Day 3: Hope

It’s been a while since I wrote on political happenings. But then it has been a while since something so envigorating has happened.

Yes,I am talking about the Aam Aadmi Party(AAP). They have done what was seemingly impossible – brought in a fresh wave of honesty and accountability into Indian politics. Despite all the nay-sayers, they managed to get such a huge number of seats. For a first time party, I think it was stupendous. The icing on the cake is, of course, the fact that they have done all the right things as soon as they started governance. And for a change, it does seem that we are talking about the ‘governing party’, as opposed to the ‘ruling party’ that we had been talking about.

Are all their policies right? Well, they seem to be alright to me, but then I am no expert. However, what I do think is that they do have their heart in the right place. If their policies are not effective enough, I do think that they would be open to changes/criticism to ensure that they do what they set out to do. So far, not only have they done what they promised about the water and electricity charges, they have also tackled huge issues of night shelters in Delhi, things which previous governements did little about. News like the manner in which the young minister, Rakhi Birla has already set about her job, is so heartening to read. For once, we can see the will to do things rather than politicians waxing eloquent about stuff and not doing a thing that actually matters( à la Rahul Gandhi, for instance). Are they perfect? Of course not. But they are pretty much as perfect as it gets at this point in time.

It feels like the dawn of a new era. Which is probably why the old time politicians have suddenly started to get edgy, uncomfortable. I find it funny that parties like the Congress which have had so many years to do all this, are now trying to ensure that AAP does what it promises to do, in 2 days. And BJP seeing how AAP could cut into their vote share, is all jittery and will do anything to discredit AAP(not that they are succeeding, they just sound childish and silly).

While I can understand the politicians reacting this way, I find it hard to understand people like you and me being cynical about AAP. I wonder how our expectations are so low from the other parties and yet, we are so demanding from this fledging party, which is trying its best to stem the rot that has been part of the system for so many years. At the very least, I would say AAP is forcing the other parties to adopt austerity measures and talking of things that so far was never even discussed. While I do understand that there have always been upright, non-corrupt, austere people across parties, the true difference in AAP is the fact that it is the party line. It is their way of life, while in other parties they are more the exception than the norm.

Also, AAP has forced the debate on the things that actually matter. We are now talking about the basic needs that our governments of the past have not bothered to address, and seeing the way AAP is taking action, it is clear that things can be done when there is political will. And my hope is that having had a taste of governance, the people of India will refuse to let good governance and accountability be a dormant option going forward. Hate them or love them, there is no doubt that AAP has changed the way people viewed politics.

Of course, not everybody sees them with the rosy glasses I have on, but I can only speak for myself and I have to say that AAP makes me hopeful. AAP gives me that hope that politics will not remain the refuge of the scoundrel. People like you and me could join and work for the country, if we so wished to. Hope, for a better future for our country, that is what AAP stands for, for me. And for that, I am grateful.

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Brutality

.. of a new level, that’s what the last few days have been, haven’t they? First the senseless shooting in America, and now the horrific gang rape in Delhi. I couldn’t sleep last night. Sitting up listening to the news, reading.. Made me stay up, wondering, worrying.. Just how brutal can people be, how confident they must have been of not getting caught.. Just reading all this made me feel so very helpless. And if we, are feeling this hopeless and helpless, I can’t even imagine how the victim and her family must be feeling right now.

What kind of country are we living in, when the systemic failure ensures that half the population could be attacked randomly, repeatedly, and we can do nothing about it. When women are told to be ‘careful’, to keep themselves safe, when nothing, absolutely nothing is done to keep those criminals off our streets.

I hear of people saying that this is why we need to teach our daughters self-defence, that we, the people have to take measures to keep ourselves safe. Yes, absolutely. But again, these are individual measures. What about the responsibility of the government to ensure that such crimes do not happen again and again? I’ve been reading up on this, and this article makes so much sense. It talks about deterrents to prevent the crime. Ways of ensuring that potential rapists are warned away so that crimes themselves stop happening. The way I look at it, one of the most important things to do, is to try to ensure that crimes of this sort are prevented. At least as the first step.

Looking at all the issues crop up – police reforms, judicial reforms, stricter punishment, mentality of our people, it sometimes gets so disheartening. It makes me wonder if anything will ever change. If we will ever be able to live in our society without the constant fear. It makes me wonder if a day will come when I can call the police and not be scared. To be honest, I think it is, us the innocent, who are more scared of the police than the guilty. Remember that
problem we had with the maid, well, we had to go to the police station to report it, and we were actually a little scared, while she was totally comfortable. We could only assume that she had been there before, and knew how things worked. Sad, isn’t it? Is it any wonder that people would rather not report a crime, if they have an option.

