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Dear Amir Khan, First of all congratulation & thank you very much for coming up with such a wonderful show! I am bit more thrilled as this is one of the subjects on what I am working for last 5 years. I am an employee of Ambuja Cement Foundation. On the basis of the experiences & learning, I have accumulated so far, like to write my view points on today’s episode. There is no doubt that to stop practice like female foeticide, the regulation should be such that no one would dare to break it. I am an absolute believer that strict execution of law and administration can only give solution to the situation. I am one of them who believe that without strong legislation and implementation practices system like Sati would have been still prevailed. I have often interacted with such parents who proudly say that they are taking care of 4 girls but never involved in the evil practice of female foeticide. Is this solution to the situation? Will there be a balance in sex ratio. What kind of education & nutrition the girls would get, who are born just on the hope of being a male child. It is not only about the greedy business techniques of the modern science & doctor professionals but also about gender issue. I would have loved if some more attention paid on why it is happening and its solutions. On today’s programme I wanted to see few extra focuses. In our patriarch society every family want to carry forward their family name through a male child. After working very closely with community, I saw how sentimental people are to get an heir who carries their name further. Here I think you could have explained that as both male and female get same RNA & DNA structures from their parents, nature or God never says that male can only carry forward the family not the female, it is the social set-up that is giving all these norms. Appeal should be to believe on God as biologically female can also take forward the family name, not on social system of patriarch society. Secondly, shelter at old age. Who would take care of parents as girls go to a different family after their marriage? On this issue, you could have found such examples and presented to audience where a woman (working?) is taking care of her parents by maintaining a good balance in giving same respect to her husband’s family. Importance of girls’ education should have been another focus. You could have found so many such families where girls of the family are very good at studies and helping their parents financially, but the only boy who is so much desired and pampered, has turned up to a spoil brat. I remember one of my experiences, where a girl of 12th standard shared her story that how unwanted she was being the 3rd girl child of the family and later on turned out to be the most intelligent student of her school. Her younger brother, the only boy child failed to secure even the passing marks in all 5 of his subjects in that year’s exam. Can we appeal to government to keep a subject on Gender issue in school curriculum? So many NGOs have such beautiful training models on gender sensitization that can be used in schools. Thank you! Looking forward to see such beautiful episodes in future too. Regards Anasuya Dutta Ropar, Punjab Dear Amir Khan, First of all congratulation & thank you very much for coming up with such a wonderful show! I am bit more thrilled as this is one of the subjects on what I am working for last 5 years. I am an employee of Ambuja Cement Foundation. On the basis of the experiences & learning, I have accumulated so far, like to write my view points on today’s episode. There is no doubt that to stop practice like female foeticide, the regulation should be such that no one would dare to break it. I am an absolute believer that strict execution of law and administration can only give solution to the situation. I am one of them who believe that without strong legislation and implementation practices system like Sati would have been still prevailed. I have often interacted with such parents who proudly say that they are taking care of 4 girls but never involved in the evil practice of female foeticide. Is this solution to the situation? Will there be a balance in sex ratio. What kind of education & nutrition the girls would get, who are born just on the hope of being a male child. It is not only about the greedy business techniques of the modern science & doctor professionals but also about gender issue. I would have loved if some more attention paid on why it is happening and its solutions. On today’s programme I wanted to see few extra focuses. In our patriarch society every family want to carry forward their family name through a male child. After working very closely with community, I saw how sentimental people are to get an heir who carries their name further. Here I think you could have explained that as both male and female get same RNA & DNA structures from their parents, nature or God never says that male can only carry forward the family not the female, it is the social set-up that is giving all these norms. Appeal should be to believe on God as biologically female can also take forward the family name, not on social system of patriarch society. Secondly, shelter at old age. Who would take care of parents as girls go to a different family after their marriage? On this issue, you could have found such examples and presented to audience where a woman (working?) is taking care of her parents by maintaining a good balance in giving same respect to her husband’s family. Importance of girls’ education should have been another focus. You could have found so many such families where girls of the family are very good at studies and helping their parents financially, but the only boy who is so much desired and pampered, has turned up to a spoil brat. I remember one of my experiences, where a girl of 12th standard shared her story that how unwanted she was being the 3rd girl child of the family and later on turned out to be the most intelligent student of her school. Her younger brother, the only boy child failed to secure even the passing marks in all 5 of his subjects in that year’s exam. Can we appeal to government to keep a subject on Gender issue in school curriculum? So many NGOs have such beautiful training models on gender sensitization that can be used in schools. Thank you! Looking forward to see such beautiful episodes in future too. Regards Anasuya Dutta Ropar, Punjab
I completely support whatever you told. Only problem is, the rules that society puts on us like, only man has to take care of his parents in old age. In Rajasthan, parents of daughter are not suppose to stay/eat at her home after marriage so how she can take care of her parents after marriage. That leads to a desire of baby boy. If you can show some live examples where women are breaking these societies rules, that will definitely boost the sentiments.
