The society has always considered women as human beings which have to be dominated and imposed Victorian era rules upon them. The women live according to the norms of our male-dominated patriarchal society in a state of constant fear. If she dares to break out of these restraints of society she risks being shamed, harassed and in extreme cases her life. The patriarchal foundation can not tolerate seeing women living on their own terms. I would like to narrow my focus to women in Punjab, which is the place I was born in.
Punjab, the land of ‘Singhs’. Honor, Respect, Dignity like words are used by people or to be precise, the men, living in Punjab to describe themselves. Let the veil be put aside and see the real Punjab in terms of treating female gender.
In 2012, an article from Times of India ranked Punjab as the number 3rd state in terms of female foeticide cases. The readers might ponder it was in 2012, it’s 2017 now! It may be 2017 now but the horrific acts of female foeticide still thrive. I have heard copious times, the wish for a boy to be born from our respected elders. Mother-in-law, father-in-law, brother-in-law, other relatives all put pressure on a woman for a boy. Family honor, the burden of dowry, the safety of females are the reason behind this wish. A woman who gives birth to a girl child repeatedly is the worst target in these cases. Their husbands try all in their power to harass the wife because she couldn’t give birth to a boy. These type of cases of treatment of women are the story of whole India, but Punjab has its name in the upper slot.
There is an activist, her name is Dr. Harshinder Kaur. She has dedicated her life to educate people about female foeticide. Watch her youtube videos, you will know the evil Punjabi people are capable of. She tells in one of heart-wrenching incident of a female foeticide. She was going to meet people of a village to give a speech on female foeticide. At the entrance of village at one corner she saw 6-7 dogs gathered around something and were eating. She asked the driver to go near the pack of dogs. What she saw jolted the deepest corners of her spirit. The dogs were eating body parts of a just born female baby. One of the dogs was carrying the arm of that baby in his mouth ripped from the body of the girl. She said she couldn’t think for minutes, it was like a part of her own body has been ripped away.
This menace of killing girls in Punjab is being nourished under the nose of the very people who feel proud to be called as Singhs. A long time ago, I stopped feeling proud to be related to Punjab. I often wonder about these monsters, about these individuals who can kill a girl rather than stand up against a society filled with patriarchy. They can not speak or act against the masses but can harass women who have no control on the gender of the baby to be born. I have stopped caring about being part of this kind of society or culture.
This is video where Dr. Harshinder Kaur narrates the story of dogs eating the baby girl. Click here.