It would have been about 4-5 months back when I told Mr. Right about her wish and having heard about the movie in bits, he had asked me to check if it is apt to be viewed with kids, because though it is a movie for children, it is on a very sensitive issue: Female Foeticide. I had checked and found no negative reviews. After that we just forgot about it, though Anu kept reminding me of the same in her usual gesture: playing the song again and again on YouTube to remind me. Kids know all the tricks. 🙂
It was only this weekend that her Dad ordered the movie on FlipKart and it reached us just in time this morning. So, after a terrific surprise birthday bash that I planned for my Acha (Dad), I had enough leftovers to skip cooking and enough time on hand to spend with the kids. We did some yoga, courtesy Lil Love, few aerobics steps, courtesy Anu. Once all my lazy muscles started aching, I decided to put on the movie and watch it with Kiddoos. 🙂
A brilliant movie by Nila Madhab Panda, the director of the award-winning “I am Kalam“: my next order on Flipkart. The child artist, Lehar Khan, has done a fantastic job. In fact all the child artists were amazing. Indian cinema has indeed come of ages.
My review comments:
A super-sensitive social issue portrayed in a subtle manner.
A must watch for every human, especially Indians.
Female foeticide is the act of aborting a foetus because it is female. This is a major social problem in India and has cultural connections with the dowry system that is ingrained in Indian culture, despite the fact that it has been prohibited by law since 1961. See Dowry law in India. In India a strong preference for sons over daughters exists, unlike in Western cultures. People realise smaller family sizes with relatively greater number of sons through the use of medical technologies. Pregnancies are planned by resorting to ‘differential contraception’ — contraception is used based on the number of surviving sons irrespective of family size. Following conception, foetal sex is determined by prenatal diagnostic techniques after which female foetuses are aborted. Foetal sex determination and sex-selective abortion by medical professionals has grown into a 1,000 crore industry (US$244 million). Social discrimination against women and a preference for sons have been promoted. Since 1991, 80% of districts in India have recorded an increasingly masculine sex ratio with the state of Punjab having the most masculine sex ratio. According to the decennial Indian census, the sex ratio in the 0-6 age group in India went from 104.0 males per 100 females in 1981, to 105.8 in 1991, to 107.8 in 2001, to 109.4 in 2011. The ratio is significantly higher in certain states such as Punjab and Haryana (126.1 and 122.0, as of 2001).
Banning pre-conception sex-determination tests calls for new legislation. But the fact is that even the present PNDT Act is full of loopholes and cannot be effectively implemented. Law certainly empowers the government to act but the fundamental question is whether the government or Supreme Court can alone usher in social transformation in Indian society.
India’s prime minister acknowledges gendercide as a national shame, however, the police and judiciaries do not implement the law because they believe in the same thing. Authorities often let the unlawful parents and doctors off with light punishment. Often, when the mothers disobey the husband’s family decision to abort the female foetus and report it to the authorities, the suits are ignored or given a light sentence: The mother is targeted for bearing girls and disobeying the family’s decision to abort the child. She may even lose her job, be expose to constant death threats, and be left with unresolved cases. In addition, others who give birth to girls are prone to violence. Even if she is able to give birth to the baby girls, the family is likely to not report the births and even murder them.
Information Courtesy: Wikipedia
I have no clue on who started off this anti-feminine attitude in a country like India where Goddesses are worshiped at every nook and corner of the country by various names. Hinduism teaches us to pray Durga, Kaali, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Parvati. Christianity has the ideal Mother Mary whereas Islam teaches to save females. I do not believe that there is any religion that teaches or promotes crime against women and children.
Why is it that we, Indians, have such a negative attitude towards an unborn girl child?
I find this evil in all parts of the society from the poor uneducated lot to the educated, highly sophisticated society.
Nobody wants a girl.
During both my deliveries, I have seen scared faces of ladies as and when their in-laws arrived to see possibly the firstborn baby of the family. I have seen a new mother crying uncontrollably imagining the fate of her baby girl. I even wonder how many of those baby girls may still be alive. I even know of a family, where of the three siblings, the elder two do not have any kids and the youngest one has two daughters. They too have trouble having girls as their only inheritors. Crazy Indian mentality!
I do not have a problem with the wish to have a boy. But why no girl?
- Can you have a boy with only boys available in this world?
- Why do you search for a girl for your sons for marriage?
- Why don’t you get them married to boys?
- Or best of all, why want kids for your children?
People here are crazy enough to go to God men and get herbs to be taken to convert a 3-4 month foetus into a boy. Can you beat that? They go to astrologers and decide on the date and time of conception. Why don’t you get him into your bedrooms then, he might be able to give you more finer details. Bullshit!
Elders say that girls are unwanted because of the huge dowry that has to be given during her marriage. Just for the sake of knowledge, I repeat,
Dowry system has been prohibited by Law since 1961.
But our elders and their true followers in our generation have managed to bring in this evil into today’s marriages too.
Over 10 million female foetuses have been illegally aborted in India.
Though Pre-natal sex-determination was banned in India in 1994, under the Pre-conception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, people still resort to various methods including bribing to get such acts done. The act aims to prevent sex-selective abortion, which, according to the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, “has its roots in India’s long history of strong patriarchal influence in all spheres of life.”
It is sad to know that in this age when girls have excelled in every sphere of life and men have accepted them as equally competent, such evils still exist.
I consider myself blessed because I come from a from a family where we are two sisters born to parents who didn’t choose to abort us or kill us as infants because we were girls. Instead they gave us the best possible education still imbibing the traditional values in us. In fact in my paternal family, we are 13 girls with just 2 brothers (all cousins included). I also consider myself blessed to have had the opportunity to be the mother of two little angels. The Almighty surely would have considered us worthy to have these tiny tots.
A daughter can be your moral, emotional and monetary strength and support just like a boy, if you
- Accept them gracefully
- Show no bias
- Respect their individuality and existence
- Give them the best possible education
- Make them financially Independent
I wish to see an India without such societal evils. Though I have least hope with few of our generation people still exhibiting similar traits. I believe education and a collective sense of responsibility can only bring in some respite.
Wishing a safe life to every born and unborn girl child.
Good Night and Sweet Dreams!
- Newborn baby girl found buried alive in Indian forest in ANOTHER case of female infanticide
- (Un)wanted women
- From female foeticide to honour killings: How one Indian TV show is tackling the country’s darkest taboos