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Female Infanticide | Female Foeticide

Updated on June 8, 2010

Female infanticide is an age old phenomenon of our cultured society. With the sophistication of living style and advancement of scientific techniques, it has transformed into Female foeticide—a quick kill instead of a wait of nine months. This is the reason why yet I need to take up this issue.

Shame that the country I belong to is stepping up on the stairs of female killing by various ways. Genocide in the form of Sati (forcing a woman to die with her dead husband) has decreased since its initiation, but bride burning or forms of dowry death is yet very common, and murder following rape is a global phenomenon. Women harassment is manifesting in different ways. Those who decide to raise their daughters against all odds keep their fingers crossed.

Indian mythology is full with examples where women have shown courage and earned respect. We worship women as goddesses and have made them symbolize power, knowledge, wealth, etc., but when it comes to the real life, no one wants a girl born in one’s home. Desire to get a son—hire of the family—has blinded even the educated population. People have practiced ‘n’ number of ways to terminate the life of newly born baby girl: dumping into bin, burning alive, stuffing her mouth with salt, dipping her in water, burring alive, strangling, drowning, feeding poison, depriving her from milk, etc. Now, there is an alternate to do it by their hands, and they don’t even have to wait for entire gestation period with speculations: a simple test at early stage of pregnancy and a handy abortion thereafter; womb gets emptied soon for the preparation of another pregnancy. Prenatal sex determination, which leads to female foeticide, has been a crime lately. But doctors are also involved who can project this selective abortion as the need generated by any congenital defect of the feotus, which ends up terminating pregnancy.

Female infanticide and female foetcide along with rape killing, dowry death, etc. have started showing their consequences in the form of skewed sex ratio, which has its own aftermaths:

1. Kidnapping of women for marriage has come up as an alternate to get a bride.

2. With higher ratio of unmarried men compared to women, more women are forced toward flesh market, especially for those who could not afford a wife for some or the other reason.

3. Repeated forcible abortions lead to psychological trauma and worn out body of expectant women, which in turn causes miscarriage.

Below is the email sent to me by a friend of mine. He witnessed female infanticide in a visit to his village, which is in Gujrat, India. This incidence took place in March 2009. He requested me to write a poem for him on that entire circumstance. Before that email I have presented my poem.

Let Me Live if I am Born

Beautiful eyecatching scenery

Attracted to scan keenly

Flowing river adding up to charm

Flawless, free from any harm

But there I found a silent gathering

A death ritual

A baby’s body

wrapped in white

just two finger left outside

It rendered me static

starring at exposed body part

drawing images of face

And then the finger moved

with all signs of life

making me dead

Unfortunate baby girl

Born after two sisters, so of no use

Her rescue everyone has to refuse

That night haunted me

With lava flowing through my eyes

Missing my own sister

Who went back years ago

Just after seeing the world

Just after showing her angelic face

It was ‘call of death’

But for that baby girl

‘death was being called’

March 12, 09

I went to a village of one of our workers. It was her sister’s marriage. I was enjoying the culture and in absence of dad I had to attend the marriage on his behalf. After all the rituals got over, it was lunch time. I had my lunch and was very happy to be a part of the marriage. Everyone respected me as if I was a celebrity. I thought of having a look of village side and told Ishu (my cousin) to stay there because she was already exhausted with heat. So she went to the car and to take a nap. I was having a good time catching the entire glimpse. I saw a death ceremony going on at the village river side. I went to give my presence as a token of compassion. They were digging a pit for the child to be buried. Time was passing and I totally forgot that Ishu was in the car. I was just curious to see that face covered with white cloth. At least for a second I saw two of the fingers outside of cloth while the whole baby was covered. I just kept starring to visualize baby’s face in those two fingers. And I couldn’t believe my eyes as one of them moved literally. I was shocked, Couldn’t think what to do. My body got froze. I directly went towards the car and washed my face with water. My worker came to me and asked what the reason of my fast breath was. I narrated him the scene. He told me that there was a girl born in the village at some Irrappa’s home. He was feeling so depressed that he decided to kill that girl, and nobody objected. I wondered why? Then I came to know that he already had two daughters and was expecting a son this time. I was so disturbed that I came to home and did not speak to anybody about this incident. Those two fingers were still roaming around my mind. I just could not able to separate the two thoughts of that baby girl and my sister’s death. Even my sister died after a few minutes of her birth but her death was natural. I think, somehow I am responsible about what happened. That son of a bitch killed his own daughter in front of half of the village and none even moved. I cried a lot that night. I thought of sharing this with you the very next day but at the same time I came to know that it’s your birthday. I did not want to spoil it because of me. But when you gave me that MOM’s poem I could not stop myself asking you to write a poem on this topic. Bhawu, you have the beads. Now it’s on you to make the necklace ...

