Female Infanticide | Female Foeticide
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…