All I can do is hope that one day, if not me, at least daughter will be able to live in India, confidently, knowing that we have a system we can depend on. Knowing that the police is there to protect us, knowing that the criminals are the ones scared, not us. A day when a woman knows that she is safe in the country that she lives.

PS: The one good thing that has happened is that, at the very least, the case is not being referred to with the victim’s name, as used to be the case, until a few years ago. I just wish they wouldn’t hide the faces of the suspects.

Breaking the cycle..

… Or to be more accurate, why breaking the cycle is so difficult..

Our friend Bikram raised some questions in his post here, and I thought I’d try to answer.

Bikram questions ‘The mother-in-law knew how his son was treating the daughter in law , yet she did not say anything Rather she was calling up the Girls father to give more, I mean WHY.. Did she go through the same when she got married and came to the family..

Let me explain with an example. I met a young woman here. She must be in her late twenties or at max, her early thirties. She grew up in India, but got married to an NRI who was 34 at that point in time. She was 18. She says her parents had no plans to get her married but when the proposal came up, it felt like a good one. She has three children, and lives in a typical joint family type of environment, here in the UK. One day we were talking and she started telling us about how tough it is for her. She works, but once she is home, she is expected to be the obedient, dutiful bahu, making tea for everyone, clearing up. It might not sound like a huge deal, but as she says, if you end up spending 45 mins for having a simple cup of tea- it becomes a big deal. Especially in a country where she has no maids or anybody to help out. If she fancies a cup of tea and makes it for herself without checking with the rest of the family, it is considered quite rude. A small example, but it affected her badly enough for her to share it with us. Then she went on to say, ‘What can I do, I can only wait for when it will be my turn to be the mother-in-law’.

I was stunned to hear that. Surely one would think that she would try to break the cycle rather than have it continue? But then I realized that, for her, it is just a fact, an accepted reality. As a daughter-in-law, she has to accept what is given to her, and she has to wait until her son gets home a DIL before she gets to throw her weight around. She does not think of breaking the cycle because she has accepted the system for what it is.

What horrified me, was just a statement of fact for her. Why? Because that is the system they have been brought up it, that is the system they are familiar with. They don’t see a problem with it. A boy will bring home a wife, while a daughter will be sent away. I have heard this justification from so many people.

Dowry is justified too. People think that it is perfectly legitimate. These days it is termed as ‘gifts’ which the girl’s side gives ‘willingly’. I don’t understand why gifting is only the woman’s parents prerogative? Then of course, people will explain that a daughter is going away to her ‘real home’ so her parents would like to ‘gift’ her things. That to me is the root cause of this whole thing. The imbalance in society which is brought about by the concept of a male child being ‘apna’ and a female child being ‘paraya’.

The system is also the reason a parent dreads the birth of a girl child, dreads the day they will have to shell out huge amounts of money to get her ‘married off’.

The only way the evils like sex selective abortions, dowry etc can be eradicated is the system itself changes. If both sons and daughters take up the responsibility of looking after their parents, if parents of daughters are not left destitute in their old age, if a daughter is not taught that no matter what, once she gets married, her marital home is her home, and not her parental home.

In fact in the program, in both the first and the third episode, we had women expressing how it is so horrible for a parent to have their married daughter coming back home. It broke my heart to listen to that. I can’t even begin to imagine how helpless they must have felt. Where could they have gone? How could they have walked out on their marriages when all that has been drummed into their heads is that their parental home is no longer their home?

The moment that stigma goes away, we will find a lot of women comfortable about standing up for their rights. When they know that they will not make their parents unhappy if they land up at their doorstep. When women understand that they don’t need to accept everything that is thrown at them. When they are brought up with the belief that no matter what, their parents will always be there for them. That they are no ‘paraya dhan’.

More on adjustments, compromises, and a woman’s life.. Post 9

Commenting on Iya’s and Roop’s posts made me realize that there was so much more that I wanted to say on this topic…

Last year, someone we know got married. She was barely 22, not financially independent. The worst part was that she was getting married to an extremely conservative family, who lived in the same village as her parents. This also meant that she would not be allowed to drive her scooter(which she did before marriage) or wear anything apart from a sari even when she visited her parents. We had tried dissuading her parents and convincing them to let her get an education, and gain financial independence. But to no avail. They wanted the ‘responsibility’ out of the way. They wanted to get her ‘married off’ so that nobody accused them of ‘keeping an unmarried daughter at home’.  They believed that a daughter has no place in her parents place.

