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Friday, November 25, 2011

Lesser evil?

After a long overbearing period of pregnancy, when the ‘result’ turned out to be a girl, the family was overjoyed! Yes you read it right, overjoyed! You may not believe this as an incident of a village in India, but it is. When the birth of a girl child is celebrated because she would turn out to be a bread winner for the family; her brothers and father! Baffling isn’t it? It isn’t westernization of thoughts; it’s a story about a village where flesh trade is a tradition-a Riwaaz!

The young nubile girl is well taken care of. She is given the choicest of gifts and allowed all kinds of indulgence except love! Love isn’t permitted! This is because Love would bring thoughts about marriage in her mind and in turn would end their source of income. When she becomes old to get any ‘customers’, she marries and waits for another girl to be born; who would take care of them.

The first time she is ‘inaugurated’, it is almost like reverence. The highest bidder gets to bed the virgin. She is decorated like a bride with complete haldi-rasam (a tradition of putting turmeric on the bride’s body for a glowing skin.) Prayers are offered at the temple, lamps lit and she is escorted to the house of her ‘husband for the night’. This tradition is still alive in many remote areas of India; where birth of girls is incidentally rejoiced!

Rest of the India is an exact opposite story (for good or worse, who knows!) Killing of infants just born by dipping her in milk, has been common news in Rajasthan lately; parents fearful of a huge sum of dowry to be paid when she would get married. When a well behind a nursing home in Patiala was found full of female fetuses; the worst face of a human came into picture. The so called advanced state of India, Punjab has the worst sex ratio. What has education or economy to do with such a mentality?

When I was born, my family members distributed sweets in the complete maternity ward. Nurses were scared about miscommunication and finally had to gather the courage to come up to my father and ask him “It’s a girl, didn’t anyone tell you that?” When we women still behave like that, what do we expect of men?

The reasons of population explosion we witness in states like Bihar and Jharkhand too needs to be looked into seriously. “I would agree to operation only when I have two sons, who knows when this one might die”, said a young mother who was holding a boy child of 4 months; she already has 3 elder daughters. Maximum torture tales of daughter-in-laws are written; executed by mother-in-laws and sister-in-laws. What do we derive?

Women have been subjected to oppression since a long time now; because we have been accepting it as a way of our life. We have been quiet about it. The silence has to be broken because it holds back a whole new beginning. The unheard have to be heard, because there will never be a tomorrow.

Finally, who is the worst enemy of women? Our age old traditions, our mindset or our silence?   

What we have endured has stretched too far now! Be it in any form, evil has been done against women, just thinking about which is a lesser evil? Killing the girl child immediately after birth due to traditions of dowry or making her a bread earner with a tradition of flesh trade! Thoughts anyone?  

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