u r correct.. first of all this is what is required. Parents never stop being parents to either a boy or a girl after they are married. So why is it expected that only the sons should take care of them in later stages??? When women are also earning, they can look after their parents and she has that right to go against her husband to convince him so that they can look after her parents. Every husband should understand this. A mother is a mother always.....whoever it is... if she is his mother or his wife's mother.!!!!!
Public attention is often sought by displaying the negative aspects of anything in the world. However,It would ne nicer to add some positive facets of such situations too. Possibly include snapshots of struggled women who have grown successful and leading as inspiring models of the world!
I have similar thoughts as yours. I also wrote such lengthy message on same topic. good to know we understand the problem within our society. self awareness is key.
agree wth u siri step of ourself is enough to create a small positive change which wil lead this social evil
I do agree
Fantastic..I wish Amir says , what you've said then the effect could be drastic..he can literally eliminate the root cause. Star power rules in India.. I hope it happens.Our tradition, our mythological stories, our festivals, our religion, our soaps and movies inculcate that woman is weak and she's dependent on man..in people since childhood. So its hard to overcome in people who grew up with this mentality, better to focus upon next generation.
The good things -Each program in the series will bring a new issue to limelight. Checked.You/team has done great research on the social issue. Checked.You assemble the facts figures footage... Checked.You connect the dots ( a problems root cause and its effects) Checked. Actually this was brilliant.(I was born n brought up in delhi, but i didnt know yet, why eveteasing is so prominent in capital region than it is here in Pune)You present in a strong direct way using TV channel, and there was a connect with audience. Checked.You have the audience hooked up (involved) by way of votes/videos... Great Job... but where do we go from here?
You'd agree, that you do have the power to motivate, you did this in RDB/3Idiots, and others... and while watching the first serial of Satyamev Jayate, most must have felt a chill up their spines, but the motivation fizzes out,
thats the problem.
I'd imagine, 100% of the audience, would have liked the show. 90% will forget in a couple of hours, as they'd go back to their normal routines... kitchen/groceries and what not. Some may have turned up and took time to write in to you/ or spent time to give their views. These are the potential folks you should try and get involved. When you'd have some Action Items on them, 90% of these potential folks will not respond... but a handful will respond back. These people understand the problem well, may be because they have had been a victim of the issue, or else, they're ppl, who are ready to do something for the society.
These are the ppl we should group with/network "via the website"
If after each episode, the team can frame some action items for that track on the website, and have people signup and do their bit for that track, we can ensure that there is at least some work happening in the area.Some starting point, some success, some more awareness... the point is: You set the wheel rolling... All that our framework(the website+TV+other) provides them is a way to sign up, a way to network with other ppl in same track, and a way to report back on the site(thru messages/photos/videos), so that can be highlighted by you... and once people get to know that work has begun, more will join...
Qs are:Q1: How to 'keep people' involved?Each of the program, define a new track. That should be seen on the website. You can have guys(audience) subscribe to one track. If they feel they can do more, they can subscribe to do more. They should be able to report back on what they did, and they should have a way to network with people from the same track. There has to be a sense of ownership. These ppl should be told that they own this track...
Q2: How to derive simple Action Items that will solve/help solve the issue. Like, folks can report back on the site, if they find a doctor involved in foeticide. A video upload would be better. Like, mothers can report (while staying anonymous) on the site if they were taken to a doctor, the doctors name n clinic's address. Like folks can report back on site(by msg/photos), if they're spreading awareness on the issue, by a small rally, by putting up chart papers on a redlight, like showing the episode on a laptop to a gathering, and explaining them the issue, whatever way they choose to express themselves. Q3: How to 'measure' the problem is actually getting solved.Similarly, you'll find, that you alone wont be able to deal with the volume/issues- u need a team on your side as well. A group of honest individuals. They would own the tracks, bubbleup only important/burning issues to you, and work on relaying the info coming in from the audience to the concerned authorities.
