Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Gender inequality - A dark finding of 2011 census

Gender inequality is perhaps the biggest setback of otherwise good looking 2011 census of India.
It may not have drawn similar media attention as compared to population, literacy etc. But ever increasing offset of male-Female ratio deserves a serious study and discussion among the policy makers of country. It is one of the biggest social threats to modern India. The natural dislike for a girl child has the potential to bankrupt the morality of a family, of a society, of a village and eventually of the country.

We call our country as MOTHER India, worship goddess Durga , Lakshmi, Saraswati and many more, We take a holy dip at the lap of mother Ganges and still console ourselves when baby girl born in the family. The country has marched forward by abolishing disgusting religious rituals like SATI, bal vivah (child marriage) etc. It is trying to come out of ever practiced discriminations against women by introducing laws on many fronts. Yet it has been witnessing the heinous and unpardonable crime against female – Murder even before she is born.

Where are we going wrong? Is this our culture? Poverty? Illiteracy? Or something else? Although poverty and illiteracy do have a role to play, in my opinion, is not the root cause of this social cancer. Poverty and hunger stricken poor give a damn about the gender of the child. Poverty and illiteracy may be the biggest reason for population crisis, but may not be for the gender inequality. It is the fair earning middle class of India who are victim and culprit of this disease. The sex ration has fallen very sharply in states like Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat and Maharashtra, which are among the richer Indian States. Today's middle class is caught in the web of the vicious social system where a girl is still considered as a burden of the family until she is married. Although we have almost abolished the dowry system which used to be the main reason for not wanting to have a girl child, the desire to spend a lot of money to maintain the social status is the modern form of dowry. As soon as a girl child is born, parents start saving for her wedding.
In my opinion, if every family starts imparting a good education, if every parent strives for a dependent, self sufficient daughter, things will automatically take a U turn from where we are heading right now. Most families do not look investments on their daughter's education as a profitable affair. For many parents, cost of daughter's education does not fetch any return in future. If money spent on a boy child is an investment for a secure future of his family, money spent on a girl is an investment not only for her future, but for her family, society and the whole country.

Many studies have been conducted for gender bias in India. Factors, like economical, social, religious, biological, traditional, cultural and many more have been attributed for insatiable desire to have a boy child. Surely, the analysis of such analysis and researches throws the dark reality of the situation. But is time to act now. Let’s stop pink fading to white. Let’s stop blue become black

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