PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: An Unwelcome Girl-child: Continuing Male Preference in Indian Society

Posted on June 22, 2012 in Shout Out

By Ipsa Arora:

Last week had passed in full anxiety and excitement! My sister had been married for the past eight years but still did not have a child because of some biological problems. Now, with medical help and God’s grace, my sister was pregnant. Preparations for to-be-born baby were full on in our family and hers. Several nights had passed in curiosity of getting the news the next morning. And it finally arrived. It was six in the morning and Jiju called up saying that they were blessed with a daughter. I was so excited that I forgot everything else and started preparing to leave for Didi’s place – packing things, all gifts and clothes bought.

But the sight on reaching the hospital startled me. Everybody was crying on the arrival of a daughter. They wanted a son- a ‘chirag’ of their house. Didi’s mother-in-law blamed her for not getting an IVF done. Didi cried and started blaming the darling, innocent angel in the cradle for her arrival. Jiju didn’t say much but thought that it would have been better if they would have been blessed by a boy so that he could continue with their business.

“Why can’t a girl do that?”, I asked.

“A boy is a boy after all”, they cried.

“You should be proud to be parents of a girl. What’s bad in having a girl child? A girl always proves to be as much attached to her parents as a boy, even more. Then why this type of a behaviour?”, I asked.

The darling little angel started crying on seeing such an ignorant reception. Didi and others in the family cried over the baby and my soul cried over them for not having let a daughter an equal status as that of a son, for adding a name to the list of people still living with an extreme desire of possessing a male child. Why even after living in the 21st century, people are on with their old, narrow mentality. Why is it that women have reached the moon but are not able to reach the hearts of people? Why? This question still remains unanswered in my mind.

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