For example, if we are successful in building up a list of doctors, and there are multiple reports for the same clinic/doctor, the chances are, that these folks are actually involved in female foeticide. We simply have to pass on the list to the authorities, we can publish the list on our site, or keep it hidden, we can tell people in subsequent programmes, that X no of doctors are on the list, and the list is with the concerned authorities.
Your track owner can present the data if some doctors are being tried in the courts, and if any licences are revoked. So you as Aamir Khan can concentrate on your workitems, and continue to be the peoples' interface. You may want to additionally take a separate slot to report the progress on different tracks in once a month report. When ppl work on the tracks, they'd be delighted to know from you, whats happening, where we're lagging, what we have achieved... That will help them stay involved.
You can monitor the performance of each track, and then push/ compensate wherever required... like an awareness Advertisemnt for a specific track... like a motivational tagline - Life is calling - where are you?(actually something like this - this particular line is what i remember i saw somewhere) Anyway I think i have written too much for a message :) but I thought of letting you know whats on my mind, rather than holding back... the point is: We can take each of the issues forward, and make it actionable where people get involved, and make the progress measurable. It does not matter how big or small the progress is, as long as someone is benefitted somewhere in our nation/ abroad.
Like Reply 2 hours ago 8 Likes
Rita please be clear that this is not the place tp play a prank. If you are not the one who has written in the name Amit Amit in the morning then it means u've just copied someone else's ideas. Shame on you. If u've done so please refrain from doing so in future. This program and this site is dedicated for a cause. Certainly not for the half-baked people to play. If u got ur own ideas write here. No use and doesn't make any sense when u copy other's ideas. We are talking about something bad happeing in India and ways to eradicate it, u are now doing a new mistake here.
its really good thinking man. PPL like u shud do more and more
I am in
well written and its really need to be executed..
To add to this sometimes there are people like us for whom this episode is come like a shock where i have never imagined that yes in todays world when a Girl is not behind in any field - still there is so much hatred for her filled in her own families heart even before her birth. We all have desire to remove the filth of society but at times the awareness is less...still if i get a chance surely i will do the best i can!!!
greed has killed our morals. this is what ambition has become in today's india
I want to fly, In the sky, very high. I want to own a school, Where I can exploit the helpless parents; Make them fool. I want to own a luxury hospital, Where I can overcharge the patients, And offer loyalty benefits. I want to become a leader, And cheat the country, To win elections many times over. I want to own a TV channel, And be sincere to the TRPs, Rather than the cause or the news. I want to be the police force, And work with the powerful, To pull off million dollar scams, of course. I want to be a builder, And make luxury villas, Even if that renders the poor homeless. I want to be a bureaucrat, Forever tied up in red tape. I want to be filthy rich, And look down on the poor, Have no empathy for these losers. I want all the money I can stash, For money is all the respect, security and power, I can get. We are a growing economy, Economy is all that matters, No matter, if it brings ignominy. I want to fly, In the sky, very high.
Very GOOD I LIKE IT VERY MUCH
Good work Man!!!
Sensible and thoughtful ! Go on.
Absolutely! Greed is root cause and added to that dowry is one of the causes why ppl do not want to accept or own girls!
very well said ... today everyone have only one point of view before doing any work ... much I will be benefited out of it . no matter what harm it will cause to other or society ...
Amir, I think the root cause of all these murders is our dowry system. Because of the huge dowry that needs to be paid, a girl child is always looked upon as a liability and not an asset to the family. This practice is not just in villages but is ironically much more prevalent in the rich upper class Marwadi, Sindhi, Punjabi and Gujrati communities to name a few. People maintain an official list of what was given at the elder son's wedding so the younger son's to be can match or top the list. Thats how shamelessly people are practicing it in the urban areas!
The day we stop this entire erogenous system, a girl will become a holistic asset to the family who not only (in India) does a man's job by bringing home bread but also cooks it for the entire family while the man sits and stretches on the couch in front of the TV!!!!