Not even a year down the line, she is back at her parents place. She has been verbally/mentally abused badly by the husband. He wants ‘money’ to shut his mouth. Things have got so bad that, she even tried to commit suicide a few times. Finally she is now back at home. Her parents are supportive of her, but they are still trying to see if a ‘samjhauta’ can be reached. I can’t help wonder what ‘samjhauta’? What compromise can be reached when the husband is not even concerned about her. When all he is bothered about is money.

Last year, I had met her when we were in India. She was newly married, and had a few concerns at that time.  I heard her mother/aunts explain to her that we, women cannot expect everything to go our way. We have to compromise, adjust. Don’t have high expectations. Just learn to be a ‘good daughter-in-law’ and everything will be all right. Having known her, I know that she is a sweet person, soft spoken, and someone who generally toes the line. Not someone who will try to make a fuss out of nothing. Knowing this, if she is unhappy, surely, someone should be listening to her rather than pretend that everything will be alright if she ‘adjusts’.

I can’t comprehend the huge rush to get her back in her marital home. What if her in-laws decide to make her life worse for going and talking to her parents about what she faced? Why, why do people think that an abusive husband is not a big deal? Isn’t it better for her to get out of an abusive marriage now, before she has children and gets even more trapped in an unhappy life?

Clearly, nothing matters apart from the perception that the daughter is married. What is of utmost importance, is that an unmarried daughter is not at home, so god forbid, if the married daughter comes home. Lets find the quickest way to send her back. Lets talk about adjustments, compromises, whatever,  lets just get her back where she belongs. After all, she is the paraya dhan. So what if her next suicide attempt is successful. All that matters is that she is in her marital home. Nothing else, apparently, matters.

Managing Expectations

In continuation to my previous post, I wanted to add a few more thoughts.

In my working life, one of the things that I used to stress to my team was on the importance of managing expectations. There were several instances where people would commit to more than they could deliver, or to time lines which were just not practical or possible, for that matter. It did far more harm to then have to go back to the client and tell them that the work item that was promised could not be delivered on time.  We have an unexplicable urge ‘to please’ people. So many times, people say ‘yes’ to things, to avoid conflict, but then end in bigger conflicts than what would have been, if they had handled it right the first time.

Managing expectation, in my experience, is the crux of all relationships, be it professional or personal. It makes much better sense to set expectations right, rather than set high expectations and fail to deliver.

And it works both ways. Some children have a sense of entitlement that is mind boggling. I remember having a conversation with somebody who was angry at his parents, because he needed money for something and his parents refused – they said they did not have it. Now this fellow is well educated, in a well paying job, surely time to stop expecting handouts from his parents? I feel it is totally fine for his parents to have refused, but he kept saying that they had enough to spare. Whether they had enough or not – surely, it is their decision. Can’t they decide what they want to do with their hard earned money? Does being somebody’s son or daughter entitle us to everything they own? I think once parents have brought us up, given us an education, we really cannot expect handouts from them. If they have money, I would rather that they kept it and used it for something they like. Have some fun, go on holidays..

There are other instances of parents assumed to be ready made, free, babysitters. I find that really unfair. Even more so, when sometimes, they are uprooted from where they are comfortable, and brought to places(sometimes abroad), where they know nobody, have no life for themselves, and have the job of looking after the grandkids.  It is perfectly acceptable if the parents want to do it, but sometimes, they just do not know how to say no and end up in a situation where everybody is unhappy.

The same goes for parents. Just because they have brought us up, does not give them a ‘right’ over our lives. I am sure that most children would love to be there for their parents, but it works much better when expectations are managed and set.  There are families where the parents live with their son and have a miserable time, because they cannot understand why their daughter-in-law comes home so late from work.  Their son coming back late is perfectly acceptable, but not for the daughter-in-law. It really helps if expectations are set right in the first instance. The fact that both of them hold down jobs and that both their jobs are equally important is something that is best understood at the beginning rather than after things spin off into a point of no return. Pixie’s comment on this post is one such example.

