India's silent genocide

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Singh, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

    Feb 23, 2009
    Likes Received:
    I remember being disturbed enough to stop watching the 2003 Hindi movie Matrubhumi(motherland). Set in the future, it depicted an Indian village populated only by men. It gets that way after a man, yearning for a boy, publicly drowns his newborn girl in a vat of milk, sparking a custom that wipes out women. So the men watch porn, fornicate with farm animals. A father marries his five sons to a woman from the outside and the six men take turns raping her. Eventually more men in the village get involved. She is tied to the cow shed and gangraped every night.
    Matrubhumi was excessively brutal, I thought, but it addressed a silent, growing genocide that emerging India prefers to ignore.

    At least 1,370 girls are aborted every day in India. For perspective, some 250 Indians die every day in road accidents. Terrorists killed about six people, on an average, every day in 2009. In the last two decades of economic progress, 10 million girls have died before being born. More are strangled, slowly starved or simply tossed in the trash.

    This is mass murder on a scale unseen in any other country this century. Only China runs us close. The overall Indian sex ratio should be at least 950 women to 1,000 men (Nature produces more males than females as boys are more vulnerable to infant diseases than girls). But the child sex ratio, the number of girls to every 1,000 boys in the age group zero to six, has dropped from 1,010 girls in 1941 to 945 in 1991 to 927 in 2001, according to census figures. The 2011 census will reveal a further decline based on mostly disturbing trends.

    First, explosive economic growth has driven survival rates of girls under six in northern India to an all-time low. Families are shrinking, but in doing so they are aborting more girls than ever, says a study, funded by the charity ActionAid, across five northern states.

    "It was a girl, we paid Rs1,200 and got it over with," was one response researchers got from a middle-class family in Himachal Pradesh, the only northern state with an acceptable sex ratio (968).

    Second, the spread of ultrasound machines that can determine the sex of a foetus has hastened the killing of girls since the 1980s. A nationwide ban on sex-selective abortion has failed. Ravinder Kaur, a sociology professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, told me how in the formerly dacoit-infested district of Morena in Madhya Pradesh she found portable ultrasound machines in villages bereft of basic healthcare.

    Third, relatively prosperous urban areas are killing more girls than rural areas. The sex ratio in rural India is 946; in urban India it is 900. Predominantly rural and poor Chhattisgarh (989) and Orissa (972) are doing fine. In the richest state, Punjab, the sex ratio at birth, as revealed by the 2006 National Family Health Survey, had declined to 776 from 793 in 2001 (urban Punjab: 761). Neighbouring, and equally prosperous, Haryana boasts India’s worst sex ratio: 861 women for every 1,000 men.

    The north is producing millions of excess young men. Crime rates are high and rising. So is violence against women. "Our community is known for female foeticide," observed Commonwealth discus-throw champion Krishna Poonia, referring to her upper-class, prosperous Jat community.

    Fourth, there is hope in the southern states and isolated pockets elsewhere. Tamil Nadu has India's best sex ratio with 1,058 women for every 1,000 men. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala are doing well. For those who believe killing girls is an exclusively northern problem, Maharashtra (922) and Gujarat (920) are cause for great worry. South Mumbai, one of India's richest areas, has one of its worst sex ratios. In the east, West Bengal is rapidly improving. Highly educated Mizoram (935) is not doing well, while poorer Manipur (978) is well above the norm.

    Killings in the south have receded, but regressive attitudes remain. A leading Bangalore lawyer, who wanted to send her daughter to an expensive, top-grade school, told me this reaction from her upper-class friend: "We sent our son there, not our daughter. Why do you want to spend so much money on a girl?" Dowries in the south are among the highest in India.

    The cycle of discrimination is reinforced by the subtle degradation of women in the popular media, from the discriminatory (women performing subservient, domestic roles in advertisements) to the shameful. I refer you to Rishton Se Badhi Pratha (customs are greater than relationships), one of many regressive but popular television serials. "The explicit scenes of torture being inflicted on a female character is (sic) barbaric," said the ministry of information and broadcasting in a notice to the channel Colors last month.

    Often, it' women who abuse and kill their own. Educated or not, many inherit odious traditions from their mothers. Nearly 80% of girls in Patiala's higher secondary schools did not want a girl, noted a 2010 study by paediatric doctor Harshinder Kaur.

    The horrors of India's silent genocide were reflected last year by Justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Suresh Kait of the Delhi High Court. "The moral regression of the people of India, ie Bharat, has not been crippled by the penal laws," the judges said after the trial of a labourer's wife (a child bride) who strangled her daughter in a Delhi hospital. "She was a baby girl and her arrival was a calamity, she was a poor little thing and the blocking of a puff of wind was enough to put her out. Society had scripted her obituary much before she was born. Her mother only published it."
  3. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

    May 4, 2009
    Likes Received:
    New Delhi
    This is a serious concern for the country and Singhji thanks for highlighting this serious issue.

    Apart from the CM of MP, Mr.Shivraj Chauhan the entire political class seems to be avoiding this issue.

    The MP Govt has a LAdli Scheme which aims to encourage Couples to not just have girls but also gives them incentive to teach the girl child. IIIRC with every higher step in education the financial assistance from the Govt increases.

    Now some other state Govts are applying this scheme in their respective states.
  4. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

    Aug 20, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Gangtok, Sikkim, India
    Female infanticide is despicable and it still continues even among educated lot. The problem is that people still are so adamant on having sons that they don't realize how important women are: 50% of any society. If they don't highlight these, it will get worse. And Haryana and some places around have the worst female to male ratio. DISGUSTING especially when we consider our country as BHARAT MATA-- a feminine form.

    Anyone caught attempting female feticide should be brutally punished. They should be forced sterilized as a punishment and fined Rs. 10,000 whichever is applicable severe.

    If we continue like this, we will easily become like China where men have to virtually import brides from Vietnam and other southeast countries. Can we imagine importing brides from abroad at national level? Unthinkable. It will change our identity completely and we don't want that.
  5. mayfair

    mayfair Elite Member Elite Member

    Feb 26, 2010
    Likes Received:
    A despicable act. Female infanticide must be punished severely.
  6. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

    Feb 23, 2009
    Likes Received:
  7. Bangalorean

    Bangalorean Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

    Nov 28, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Of course it is despicable, and I like Tshering's idea of sterilization as a punishment :love:

    But I think the statistics on urban centers and places like "South Mumbai" as the article says, are really nothing to be very worried about. Because, a lot of the population in big Indian cities is composed of male migrants from rural areas.

    But yes, something seriously needs to be done about this. Draconian punishments should be given to people who dare do this. In fact, an example needs to be made of hospitals in rural areas which possess the pre-birth ultrasound machines. There should be a sustained campaign for one month with huge media publicity, and an example should be made out of a bunch of people. Then we will see some improvement.

Share This Page