Today since early morning, my Colony is awash with many small girl-children on the road, neatly bathed and dressed. As of today is the extremely pious Sri Durgashtm. Invited with reverence, young girls are warmly welcomed in all homes. Most people have lovingly cooked delicious halwa-poori and kale chane for them. Feeding them with great honour, everyone makes obeisance to their holy feet, as Ma Durga Incarnate. The festival endorses that girls are gifts of God and parents should have the good sense to bring them up lovingly.
But the very same people are miserable when a girl-child is born in their own house! A mother-in-law invariably abuses her daughter-in-law in case she gives birth to a daughter! A mother often metes out step-motherly treatment to her daughters, the moment a male-child is born to her! Punjab and Haryana residents, more often than not, kill the girl child even before her birth. Hence the sex-ratio is poorest in BIMARU states. The same hypocrites celebrate Lohri on 13th Jan every year with great fanfare, conveniently forgetting that the Lohri Song praises Dulha Bhatti, a Punjabi avatar of Robin Hood. He had his own code of conduct; often robbing the rich to support the wretched of society. On one occasion he helped a dejected village girl by marrying her off like his own sister!
In short we celebrate the event but totally miss its underlying spirit! Off late Prof. Amartya Sen has stressed on the dire need for basic education for all Indians, particularly the girl-child. Whenever a Noble Prize winner throws light on such vital issues, they are certainly more effective. And precisely the same Indians afflicted with a distorted perspective, firmly believe “Beta apna, beti to paraya Dhan hai "
Because of this morally questionable mindset, the Government has to shell out a whole lot of money for advertisements which endorse, “Don’t kill your daughters as one day she may turn out to be:
For garnering female votes, Arjun Singh announced 100% fee-concession to a single girl-child, in the year 2006. Government schools and Kendriya Vidyalayas immediately honoured this commitment. But till date public and private schools have not implemented it, thereby mocking the Government’s decision! Scathing and unseemly examples are being set by Public schools to Indian masses by their irresponsible attitude because:
- Individuals indulge in female foeticide, killing girl-foetuses before birth.
- There have been innumerable instances where women are brutally killed in gory dowry cases.
- The system is iimmune to women and their related issues at large.
I request readers to imbibe the story of Satyakaam Jabal who threw light on this aspect, on 14th Oct, 2007:--
"If by any chance, a child is illegitimate, it's their parents who are wholly responsible, dumping newly born infants at the mercy of the world. So like we coined the words ‘physically challenged’ for the earlier ‘handicapped’ term’, let us invent a fresh, more dignified phrase for such toddlers in these merciless environs. For example, they may be addressed as single parent kids to cover up several harsh facts ...”
Thus I entreat you to bow at the holy feet of all children including kids of single parents and never term them as illegitimate! Let us make an effort of not punishing innocents for the mistakes of adults. It's amazing that the judiciary of India is equipped with:
- Act on untouchables, which cover only a small percentage of a caste-ridden society.
- Anti-dowry Act which once again deals with a fragment of chauvinistic males.
- Time and again, Acts have been enforced on several issues but there is no Act worldwide on the pending, urgency of single-parent kids. The child may belong to any caste or religion and could be a boy or girl. The spectrum of such ill-fated children encompasses the entire human race and not just India!