?Very true..n i guess the realization upon the bachelor guys that they are capable enough to support their families without the assistance of money from a girls parents is required...but these systems are a mere confirmation of the price the boys parents take for their sons..And i this not to just blame the boys...i should say if we are sisters or daughters in our family and v see such practices v shud stop them first...obviously girls wudnt like to go with a guy who hs been purchased n does nt hv d self esteem n confidence of opposing such malpractices!?Our generation is known for its zeal in everything we do..i hope this zeal works out for a better society!
You are wright. but it will resolve only when we all change our thinking & it can be done thru awareness among the people that Boys & Girls are same human being.
I agree with Prerna....The femalefoeticides are a side result of dowry practice & lack of respect for women as individuals. I can on the other hand say, dont let any family even force a woman to get married. Let her marry when & who she wants. Once this takes effect, women will be self dependent till then, will be respected by their own parents for having been there for them & then, tell every guy's family, who wants a dowry to go take a hike!If every woman can do this in any community, the dowry system might get abolished, as that is when there will be men who will get desperate for marriage & women will not be ready to go to these men's houses as housewives!
Once this gets abolished, it might help stop female foeticide, immediately!
Hum aksar sun sakte hain logon ko dosh dete huae ki western culture films and telivision humare desh ki sanskriti ko prabhvit kar rahi hainuse mita rahi hain but main ye poocta houn ki doosron ko dosh dene se pahle hume apne giraban main apne samaj mein phailie un gandgion ko dekna chahiyen jo kahin or se na aakar hamare hi samaj main janmi hain or phail rahin hain humare desh ki virasat humari sanskriti ko dhumil hone se bachane ki zimmedari har bhartiya ki hai or woh tabhi ho sakta hai jab hum apni samajik borraiyon ki ankon se ankhain mila kar une mahsoos karen or mitane ki koshish karein na ki un se mooh mod kar parda dalne ki koshih karein kiyonki bimari se muh mod kar uska ilaj sambhv naihin bimari to phailti gaygi hume use jaanna parega maanna padega or tabhi uska ilaj hona mumlin hai
Main danyawad karna chahunga Amir Khanji or unki puri team or Star Plus ka jinhone hame aina dikane ki koshish ki hai hame ruk kar sochna hoga ki hum apne aane wali genration ko kya virasat dena chahte hain..........
Aur mera Sawal hai un logon se jo broon haytya kar rahain hain or karwa rahin hain ki wo kya jawab denge apne un baton ko jinhain woh unki bahnon ki hatya kar is duniya main laye hain.............Zara sohiyega...............
I m 110% agree that this things are not more in villagers. These are much more common with educated people. Mostly Mother-in-law forces to do this dont understand why, if her (Mother-in-law) parents would have done the same then she wont be able to see this wonderful world. They need to understand this. And in todays senario daughter loves parents more more than son. I am a father of daughter aswell and I love her more than the anything in my life. My first love is my wife and second is my daughter. Infact Me and my wife went to Vaishno Devi do just have a daughter as our first child. And we got Thanks god. and Salute to you for awaking our country and taking incharge of satyamev jayate.
ISLAM PROHIBITS INFANTICIDE OR KILLING OF FEMALE INFANTS:This is considered a serious crime of murder.“When the female (infant), buried alive, is questioned, for what crime she was killed.”(Noble Qur'an 81:8-9)Means on the days of judgement this female will ask to that for what crime she was killed? Their parents will be punished for this crime because Allah is not unjust.In pre-Islamic Arabia(at the time of jahilliya or ignorance) killing of female infants was very common as today it is very common in our country and very often the moment a female was born she was buried alive.Today modern technologies(medical science) are being used to do the same. Islam not only prohibits female infanticide, but it forbids all types of infanticide, irrespective of whether the infant is a male or female.“Kill not your children on a plea of want. We provide sustenance for you and for them. Come not near shameful deeds, whether open or secret. Take not life which Allah has made sacred.”(Noble Qur'an 6:151)A similar guidance is repeated in Qur'an, in Surah Al-Isra Chapter 17, Verse 31 (17:31).“Kill not your children for fear of want: We shall provide sustenance for them as well as for you. Verily the killing of them is a great sin.”In pre-Islamic Arabia killing of female infants was very common and very often, the moment a female was born, she was buried alive. However, after the spread of Islam in Arabia, Al hamdulillah, this evil practice has been discontinued for the last 1,400 years BUT UNFORTUNATELY IT IS YET PREVALENT IN OUR COUNTRY.In a BBC documentary film titled “Let her die” shown in the programme “Assignments”, the statistics of female infanticide was given by Emetic Buchanan. It has to be a Britisher who came all the way from Britain to give us the statistics and make a documentary film in a country which has the maximum rate of female infanticide in the world. According to the statistics compiled by them, everyday more than 3,000 foetuses are being aborted in India on being identified that they are female. If you multiply this figure