Female Feticide

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Female feticide-
← aborting a female fetus after sex determination test ← ultra-sonography, helps determine abnormalities in the fetus. ← misused to find out sex of the fetus and abort it if it is a girl. India from centuries has never welcomed the birth of daughter. Indian culture either treats woman as a goddess or an object, pretentiously as goddess but actually as an object. Daughters were never welcome as is evident from the blessings given by Rishis – “Ashta Putra Saubhagyavati Bhava” – “Be a Mother of 8 sons” – the blessing was never for 4 sons and 4 daughters.  

Indian culture has tolerated homicide against the female race. Either it was Sati, where the wife took to pyre after death of husband, or the practice of infanticide prevalent in Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and other parts of the nation.  

So here we have culture that never prized the birth of daughter to start with. On top of this you had a new population control program that strongly advocated limiting size of the family. And if you had to have sons within a small family some daughters would have to disappear.  

There is an economic cost to having a daughter. Firstly there is the almost mandatory dowry payment, that continues even in educated families. Secondly Indian marriages necessarily have a guest list that runs into almost a thousand, even for an almost nobody of a person. That means extremely expensive marriages - the cost of which have to borne by the girl’s father. Thirdly a son possibly could look after his parent and provide financial support in old age whereas a daughter becomes a property of some other family.  

All this makes a daughter extremely undesirable – mostly for economic reasons, but also due to the cultural baggage that the nation is carrying. And in a situation where small family size is planned for, daughters must disappear.  

While earlier, in absence of technology, infanticide, practiced very rarely was way out, for allowing the preference of sons to daughters to find an outlet, with the availability of technology such as ultrasound technology, which allowed detection of sex of the foetus, sex selective abortions became an easier way out for avoiding birth of daughter, without severe moral compunctions and fewer conscience pangs.  

It was in the 80s that technologies for sex detection of foetus started to become available. And this sprang up the “avoid daughter industry” in India. The whole idea being, spend Rs. 500 now and save having to spend Rs. 500,000 later.   

The modus operandi is very simple. Ultrasound technology used for monitoring fetal well being is used for determining sex of the foetus. And the couple wanting to avoid birth of daughter, could use the information to decide upon sex selective abortion consequences of missing women

The consequences of missing women are disastrous to contemplate. It is a tragedy that the very fact that we are killing one million women annually is not being seen as a reason to stop this genocide. Indeed it is ironical that the reason that is provided as strongest reason for stopping this genocide is the fact that men won’t find wives to get married.  

Indeed if one were to argue that one must stop sex selective abortions and this genocide of women on grounds of women’s rights, such an argument won’t be taken seriously at all. However since we are people of this world and not philosophers in mountains, let us consider the implications of 10% of men not being able to find a wife and having to lead a single life for almost 60 years of their adult life.  

The implications are very tragic, grave, painful and disastrous to contemplate. We are not talking of saints and monks, who can lead a life, without marriage delighting in spiritual joys, but men in flesh, with carnal instincts predominating their mental make up, who do not find any legitimate outlet for natural human instincts.  

These 10% of men who do not find wives to get married will become serious victims of...
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