In India, while we scream hoarse about protecting Bharat Mata and its daughters, every day, the fate of hundreds of hundreds of girls is decided even before they’re born. Son preference is still at the root of so many of our social evils, silently but ferociously gnawing away at any efforts of gender equality. The preference is so deep-seated that shamefully, we had to get a law against sex determination.
A 2011 study by The Lancet found that 12 million female foetuses in India have been aborted in the last three decades. To put this sickening number in even more perspective – it’s almost as much as the entire population of the city of Delhi, and eight times the population of the entire state of Goa. Over the last decade, shocking stories of sex-selective abortion have come to the fore, where even doctors have been arrested for abetting the act. For instance, a doctor couple from Beed district, Maharashtra, was arrested in 2012 when a pregnant woman died due to a botched abortion in 2012. An NGO also revealed that they were “disposing female foetuses by feeding them to dogs in order to destroy evidence”.
“O Ri Chiraiya”, the song accompanying TV show Satyamev Jayate’s hard-hitting episode on female foeticide, shook the entire nation with its powerful lyrics and rendition by singer Swanand Kirkire. It directly addresses the girls India has killed, and their mothers, and has a haunting ask: “Angana mein phir aaja re (Come back to us again, o little girl).”
To watch the entire episode and know more about the act against female foeticide in India, go here.