Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Disappearing Daughters - Gita Aravamudan

A rather disturbing book.. and it reminds you again of just how convoluted the problem is. No easy answers at all.

Some years ago I'd have flippantly remarked - things will even out all right. Or dismissed the parents as weak / cruel / stupid /uneducated morons. Now I'm not so sure.

Some of the worst offenders are the very well educated, smart, seemingly well adjusted folks, who you'd never imagine could consider such a thing. Good middle class parents , worried just that wee bit more about their sons performance at college than daughters. Parents regretting having educated their daughters so much that its hard to get them married now. Parents collecting dowry, and telling themselves that its just something to improve their daughter married life, not dowry.

No solutions in sight. Some of the numbers are very very unsettling.

Mumbai , 1984 , 7999 abortions out of 8000 were females.
Amartya Sen's estimations - 37 million Indian women missing already in 1987. Would you call those murders? Does that call for action on a war footing?
Dharmapuri , tamil nadu - 1997- 1999, over 3000 *recorded female infanticides , areas with 2 boys to 1 girl
Punjab 2001 - sex ratio below 850 in the *whole state.
south west delhi ( yes the posh well educated south delhi) - 2001 - sex ratio - 845.

Will things change? Who knows..

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