Unreasonable expectations from all quarters can be equally de-stabilizing. Be it from the younger generation or the older. It makes life so much easier, if we could all set, manage and handle expectations at all fronts. Although I have to admit, managing expectations in professional life is a cake-walk in comparison to the managing expectations in personal life.

Sacrifice? Really?

I decided to take time off from work, 3 years ago because I found it difficult to balance everything to my liking. I am sure, a lot of women would have managed better in my situation, but I decided to take it easy, because it worked for us as a family. And the reason I say this is, it was my decision. It was not a sacrifice. It was a well-thought out decision and my daughter (at one year of age)was one person who was not party to the decision-making process.

Why this statement? IHM’s latest post. The post touched a chord. It is a topic I feel rather strongly about, so I can’t help but pen down my thoughts here as well.

Given my background, how fair would it be if I say to my daughter – ‘I sacrificed my career for you, now it is your turn to pay me back’? She, who did not ask me to be born, she, who was not party to the decision that we made,  should she be made to bear the brunt of my expectations and my decisions in life?

As parents, I think a child gives us so many joys.  Those things itself make our life richer. Just her presence, her hugs and her love makes me glow with happiness. All I want is for her to have a happy and content childhood. For her to grown up into a good person, who is mature and sensible. I had her to enjoy being a mother – not as security for my old age.  She made my life complete – I did not do her a favour by giving birth to her. There I think is where the crux is.  In an older generation, people had children(read boys) so that they had security when they aged. Childhood joys and bringing up a child was more matter-of-fact, something that had to be done.

A child had only so much to say. A child had a lot to do though. A child had to make sure that all the expectations were met, that parents are always obeyed, irrespective of how old the children themselves were..

Now, I am not really advocating a life where we have no responsibilities. The way I look at it, if children is brought up well, there would be no need to force responsibilities on them. They will be wise enough to take care of both sets of parents. The problem occurs when the expectations from parents are so high, that they might road-roll over what a child might have planned – be it career or choice of life partner. And when I say children – I mean both girls and boys,. Both girls and boys should be equally responsible. Why should only the men be burdened with it?

Another thing that keeps coming up is how the Western society lacks family bonding and has no family ties. After living in different continents in the west, I do think that it is a blanket statement, which we use to make ourselves feel better. There are issues everywhere, and there are exemplary families everywhere too.  Every day at Poohi’s school, I see lots of grandparents pitching in with the child care. They drop and pick up their grandchildren. They participate in school trips, volunteer at school activities. They don’t seem lonely and sad. Most of them live in their own homes, with or without a partner, and are yet very involved with their families. I had a landlady who had a 90-year-old mother, and she used to be quite involved with her mother’s life as well as with her daughter and grandkids lives. All this while living with her partner.

One of the problems is that the older generation in our country( a large percentage of them atleast) are not occupied, busy, with a life and circle of friends of their own. It is almost as if, the moment retirement comes, they have no idea what to do after that. So then sets in the dis-satisfaction and unhappiness. For some, of course, it sets in earlier when their children refuse to toe the line. Then they feel that all their ‘sacrifice’ was of no use. But then, ‘sacrifice’  means that it was a ‘selfless deed’, doesn’t it? So how is a selfless deed, selfless, when one wants something in return? That is more of an investment, isn’t it?

Driving to death..

India seems to have got itself the dubious honour being  the world’s road death capital.

I am sure that most of us are not even surprised at it. Apparently, we overtook China in 2006, to become the country with the deadliest roads.

There are so many factors that just add up to these scary statistics, starting from the bottom, the drivers. So many of us on the roads, have licenses that are not properly earned, but ‘procured’. People ‘learn’ to drive/ride as they go. I remember seeing little boys riding their dad’s scooters when we were growing up – people never felt the need to go by the rules and ensure that a child is old and mature enough to handle the vehicle, forget about getting a license the correct way.  Then again,  if you do try to do everything the right way, you could probably forget about reaching your destination, any time in the near future.  One of my cousins was quite a careful and polite driver. A couple of years back, we saw a huge transformation in his driving method, apparently being a nice guy in the traffic does not help.  Every body is in a hurry, every body tries to inch one bit closer when the lights are red, resulting in a big jam when the lights are green. I remember autos squeezing into a tiny bit of space between two massive trucks. God forbid, the trucks move sideways even a bit.