with the number of days in a year (365 days) we understand that more than one million female foetuses are aborted every year in India. It is practised maximum in the state of Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan. There are big bill boards and advertisements saying “Invest Rs.500/- and save Rs.500,000, signifying that you do tests like Amino centesis or ultra sonography which cost about Rs.500/- and on identifying the gender of the foetus if it is a girl you can always abort her and thus save Rs.5,00,000/- which is usually spent in the upbringing of a girl and giving dowry in her marriage. According to a report of the Tamil Nadu Government Hospital, out of every 10 female children born, 4 are put to death. Female infanticide has been present in our country for centuries. No wonder the female population of India is less than the male population. According to the 1901 census of India, there were 972 females for every 1000 males. According to the 1981 census, there were 934 females for every 1000 males in India and the latest statistics of 1991 tell us that for every 1000 males there are 972 females in India. One can realise from these census reports that the ratio of female population is declining every year. Earlier only female infanticide was being resorted to, but now with the advancement of Science and Medicines to suit this act, there has been added another crime of aborting female fetuses. It is no wonder, therefore, that the urban areas of Bihar and Goa showed 1054 and 1091 females respectively for every 1000 males and according to 1991.tically fallen to 911. Islam not only prohibits female infanticide but also rebukes the thought of rejoicing on the news of birth of a male child and not rejoicing on the news of the birth of a female child.“When news is brought to one of them of (the birth of) a female (child), his face darkness, and he is filled with inward grief!With shame does he hide himself from his people, because of the bad news he has had! Shall he retain it on (sufferance) the choice they decide on?”(Holy Quran 16:58-59)*In Islam the girl child is entitled to support, and upbringing and good treatment-According to an authentic hadith related in Ahmed, Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) said, “Anyone who brings up two daughters properly they will be very close to me on the day of Judgment.” According to another hadith whoever brings up two daughters properly and treats them kindly and justly shall enter paradise. *There should be no partiality in bringing up of sons and daughters-Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) always spoke about justice and kindness towards a child whether it be a daughter or a son. Once a person in the presence of Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) kissed his son and put him on his lap and did not do the same for his daughter who was with him. The Prophet (Pbuh) objected and told the man that he was being unjust and that he should have also kissed his daughter and placed her on the other lap. The Prophet (Pbuh) not only preached about equal justice to sons and daughters but also practised it himself.
Thats awesome i Like it
Thnx @ Aakash Raj ...!!
Very well written! I totally agree with you! Through your comment I also learned new things like the information about the reports and statistics that you provided. They are really horrifying yet eye-openers. I thank you for that. Lets hope that the noble effort of the SMJ team won't go to waste and will contribute in reducing if not totally abolishing the disgusting practice of female infanticide and foeticide.
Amir, please make it easier for NRIs to donate. Online donation is available only for people residing in India and having a Pan Card, why is that so?? What else can I contribute? Please address these concerns on your next show.
i faced the same problem. hopefully he will address this concern in his next episode.
Yes. Please create an opportunity for the people willing to help for a home far away from home.
I was shocked view the comments of the Minister of health of Rajastan Govt. saying in public meeting that Aamir Khan is getting 3 crore for a episode and hence what he is doing is nothing of social importance but for personal gain.What kind of politician we have in this country they do not have a basic understanding of social cause and concer, aamir is no mircle man, he is artist, he has used his medium of work for the social enlightenment, his remunerations is immaterial, Hon'ble Minister have convininently forgotten the facts that many thousands, even many lacs of corores of rupees have been sollowed by the politicians of this country which was public money , what is an contributions of this politicians in the economic, social and cultural development of this country. I suggest the Congress High Command and the ChiefMinister of the Rajastan should sack this Minister. I appreaciate the stpes taken by the Chief Minister to establish the fast track Court in the matter of all legal prosecutions. I hope this should not be political gimmicks as blank announcements for which our politicians are experts. Ali Mir
The truth hurts.. That is why the Health Minister reacted that way.. Just proves he is guilty.. It proves more that whatever Aamir said is right...
he should be shot !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hatts off To your sir !! Amir Khan !! I really wish to be part of this revolution or any further well researched topic you brings light on !! Let me know if I can help your team with any thing.
