If our baby is a girl – her arrival is likely to be greeted, by some, with condolences. A friend – delighted with his new daughter soon became infuriated at comments that his home had been cursed with a girl.
"Relatives arrived laden with gifts of sweet meats," he said. "They cuddled her and shook their heads at our misfortune."
These are attitudes engrained in many sections of Indian society. More than 10 million female fetuses have been aborted in India in the last two decades.
The prospect of paying a dowry and knowing a daughter could never generate the income of a son is enough for some families to commit murder.
In my parents’ native Punjab, girls are often killed at birth. It has skewed the ratio of girls to boys so much that some villages have not seen the birth of a female in years. Thousands of men in rural areas now have trouble finding a wife.
I remember the stories my mother told me – of the neighbour who would take baby girls in the middle of the night and drown them in the village well. My mother also told me how guilty and how much of a failure she was made to feel when I arrived a year after my older sister.
It is not only in the countryside that daughters are unwanted. Middle class, educated women are often at the front of the queue to terminate.
Comment: I am deeply grateful for Navdip’s personal article exposing this ‘not talked about’ taboo within the Indian society.
As an exemplar father not only did I chose to have daughters but I was and am glad that I am blessed with not one but three daughters.
A daughter is a gift whose worth cannot be measured except by the heart.
When you educate a boy; you usually educate an individual.
When you educate a girl; you educate the whole family. Mahatma Gandhi
I hope that the modern Indians would pay heed and desist from such grossly unbalancing, unfair, unjust and unethical activities; forthwith.