Then of course, there is the issue with the way our ring roads and flyovers are constructed. It almost looks like the planner don’t seem to think ahead. I remember a flyover in Bangalore, which was meant to reduce the traffic congestion on the road, but the entry and exit from the flyover was so bad, that it hardly helped. The congestion just moved from one place to another. Makes me wonder about how these are planned. Almost every high-speed ring road has pedestrians crossing on foot, as it takes their fancy. We cannot even blame them, because they have no other option. There are no underpasses or over head footpath to help them cross, so what option do they have? I remember being scared to death when a family decided to run across the road(a high-speed highway) right in front of our car. Thankfully, the driver managed to swerve and not hit anybody/anything. But the fact that this sort of thing is done and is acceptable is the sad part. Not every body would be as lucky. If the driver could have hit another car, so many things could go wrong, when something like this happens. Apparently it does not make financial sense to build underpasses or walkways. Does that mean that human life is so under-valued that it does not matter if a few people die on the streets?

Do our traffic policemen really fine drivers at all? Most people recount of how they catch you and you are let off with a bribe . They are, apparently, extremely reluctant to fine people the proper way. So how can we really get the people to follow rules when the rules themselves are not properly enforced?

Here, there is a part of a ring road I pass regularly. They had recently added traffic lights after somebody was killed crossing it. Somebody (from here) was lamenting that it took a person to be killed for them to introduce lights there.. I just wished that at least people getting killed on our roads would propel our governments to action to try to manage our roads better..

26/11 – Hope against hope

26/11. The day which shocked us all like never before. Far, far away from India, I sat transfixed, watching the horror unfold in front of me.

Millions across the world did the same, felt the same outrage, came out in different ways to express how they felt…

Outpourings of grief, anger and outrage everywhere..

So many brave people of India, scarificed their lives, saved lives without thinking twice about their own safety..

But did it change anything? Has 26/11 changed anything in reality or are we just waiting for another, more shocking. more horrifying version of 26/11 to happen before we get pushed into action. Have we all gone back to our cozy lives after the initial shock wore off? Have we, in reality forgotten what happened a year back.. Apparently, South Mumbai where most of the attacks took place, had a really low voter turnout – have we as voters forgotten our responsibility too?

Just when I thought it could get no worse, I saw that our govt had spent 31 crores to keep Kasab alive! What a monumental waste of money.We have seen all kinds of tamashas in this trial.  What should have been an open and shut case, has dragged on for a year. What with the Shiv sena threatening the lawyers who were to represent him and all that. Surely, why do these political parties forget that justice is simply being denied by all these unnecessary political dramas? What did it all achieve? Yes, am sure they got some political mileage – but the real cost is the 31 crores and justice that has been delayed for so many victims and their families. Makes you wonder if all the valour with which our forces fought the terrorists were wasted. Makes you wonder if the Ajmal Kasab trial will go the Lieberhaan way and take 17 years  before it is completed?

For a country to be a position to ensure it’s security, from both internal and external elements, one of the key things is to make an effort to reduce the corruption levels. With reports of how Hemant Karkare’s bullet proof vest is missing – it just reinforces the fact that we have corruption at the highest levels. If our government officers and those in the government are not accountable and responsible – what hope do we have to ensuring that our country is safe from terrorists?

While I do understand that countries like America have an intrinsic advantage of geography, but surely, given that we are more vulnerable and our neighbourhood more troubled, we have to go that extra mile. I guess, all we can do is hope (against hope?) that we never see a 26/11 attack again..

Send me no roses

He always brought her flowers. Red roses.. as red as her bruises…

He was loving and tender.. as tender as her body felt….

The more she hurt, the bigger the bouquet, the more loving he got..

But today was the last.. she was free at last. Free from the roses, free from the tender loving care.. free from the sudden eruption of rage that left her hurt and bruised. She was now at peace, nobody could hurt her anymore.. This time, the roses were for her funeral.

 

October is the Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Domestic violence is one of the most widespread and the most under-estimated crimes. Domestic violence is just not between spouses. Domestic violence may also be perpetuated by members of the extended family. Domestic violence may also be against children. Domestic violence knows no barriers. It exists in every community, country, race, ethnic group , class of people, sexual orientation and gender. It could begin in any phase of a relationship.  It could happen to any of ‘us’ not ‘them’.

There is no excuse for domestic violence. Nobody ‘asks’ for abuse. It can not be justified. Once one slap is endured, it might just be a matter of time before it escalates to full-fledged regular abuse.

