VYETH Student Magazine

THE INVISIBLE MURDER

Shaista Gul

B.A. LLB (6th Semester)

Vitasta School of Law & Humanities  

“Good bye, proud world! I’m going home’ thou art my friend not; I am not thine”. Ralph Waldo Emerson.

What would be the last thing that parents would do to their children? Suffocate them to death, strangle them, poison them or simply hang them. Do such things take place in horror flicks, stupid childhood dreams or in reality! What would be such parents labeled as – Psychopaths, criminals or murderers? Probe a little deeper and you know such incidents do take place in the disguise of female foeticide. In India, 2000 girls, a day are sacrificed to this heinous crime. About 5-7 lakh girls, a year, go missing due to female foeticide Female foetuses are being rampantly aborted after pre-natal sex determination, thus leading to the crisis of the sex ratio in India.

Such a “clean murder”, no gory blood stains; no police hunt-out; no grave; no tears; no wailing; no social scruples and worse of all no pangs of remorse and hurling of conscience just wrap the foetus in a polythene bag, throw it away in a filthy place, the next day same offence is committed again and forgotten. India has dismal committed rates – 450 cases were filed against violators of pre-conception and pre-natal diagnostic techniques and just 15 convictions were made last year.

This crime like all other crimes can’t be attributed wholly and solely to illiteracy and poverty because the dark truth is that selective sex-determination and female foeticide is more prevalent in educated and prosperous classes. What air is to life, dowry system is to female foeticide. Boys acquire money and girls require money in marriages. According to international humanist and ethical union, dowry death’s occurs in India every 93 minutes. Poor families can’t afford a girl-child and rich families don’t want a girl-child. Some people cite ridiculous excuses before opting for female foeticide. They deem, the present day society unfit for girl-child to be born in. They support their claim by the fact that crimes against women are on rise. Is that, what we call polite justice! Punish the victim for the crimes committed against her. What makes it possible are the prejudices and social stigmas associated with a girl child, deteriorating moral values and accelerating materialism. We need man power economic hands, bread-winners or a biological male to carry on the family name and legacy. Logic has stepped into the shoes of love and the outcome dysfunctional society.

The booming of the ultra sound, scanning, amniocentesis and invitro fertilization techniques, has further worsened the situation. In Mumbai, there are posters’ advertising sex-determination tests that read, “it is better to pay five hundred rupees now than five lacs later”. Poor medical ethics and misuse of technology like pre-conception gender selection (PGS) has only added fuel to the fire. There are 17 laws on female foeticide but unless implemented they are good for nothing. A recent report of world economic forum ranks. India in the worlds worst 20 on the gender bias_ no prize for guessing the outcome such an extreme act on violence, manifest itself in the form of India’s skewed sex-ratio. The child sex-ratio of the J&K state is currently 883 females/1000 males (source Srinagar Times May 2011). 

Airing of documentaries, movies and reports, which highlight the shady side of female foeticide should be encouraged. Media can help in a big way by launching a caustic attack on the crime. NGO’S can also help to make a difference. Power of judgment is present in all of us but that power needs to be channelized in the right direction. The misuse of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act which was legalized in 1971 is the root cause of the problem, we also require a strict implementation of the 2002 Pre-Natal Diagnostic techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse Act). The Health Ministry has proposed many plans like the imprisonment of 3 months- 3 years with a higher financial penalty.

All the topical issues worrying man-kind stem forth from our one dimensional view of life. Everyone of us wants boys and  never does the question of their better-half tease any one’s imagination. It is like the Chinese proverb you want your horse to look good but also want it not have to eat the gross”. It’s ironical; even some women don’t want a girl child. For such women, I would say, even they didn’t have right to be born, let us remove the blinkers and broaden our vision. Let us not let our girls go unsung and unmoored. God created both men and women because his infinite wisdom is for beyond our selfish wisdom.