Awesome show sir.I really appreciate. I am doing all this through my blogs and facebook from many years.(http://ajaymenghani.co.nr/)But your efforts are great.
Thank you Aamir Khan, we all Indians love our country and want to make it better. Thank you for using this show as an opportunity to heal our country from the problems. This is the real patriotism that all of us need to imbibe. All these problems can be easily lost in all the fanfare of expanding economy. All the best for the succeeding episodes. I will in my own way weed these problems out from my locality. That's where it begins.
" A great human revolution in just a single individual [can] help achieve a change in the destiny of a nation and, further, will enable a change in the destiny of all humankind " - Daisaku Ikeda
Lets all contribute to a better India
- Rohit Andhare
Female Foeticide is NOT a problem!Satyamev Jayate’s First episode was indeed a sincere attempt to gauge the severity and magnitude of the PROBLEM of female foeticide. But at the cost of sounding like a pessimist, I would like to ask Aamir if he actually thinks or merely hopes that an appeal that you make to people to decide not to commit this sin will make even one person undergo a change of heart. If he just hopes so, I join him with all my honesty, integrity and prayers. But if he actually thinks so, with due respect, I beg to differ. Here is why. The jaadu ki chadi that Aamir gave to people is bound to lose its magic after some years, months, days or even minutes when a person receives the news of her/him to become a parent in some time or even before planning to have a child. At that time she/he is highly unlikely to be guided by concerns for the country's dropping sex ratio, or, what she/he may have sweared for on a Sunday afternoon. What may be a problem for India is not a problem for an Indian. For instance, if overpopulation is a problem for the country, an easy solution for the country would be to slow birth rate, and at a macro level an easy solution is that more people should opt to adopt the already existing orphan children rather than produce children. However, you cannot expect individuals to make choices in life in this way. In an individual's choice to have few children or a single child, I can bet, concern for country's population does never feature anywhere. Fortunately or unfortunately we do not show our concern for the society by replicating macro level plausibilities in micro level practice. So most people have not become scared enough by hearing today about the boys who cannot or in future will not find brides. Most of them would like to believe they do not need to have a daughter so that someone' son can find a bride in their daughter. And those who have a son are usually too preoccupied with the thought of that accomplishment and like to suppose their son would have the kind of problem you explained Salman to have- plenty of girls to choose from! Whenever it comes to solutions to the problem of female foeticide, we talk about increasing level of education and financial support policies for the economically weaker. I am so glad you did something to break the myth that the uneducated and poor alone share the burden for correction. You instead opted to make a genuine emotional appeal to people. "A son is a son till he gets a wife, but a daughter is a daughter for life". "A daughter is nature's gift to a man, an opportunity to return the love that he got from his mother, who was also someone's daughter." Unfortunately we are as used to emotional appeals on this topic as we are about learning the population, pollution, poverty problems of our country. Imagine for once that we remove all the ultrasound machines from our country so there cannot be sex detection of the foetus. Is that a solution to the PROBLEM of female foeticide? What makes us think that those who are determined to kill a child in the womb relying on a doctor's prediction will not kill her on birth when they have no doubt about her sex. Then female foeticide will transform into a killing of new born girls problem. Imagine we start to award death penalties to every person whose girl child is not able to survive long enough after birth and we succeed in achieving survival of all these girls. What makes us think that those unwanted girls will be brought up properly by patents who but for some fear would have even killed them. It will then become the problem of ill treatment and discrimination against girl child. It is easy to see that female foeticide then is not a problem. Something that transforms itself like this at every step cannnot be a problem. I am an optimist and so are problems. Problems have solutions; what must persist always in some form is not a problem. It is only an effect/consequence of a problem. Till the time the problem that is the cause behind female foeticide remains, the best efforts to prevent it will do only so much - transform it into (rather inflate) another something to which another Sunday afternoon may be worth devoting. What then is the problem - the combined cause of female feoticide, killing of girs at birth, discrimination between male and female children by their own life givers (fathers and mothers equally)? It may sound like I am only playing with words but the PROBLEM is preference for a son. I am cautious of my earlier sentence in this message that female foeticide is not a problem for Indians but for India, which may make some think that preference for a male child is a problem again for the country not for the people and that for them it is merely a preference. May I explain then that this is very much a problem