Home > India, Media, Politics, Social Trends > Female Foeticide – State of the Debate

Female Foeticide – State of the Debate

The State and its minions have shifted the burden from the perpetrators (the State and its agents) to the victims.

Silly cartoons like this distort the debate - intentionally  |  Cartoon courtesy - sikhwomen.com; source - sikhtoons.com  |  Click for image.

Silly cartoons like this distort the debate – intentionally | Cartoon courtesy – sikhwomen.com; source – sikhtoons.com | Click for image.

The State of the Debate

If female foeticide is evil, is male foeticide acceptable?

Why does the foeticide debate focus on gender and not foeticide itself? Foeticide on such a scale is a social perversion – and any choice that is made, is a perversion.

Foeticide has become rampant across China and the Indian sub-continent in the last 30 years. Why is it happening only here – especially in the last 30 years. The cause can be identified, when you find why people are making any choice at all?

Under a relentless onslaught by the State propaganda machinery, for 60 years, population control has become chic and sexy. Reluctantly Chinese and Indian people have accepted that family sizes will have to be limited. This artificial limitation on family size implies people have to make a choice. With the advent of technology, exercising this choice has become possible.

Any choice they make, will mean, foeticide.

How the State and its minions distort

Is it that male foeticide is preferable?

The latest advances in modern medical sciences – the tests like amniocentesis and ultrasonography are being abused. The tests which were originally designed for the detection of gender related congenital abnormality of the foetus are now being abused particularly in India and Asian countries primarily to detect the sex of the foetus with the intention of getting it aborted if it happens to be that of a female. Such foetus is considered to be “suffering from the very disease of being a female foetus”. If the female foetus is lucky enough to survive till her birth then she faced the peril of elimination in infancy by female infanticide. (Kolloor 1990) defined it as, “Killing of an entirely dependent girl child under one year of age by mother, parents or others in whose care she is entrusted”.

Historically, female infanticide has been in existence since long. Girl infants have been known to be killed by rubbing poison on the mother’s breast, by feeding infants with milk of errukam flower or oleander berries, by using sap of calotropis plant, paddy grains, giving sleeping tablets or by simply burying the girl infants alive. Law banned this heinous practice in 1870, more than a century ago. Yet this abuse of girl child which is violation of her human right to life continues to prevail not only in some parts of Rajasthan and Gujarat but recently has been found in some districts of Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra as well (Kumari 1995).

Sex determination tests are seen as providing a ‘reproductive choice’ – a choice to decide to have a boy or a girl. (via Female Foeticide In Punjab: Exploring the socio-economic and cultural dimensions – by Ajinder Walia).

NGOs with State and foreign funding have made this issue into a battering ram - to condemn society.

NGOs with State and foreign funding have made this issue into a battering ram – to condemn society.

The State and its crimes

Global debate evades the basic issue. The real culprits, aided by media and the academia, with State support, have made society the scapegoat. By a neat twist in logic, the State and its minions have shifted the burden from the perpetrators (the State and its agents) to the victims.

Picking out one line from the Atharvaveda, Bhai Walia condemns India, ‘Hindus’ and the 5000 years of culture. Classical texts from any culture will contain a few lines that can be used to prove anything.

Anything at all.

Looking at Indian society

But actions matter. Talk is cheap. Actions count. Karma, you know.

Interestingly, most Indic countries have had women in political power – in the post-WWII nations. Srimavo Badranaike, Indira Gandhi, Benazir Bhutto, Shaikh Hasina, Khalida Zia, Sukarnoputri, (not to forget Mayawati, Jayalalitha, Uma Bharathi) were among the first in the world to rule their countries. The three divas/devis of Indonesia are not a co-incidence. Aung San Suu Kyi is waiting in the wings to add to this list.

An all-time favorite is, of course, the USA without a woman President, Chief Justice. So, much for political opportunity in the land of the free!

