June 26, 2011

Not Your Wife’s Daughter

“A newly-born baby girl was found abandoned behind the Ram temple near a garbage depot in Dehu Road on Saturday around 7 am.....”

This is the news I read today in TOI newspaper. And I was really-really disturbed after reading that gruesome news, thinking about that tiny little heart, and wondering what could she possibly do in less than 24 hours that her parents decided to just leave her to rot in garbage. I am filled with pain for that little girl who isn’t even aware of where in the world she is. And there is furious rage for those uncaring and soulless bastards who had the heart to just dump their little daughter, literally like a piece of trash, letting her die a slow and painful death.

Sadly this is not the first time I am hearing this kind of story. I have heard and read about several such instances, where girls are choked to death, buried alive, burned, given sedatives, thrown in burning oil and what not.

I was left wondering how can someone do such a thing their own child. I could only think of these 3 reasons (would like to know if you have any other theory):

1. She was an ‘illicit’ child (like the above report suspects) who would never get accepted by our so called “Indian” society with its “moral culture”; so she was conveniently thrown away. But an abortion would have been even more convenient; unless the parents just wanted to enjoy the pregnancy phase and then kill their child in the name of “honor”.

2. Her parents were so poor that they couldn’t afford to feed her 3 times a day. Well then if you can’t afford to raise a child, go get those free condoms that govt. distributes. Can’t you afford those also?

3. The child was a GIRL. I presume most likely that was her ‘fault’. That she was not yet another male in this male dominated society.

I don’t give a shit, what those so called women oriented TV serials and films try to portray. To me they seem more drama and less reality. They seem to be actually glorifying these kinds of events and such people should be sent behind bars.

But when I hear and read about such sinful acts in real life, I really worry if we are really progressing as a nation? We say that we are way better than Pakistan, Afghanistan and other such countries where women are still treated as slaves to men. But when the same mentality and partiality is seen in here, I don’t find our great nation to be that great. These are some moments I don’t feel that proud to be an Indian.

“But not everybody is like that.”... Yeah, that’s right probably. And we should be thankful, these people who let their girl child live! But is it any good? They still impose their choices about the clothes to wear, people to talk to, places allowed to go. She is still treated 2nd rated to her male sibling, still not given all the facilities provided to a son. She won’t probably go to the same school, she won’t get the same kind of fancy clothes to wear, she will be expected to do the house hold chores (like a servant) and get scolded/beaten mercilessly for not “obeying orders”.

“But that usually happens in rural areas”.... Really? Because I live in a metro, and I see that happening all the time in my own neighborhood. The above mentioned incident happened in a city. And according to the latest census, the sex ratio of urban areas is way lower than rural areas. Still think it's a rural phenomenon?

“So, what’s the solution, you suggest”... I honestly have no clue. I am not writing this as an article to get marks in some kind of competition or test, where I will give magic suggestions and everything will be OK. I honestly feel disgusted and shamed by such acts. And things won’t change until this society’s bias towards a girl child doesn't change.

I frankly laugh at us Indians’ hunger for a son; one who can take their clan/family legacy forward, who can help the father in his business... my ass. I have seen instances in real life where the parents will go on conceiving 3-4 times, in the hope that they at last get a son.

A daughter is the greatest gift someone can receive. I have always believed that girls are stronger and better than boys in so many areas. Everybody deserves a fair chance. Nobody should suffer because of their gender.

And yes, I just so wish that the butcher parents of that child die the same painful death they chose to give their little daughter.