in fact be a successful way to spread the message of harmony and prevent animosity from rising. But if things continue in the same fashion as they are it does not augur well for the future ties between nations.