With the end of this article, I wish I can make brains churn and can raise debate over female foeticide and female infanticide. There has to be a solution to this situation…


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    • profile image

      girl 4 years ago


    • profile image

      vandana 5 years ago

      dose who kill innocent grls r worst den animals,,dey don't deserve to live,,,ihv a baby grl she is an angel for me nd my hubby,,nd i m proud to hv her in my life,,,

    • profile image

      arnima varshney 5 years ago

      how can people still kill small babies when they cant even speak a word to offense...

    • profile image

      Aparajita / Akshay 6 years ago

      I am very angry because of the killing of baby girl's in the womb. Why do they want to kill the young girls without even allowing them to enjoy the nature's beauty just because it is a baby girl why do they have to kill it? Let them also enjoy the nature.

    • profile image

      krishna 6 years ago

      we been working out on this... just need your ideas and suggestions please..

      check out on

      we will be inspired by your support.

      Thanks n Regards..

    • profile image

      Nathan 6 years ago

      Babies don't have a chance.

    • profile image

      Jacqueline Anthony 7 years ago

      The debate over the same issue has been going on and will keep on happening... its high time.. we as the youth now need to put our words into action and remove this social evil.. LET'S WORK IT OUT

    • profile image

      kavitai ajay joshi 7 years ago

      hat off for such a sensitive issue carved out in laudable approach.

    • Bhawna Sharma profile image

      Bhawna Sharma 7 years ago from Mumbai, India

      It's pleasing to know that the hub is old but debate is ongoing...

      Thanks, everyone, for posting your valuable inputs.

    • jite profile image

      jite 7 years ago from delhi

      Great Hub,Bhavna I totally agree with you.Killing an innocent baby girl who cannot even talk is biggest sin in this country.

      There is PNDT law but the punishment is very less,it must be considered as a murder case.

    • salt profile image

      salt 8 years ago from australia

      Very moving. Please keep writing.

    • vrajavala profile image

      vrajavala 8 years ago from Port St. Lucie

      contrary to what has said here, infanticide is prevalent in the US. Even our great "Nobel Peace Prize" president voted four times against a bill that would have given assistance to babies born alive after a botched abortion.

      The difference is that in India, you bury the infant's corpse. here they flush it or throw it in the dumpster.

    • Bhawna Sharma profile image

      Bhawna Sharma 8 years ago from Mumbai, India


      The irony is dat these idiots think a woman is needed just to give birth...

    • Bhawna Sharma profile image

      Bhawna Sharma 8 years ago from Mumbai, India

      Maraiya Storm,

      I loved your gesture of concern.

      You are very true about informing others. If nothing then at least one can make others aware of what's going on in the other part of the same world we live in. Being born and brought up in the capital, even i was not aware of the fact that all this happens in our periphery. Not liking birth of a girl in own family is common and getting test done before hand is also quite popular, but I didn't know that one can kill someone who can't even resist. It's heinous.

    • cgull8m profile image

      cgull8m 8 years ago from North Carolina

      Great post, it is a disgrace to see even mothers are behind some of these evil acts. I hope the Government punishes them severely all the family members involved in this. The idiots should know that without a female they won't be born.

    • Maraiya Storm profile image

      Maraiya Storm 8 years ago from Prescott, Arizona

      I live in America, and I think that most Americans have no idea that this sort of thing is going on in India. I am glad that you chose to write about this. People need to know about this.

      Of course, I think it is abominable to do such very horrible dark deeds against women and female children born or unborn. It is absolutely horrifying what they are doing!

      I don't know what can be done about it; however, informing people all over the world that this is going on may bring some notice to it and as a result, help may be provided.

      I am praying for the women of India, and for India, in general.

      Thanks also for publishing some of your great poetry on this site. I love poetry and am a poet myself.

    • Bhawna Sharma profile image

      Bhawna Sharma 8 years ago from Mumbai, India

      Candle, thanks for supporting the cause. I liked the way you used the phrase “Creator/Creatress”,

    • Bhawna Sharma profile image

      Bhawna Sharma 8 years ago from Mumbai, India

      James, it's beyond my understanding that how people can go so insane that they harm someone who cannot even defense.

    • CANDLE profile image

      CANDLE 8 years ago

      Thank you for tackling such sensitive an issue.

      The best weapons against ignorance are knowledge and education. The best antidote to darkness is enlightenment.

    • CANDLE profile image

      CANDLE 8 years ago

      Moving. Heart-wrenching. Without a fertile soil, where would the seed be planted? A society's rank on the humanity or humane scale is a function of its treatment of the least, the weakest and the defenseless in its midst. The future of mankind or, for that matter, humanity is bleak without womankind.

      Let us not forget we were all-without exception- once at an embryonic stage. Were it not for the completion of the process (carry to term), none of us would be here. Stop the madness. Start caring for and valuing one another. Be he/she an embryo, a fetus, a baby, an infant,a toddler, an adolescent, or an adult, we are all valued and priceless in the eyes of the Creator/Creatress.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      Thank you for publishing this moving article. I agree with you that we must stop killing babies, the most innocent among us. Shame.