for an individual also. No one cares two hoots about what if country's sex ratio drops, but there are enough men and women among us who think what if I do not have a son. Why do we stop at emotional appeals to people to change their attitudes towards daughters, present and possible? Why do we not try to peep into what creates those attitudes. Are these people alone to be blamed? After all any real attempt at reaching a solution to a problem requires one to also see it from the other's perspective. After all Aamir's emotional solution must be one for an emotional problem. Aamir also shows the economics that accompanies female foeticide. Let us then acknowledge the emotion and economics behind an individual's preference for a son. Why do people have children? Definitely not for the continuity of human race after they are gone. I am taking about why an individual has children? Right now I am young, I will bear and raise a child who will support me when I get old. So pleasant is the picture of a kuldeepak handing over to his mother his first salary. So heartless and ungrateful, almost criminal, must be a bhurape ki laathi that does not live with his old and helpless parents after he got married. But what happens jab ghar main lakshmi aati hai. You should raise and nurture kisi ki amaanat who will leave you and go apne ghar to join her husband in sewa of his parents. A lot of your lakshmi is likely to go with your parayadhan and in your honour of celebrating this leaving ceremony. And of course, the beti who has dropped even your surname uske ghar ka paani peena bhi to paap hai. The roles our society has assigned to a son and daughter decides right from birth or even before what emotions and expectations are to be attached to them, particularly after their marriage. Then can we really blame an individual who has one daughter and one son and the money to afford higher education only for one of them, to think it better to invest it on the male rather than the brighter child? Would it not be bad economics to invest in one who will bear returns to someone else. How many married and even earning women are actually able to support their parents the way their husbands are able to? If a son leaves his parents after marriage he is bad, but if a girl says that she will not leave her parents after marriage, she must be mad! Parents of sons should rejoice at the earnings of their sons as the reward for all the education and capability they built in him. Parents of daughters should feel ashamed if they fall for financial or physical support on their married daughter. Do parents of sons and those of daughters need different levels of support from children or do they age differently? Why should parents of only daughters not expect from daughters what their counterparts have a right to expect from a son? Is it the answer that it is because they did not abort those daughters? Raising a girl is a little more challenging than raising a son at least in the sense of the protection she needs. In a place like Delhi where I live, eve teasing and rapes (unreported ones) are so common and part of real life that girls sometimes themselves feel handicapped while someone needs to be arranged all the time for accompanying us. And there are enough confusions when one raises a daughter even if one loves her/his daughter enough. If you send her in for higher education, there will be enough people to remind you that if she is bohot jyada padi likhi then it will be difficult to find a groom for her. It is better to invest on her trousseau than on her convent education. If you feed her too well, send her out to play in the sun, or not make her learn khana pakana, she will not fit the bill of a slim, fair, homely, convent educated girl. Apologies for digressing from the topic of birth, and taking you to the future life of a parent and daughter, but I digressed because people when making preferences in terms of sex of a child do think of the future, not hamare desh ka kal, but their own future. While parents of sons may expect company, financial support and bhurape ki laathi from sons; parents of daughters must be content with emotional support that they will derive by knowing that their daughters are haapy apne ghar main. Why? What did parents of daughters do to be so disadvantaged? So parents of daughters should be giving, large-hearted and emotional and entirely self-dependent till death kind of people who do all for their daughters as they would for a son, and more by finding and affording a suitable groom for her, expecting nothing in return, except may be emotional attachment. And parents of sons may expect returns- physical, financial and emotional, for their investment and also interest on investment once the son brings home a helping hand on marriage to make up for all his shortcomings in wealth and sewa. Unfortunately nature does not choose to bless only large-hearted selfless, non-expecting, emotional people with daughters. If emotional appeals to make micro level attitudinal changes to solve macro level problems, are popular, why is there not enough discussion the other way round. Is it because it’s inconvenient? Can a daughter, whose parents may have done all that for her that they would do for a son, do for her parents all that a son could have? Why not? Does'nt the great institution of marriage in (patriarchal parts of) India have a role in a yes or no to this answer? Aamir talked about the magic wand for a happy ending to the show, but some may find it to be a superfluous or inconvenient magic wand. I wish to leave this message too with a happy ending, so what if many would find it