India has the world’s largest private Indian gold reserves! And it is Indian women who have created, maintained these reserves over the centuries – even to the amusement of Westerners. The 2 most important festivals in India – Deepavali and Dusshera, are devoted to Lakshmi and Durga. Feminine goddesses. How many societies in the world have any female deities at all? Which society celebrates the biggest days in the year with female deities? In China, it was Buddhism which enabled the introduction of a female deity, Guanyin (or Kuanyin, Kwan Yin, Miao Shan, 观音觀音), the Goddess of Mercy, in the Chinese pantheon. Though there are 4th century mentions of Guanyin, but it was only 14th century, during the Ming dynasty, that worship of Guanyin became popular.

Indian texts, scriptures and classical literature has no negative characterisation for a wife – Mandodari, Ahalya, Sita, Draupadi, Kunti – the entire pantheon. The story of Kannagi’s fight for justice for her husband (from the classic Tamil play, Silappatikaram) is repeated in some part of South India, every day, even now, 2000 years later.

Population control, Female foeticide have become chic and sexy causes.

Population control, Female foeticide have become chic and sexy causes.

Western freedom

The Western frieze of mythical characters includes Delilah, Helen, Clytemnestra, Jezebelmurderess, or adulteress, all. The entire Greco-Roman frieze does not have a single positive characterization of a wife.

Women are the source of all evil is current western concept – after all, Eve led Adam to his downfall from the Garden Of Eden. After a war with Midianites, Moses asked the Israelite army to kill all the women captives.

Moses blames the women – and an angry Moses tells the commanders

“of thousands and commanders of hundreds – who returned from the battle.”Have you allowed all the women to live?” he asked them. “They (the women) were the ones who followed Balaam’s advice and were the means of turning the Israelites away from the LORD in what happened at Peor, so that a plague struck the LORD’s people. Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.” (Italics, emphasis, bold letters mine).

Dress sense

The entire North West Indian sub-continent, from Punjab to Afghanistan wears the salwar– which is tubular leggings. This is a unisex garment – like the sari /dhoti also is. And popular all over India today.

Unlike other parts of the world, where women were forced to conform to a male standards and prescriptions of dressing, Indian women were free and dressed like their men did (Feminists note – Indian men were forced to dress, like their women did, since you insist).

Unisex clothing, saris and dhotis dominate the Indian plains, and the salwars, in the North West mountain regions of Indian sub-continent. The Indo-Scythians used leather leggings – which were helpful in case of long marches on horse backs.

In the meantime, male foeticide, anyone?

  1. June 3, 2011 at 9:30 am

    Good points anurag.. the female infanticide or foeticide would be just one of the reason for the present declining sex-ration.. another reason is the population control..

    And this female foeticide in my opinion should have started largely during british created famines.. On those days, when famine struck in one empire, people move to other prospering empire.. but what if whole of india was enslaved and raped by britishers.. people have just one meals per day, and in bengal even that is absent. in such case, which mother will want her girl child to live in this world?

    Another reason for female infanticide is the individual property rights.. this collapsed the commune life in many areas, and once a commune village land got transformed as individual lands, to be divided among sons.. this infused greed for individual property, and the pre-existing mobile asset for women became dowry later on..

  2. November 3, 2011 at 7:35 am

  3. May 6, 2012 at 2:42 pm

  4. May 14, 2012 at 10:47 pm

  5. June 18, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    worring of decline in female sex ratio!!!!
    if number of female will decrease there value will incease this is basic principle of supply and demand……. now point is all females in india like country (male dominated country) do not think about having NEYOG a ancient tradition of INDIA where a female use to select a husband for procreation and recreation(sex)…….that was a era of world………now all males wants a orderlee like serving women in there homes………jagoo women jagoo……..

    And most important who is going to take responsibility of a unwanted female child….parents are poor , country is poor, NGOs make money from this issue…..these poor girls are then sold to brothels were handfull rich MALE corporates-cum-industrialist-cum-politicians comes to have fun and relaxation

    now if this will continue …… a time will come when mens will be in brothels…….


  1. August 11, 2011 at 7:47 am

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