In India, the societal structures make it even more difficult to combat. After I had my daughter, I had a lady who used to come and massage me. She used to tell me about another person who she used to massage, who she was sure was a victim of abuse. Apparently the lady, just weeks after giving birth, had black and blue marks all over her. And at no point was she allowed to be alone with this lady – either her sister-in-law or her mother-in-law would sit by, while she massaged her. Apparently new bruises would appear every now and then. Hearing all this broke my heart.. Here I was being pampered by my parents, and there was another young mother, possibly younger than me, but being treated so badly.

In India, it becomes even more difficult to tackle as a lot of times, even the police refuse to intervene citing it to be a personal matter – between the spouses, to be resolved within the four walls of the house.

I remember another friend whose sister got married to a man settled abroad, who used to abuse her so much that she finally separated. It was terrible for her to live in a new country, with an abusive spouse. Thankfully for her, her parents and family stood by her. She was not sent back to her husband and told to adjust, to compromise…as happens with so many other young women. When reputation in the society and what ‘the neighbours think’ become more important that their daughter’s life.

Physical abuse is not the only thing that is part of domestic abuse. Although we tend talk about women mainly, because going by percentages, more women than men seem to be the victims of domestic abuse, domestic abuse can happen to anybody – irrespective of the gender. Mental abuse is just as part of domestic violence as physical abuse is. Keeping the woman from meeting her friends or family, keeping tab of what she does, checking her mail can all be classified under domestic violence, because of the effect of such activity on the victim. A lot of abusers are extremely gentle and nice in public making it difficult for others to even imagine that the abuser is capable of such atrocities.

Apparently, most people affected by domestic violence are often unaware of the resources available. Which is where campaigns like Bell Bajao become so important. A lot of women will not feel so helpless if they are aware that help is at hand. And a lot of abusers may think twice if they know that their victim can get help!

One of the biggest myths surrounding domestic violence is that a couple should stay together, despite the violence for the sake of the children. Children are NOT better off in an abusive environment. I remember reading about a girl who grew up in a family where her mother was periodically abused by her father. She grew up thinking that it was normal and ended up married to another abuser. It was much later that she realized that she could and did break the cycle. There are long-term effects that have been seen in children who grow up in an abusive environment such as loss of confidence, stress related illnesses, they could copy the behaviour to become either abusers or victims later in life, blame themselves for it. A happy and secure environment with a single parent is far  better than an abusive environment with both parents.

Some interesting links.

How to recognize abuse

Title inspired by a book by Jenny Tomlin called Send me no flowers, which tackled the subject of abuse and was one of the most brutal and shocking books that I read on the subject. It also brought home the different kinds of abuses that comes under the umbrella of domestic abuse.

 

My biggest blessing..

is my little girl..

My daughter gave husband and me a ‘gold star’ each. Mine was for cooking her breakfast, and his was for feeding her 🙂

She gives us so much joy in so many ways, and these little gestures just make me want to gather her up and hug her for ever. We have so many dreams for her, biggest of which would be for her to have a happy fulfilling life, for her to be able to achieve everything that she sets out to do..

Would I have loved her more if she had been a boy? Does the gender make any difference for us parents? I would like to think not. Though, I always wanted a girl, I am sure that if we had a little boy, we would have taken equal joy in his antics, have the same aspirations for him, treat him just the same as we treat her. Why then, do we, as a society, set so much store by the gender of a child?

Though we worship the female form in the form of Durga, Lakshmi , Saraswati, we don’t think twice before aborting a female foetus..

Though we are claim to be more spiritual than the materialistic West, we pray for sons, for purely materialistic reasons..

Though, we are progressing in so many ways, we still have a heavily skewed gender ratio, with illegal gender determination clinics flourishing.

That people still assume that a having a daughter is a ‘sad event’ in one’s life.

Today, is supposed to be Daughter’s Day.  Apparently, sex selective abortions have resulted in ten million women being missing from the Indian population. Where sex determination is not possible, infanticide is practiced. And it is not the rural or poorer strata of society where the gender gap is growing – it is in the richer(and educated) classes that the gender gap is growing. So much for education and awareness.

All I want to hope is that a day will come when a daughter is not a curse, that people will not need to console parents who have daughters. A daughter will not be a liability- just a cherished child. When we just don’t pray to goddesses, but also treat women and girls with the dignity they deserve, not as unwanted members of the society.

A day will come, when son or daughter, we would be equally happy. Son, or daughter, will have the same opportunities. When girls will not be killed even before they are born. When daughter’s days will not be a reminder of how dire the situation of a girl child in India is.