superfluous and outraging inconvenient. Yes, I know some girls who are doing for their parents all that their husbands are doing for theirs. Those few girls live in places like Delhi and Bombay. Their parents gave all the love, care and education to them. These girls made this fact clear to their husbands. They also made it clear that that they will do as much for their parents as the husband will for his parents and they would do only as much for their parents-in law as much as their husbands will for theirs. These girls did not drop their Surname that they took from their parents. These girls send a part of their salary to their parents just as the husband does. These girls insisted that they leave their parents' homes to reside with the husband, so has to the husband to reside with her and they both will visit her parents as often as they visit his, and in old age her patents will live with them as much as his will. There was a time when a woman who refused to accompany her husband to the heavens if he died before her, was forced to get burnt alive on his funeral pyre. Today we think sati pratha to be a black spot on our glorious past for being so grossly discriminatory. Probably at the time when it was banned, apart from religious, moral or even ethical dilemmas it would have presented for those people, questions must have been levelled concerning who would take care of those widows if they did not become sati and bid farewell to the world with their husbands. Today we may think a woman who opts not to marry at all than to leave her parents or one who insists that her husband will have to make that same compromise is not only rare but also threatens some of the aspects fundamental to the institution of marriage. And we may think the whole idea to be outrageous or impracticable or easier still, we may accuse her for being the kinds who steal a precious son from old patents merely because of her selfishness to not be the only one living away from her parents, or we may snub her for proposing what is going to aggravate the country's accommodation and housing problems for having to find a third house, or challenging the Indian Television industry that thrives on bride's vidai on marriage. But the trend seems to have started. Shying away from an inconvenient discussion on some inconvenient solutions never really helped solve real PROBLEMS. Hope Aamir will use the opportunity he has to draw attention to the problem of gender role perception of our modern society.
Yamini, you restated my mind and earlier post. I work at US and I sincerely want to work on this problem as I feel it personally. I am trying to find some likeminded people to join me in this effort. I would like to contact you. Please visit my webpage www.cse.ohio-state.edu\~ghosham and drop me line by email.
JUST A GIRL...no you don't sound u r dipping in sarcasm...we r bound to be drowned in these infinite thoughts when we think of it...but truly, since you talk about scriptures, and i may seem to digress from the topic, tell me if there is some scripture, religious or other text that prescribes that women should not visit temples, sacred places or even kitchens in their own homes on certain days of their reproductive cycle? I know like a thousand girls, all modern and educated, to follow this quite religiously...they can go to college, office or roam all around the city but avoid temples..even take pills to postpone period due to family pujas...and all of them say they do so because its in our religion...i would love to know where this is written...u ask them, they say their mothers/sisters/friends and even school teachers told them!
I guess much of this scripture and religion bit, however paitriarchal it may be, is floated around by women too. If girls who feel discriminated at one point of time, secretly desire to be mothers of sons at another time, they will perpetuate this religious nonsence...
Hi Amrita, m not able to connect t ur webpage..could you contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org ..i look forward to know what u hav planned..
Yamini... Kudos to that passionate and though provoking write up. And I have always been of the same opinion. It is the attitude that "a son can fulfill all your dreams" that has to change. Hell, even our so called scriptures state that one is not to achieve penance and heaven until one produces a male heir. At the cost of sounding like I'm dripping with sarcasm I will say what a subtle way to promote the very idea that we are trying so hard to eradicate today. But I guess only those who have daughters and let them grow up without restrictions will understand the beauty and the peace of having a daughter int he first place. To all those who desperately want a son I will just say, "Oh I pity you... coz you have no idea what you are missing... and you will probably never know what peace/penance/heaven is"
Abolish Kanyadaan..the first instance where a girl is treated like an object by her parents and entire society and the girl herself don't retaliate because of the conditioning since childhood through Mythological stories, soaps & movies, festivals, culture etc. Abolishing Kanyadaan will be the first step in setting the women free. Once she's free to take care of her parents, infanticide will reduce, there will be no question of dowry and believe it or not the number of people who are thrown into old age homes will reduce by several folds.
My 12th standards Sociology textbook read that there were some 8 forms of marriages in hindu tradition. Kanyadaan vivah is another word for Bramh vivah. Its interesting that we chose the "knyadaan" as the popular term!