She’ll Dare To Go Where No Girl Has Ever Gone Before

Ever since Anu, my firstborn,  picked up this track while browsing through YouTube on my iPad, she had been after us to get her the movie.

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. 🙂

Jalpari Poster First Look [Hindi Movie 2012] Full-1
Winner of
MIP Junior Kids
Jury Award 2012 at Cannes
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 INR1,000 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).

Female foeticide has led to an increase in human trafficking. In 2011, 15,000 Indian women were bought and sold as brides in areas where foeticide has led to a lack of women.

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!

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16 Replies to “She’ll Dare To Go Where No Girl Has Ever Gone Before”

  1. Rex, you know the actual reason for not wanting a girl child, as they say, is due to the dowry system. I agree with it 100%. If you have a girl you have to pay the dowry- its less of a concern than- If you have a boy you can demand dowry. Sick people.
    I too have two daughters and I wouldn’t want to lie saying that I did not wish for a boy second time as I just thought it would have completed a girl and a boy family. But the moment I came to know that I have been blessed with a girl again, I was as happy as I would have been if it was a boy. I would actually sit and think a lot of times of how lucky I am to have two beautiful daughters for one who is and the one who would eventually make me proud of being their mother. 🙂

    1. Honestly, I had always wanted two girls so that they too have a beautiful relationship like me and my lil sis. In fact, the second time I had literally prayed for a girl, for I didn’t want Anu to feel biased in any way, either because of us or because of the extended family. That doesn’t mean that I am anti-boys. And BTW Sari, our second ones are no less than boys in any manner. Are they? 😀

  2. Dowry system is such a difficult thing to eradicate as far as I think about it. Most people say that lack of education and social awareness is the reason why people resort to this inhuman practice. But when I look around see many of my friends getting married (it’s such a distress-generating thought for a bachelor) and boasting about the dowry they received (or going to receive!) I think some times that education has nothing to do woth it. In most cases here in Hyderabad, the bridegroom’s parents have a long list of things that they want… I saw one such list with my own eyes in which they had listed tables (3), almirahs (2), silver plates (12) and all….. I wanted to vomit! And, the bridegroom, my friend was a PhD holder! His father a senior scientist in a research institute and his mother, a banker. If this is what an educated family can do, I can’t even think of what would be left in an illiterate family once they marry off their daughter(s). No wonder people resort to abortions and (if it’s late) killing of girl children.
    It is such a depressing thing to think of…

    1. Manu, exactly my point…that it is not just prevailing in the lower segments of the society which lacks education and blindly follows age-old tradition, but it is prevalent in even the highly educated and well-off segments of the society. It was funny to see people bringing in sweets and dancing for the boy child born in the same ward and then there was a dead silence on the faces of the family of the girl child who was born just minutes afterwards. Why go far, my extended family was highly disappointed at both my daughters’ birth. There’s no end to it unless the societal mindset changes. What annoys me more is that educated people of our generation too are joining the bandwagon.

      1. They do. Most of them have taken it up as some sort of a constitution granted right. It’s depressing.
        Ignorance and thick-headedness is a dangerous combo.

  3. A thought provoking post indeed Rekhaji.

    As Mr. Manu Kurup has said above, the root of all evils is two folded: 1. Dowry System 2. Lack of education and awareness (academic education will never help in dealing with this evil. It is the Religious education alone that can make the person aware that killing an innocent life has its own consequences in this world and in the hereafter). As you have said all Religions safeguard the female but lack of Religious knowledge is what is responsible for this situation. Again you may argue that even Religious people are also involved in dowry system. In that case they are not truly Religious but have gained mere theoretical knowledge which is useless. If a person has a driving license and knows not to drive a vehicle, it means he got the license by paying money.

    1. You are right Sir! The lack of education and dowry system are the triggers for this social crime. But what surprises me is that even the educated lot has a similar thinking. An IAS Officer, his wife, who is a Principal in a reputed college and their Ph.D. son, made their Daughter-in-law abort thrice, because she was carrying a female child all the three times. So definitely there is something more than Education and dowry which needs to be tackled here.

  4. yes that is the whole point… they kill girls in the womb itself and when their son wants to marry they search for girls… why can’t they just accept boys as their ‘bahus’ then… shame on such a low thinking society. What astonishes me is how the educated class also joins in the bandwagon!!

    I did not hear about this movie earlier….but thanks for sharing this… will check it out…

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