Satire in the Age of Letters and Technology- more than just a pinch of it.
By Muskan Bhatia
The provisional figures in the Census ’11 in March this year came out with some shocking revelations. Apart from pegging our population figures at close to 1.21 billion, the country posted its worst child sex ratio since independence. To conceive a girl child in this country, which is earmarked on the world map for its high and impressive economic growth rate, is a sin beyond redemption.
If 1.21 billion wasn’t enough, that by the way would be the combined population of US, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Japan, we have posted the worst child sex ratio since independence of 914 girls per 1000 boys, a scale down from 927 in 2001. This clearly indicates that healthy economic conditions of a nation are in no way conducive to a better society . A country which is glowing with scintillating sports achievements and a recent World Cup victory still suffers from an unabated rate of female foeticide. So while we brag about our unscathed revival from the recession which literally, deluged the US and European markets, we need to do a deep introspection on where are we heading when it comes to gender equality. Is this to say we, as a country which worships women embodied in idols, crush them when they express their desire to live? This is an ugly reality of India which stares at our face and no longer can be concealed beneath any artificial cocoon .
Haryana, worst of the lot, registered 877 females per 1000 males. This would sound truly incongruous if you were to have a look at the performance of Haryanvi women in national sports events like CWG 2010. 7 girls from the state arrayed their competence while winning Gold, Silver and Bronze medals at various events. Belonging to the interior villages of Hisar and Bhiwani, these girls outshined their contemporaries in spite of the difficulties they faced. After such achievements, if still the people can’t value the existence of their daughters, it would be their loss, and by extension, the loss of the entire nation which would be devoid of such brilliant talent. The concern here is then, why are we abstaining ourselves from being a nation which happily and with open arms, accept our daughters? Ours is a society which is still living under the stigma which forces them to think of girls as a burden. There is an immediate need to spread awareness as to eradicate forces which have encouraged such thoughts.
Talking about the government’s role towards a more equal society, it’s efforts have been nothing but futile. There has been an anti-dowry law in the books since 1961 but this custom is thriving in the Indian society. A law, enacted in 1994, which prohibits the use of technology to detect the sex of a fetus, isn’t successful either. Under this law, ultrasonography machines have to be registered and anyone, indicating to a pregnant woman the sex of her fetus can be fined or even be put behind bars. Yet, this law has been inept to stop the practice of sex detection. Where it is enforced, people bribe the officials or simply go elsewhere. The wealthy resort to Thailand, which is a favored destination for sex-detection.
So even as India is illuminating with the pride of economic growth, the underbelly of this country provides a stark contrast.