The Tribune - Spectrum


Sunday, May 27, 2001

Selective abortions slur on society

The Supreme Court has dealt a severe blow to the obnoxious practice of killing the girl child in the womb. The court has asked the Union and state governments to be more strict in enforcing the law banning sex determination tests followed by female foeticide. Recently, the five head priests of Akal Takht issued an edict, identical in nature to the directions issued by the apex court, to the sangat to shun female foeticide.

The male-female ratio, which stood at 1000-972 in 1901, fell to 1000-929 in 1991. The latest census has reported a declining trend in the female population in Punjab, Haryana and even in Himachal Pradesh. Private clinics, not only in the region, but also elsewhere in the country continue to brazenly defy the law against conducting the sex determination tests.

S.S. Jain, Chandigarh

This has reference to Aruti Nayar’s article "Silent Genocide" (May 6). The problem of female foetecide has assumed alarming proportions. People prefer to have a male child to perform their last rites and to acquire an heir to inherit the family name and property. But parents should change their mindset as girls can also perform such rituals and duties with more care and affection than boys.

Women’s desire to avoid the stigma of having not given birth to a son further aggravates the problem. Educated modern women, who are becoming increasingly aware of their rights have no qualms in aborting a female child in the womb. It is women alone who can put an end to the genocide of the girl child. Women’s organisations should endeavour to have the unborn girlchild by bringing about awareness among women.

Doctors abetting women in the wicked practice are not to be blamed. It is the women who go to them to get the female child aborted. However, the doctors ought to advise women against such abortions.

Tarsem S. Bumrah, Batala


Value of silence

Apropos of Suparna Saraswati’s writeup "Where little minds imbibe the value of Silence" (May 13). Every one knows that silence is healing and noise, destructive. Even then it appears that silence is something we do not want, otherwise how else can we account for all-night jagrans and wedding bands.

The human mind longs for a quiet and peaceful environment to experience the beauty of nature. This reduces stress and tension and enhances creativity.

Since we have been accustomed to living in a noise-polluted environment, we never experience the healing power of silence.

In this context, the ancient Indian concept of observance of silence mauma is significant. By reviving this concept, the school at Astachal is doing great service. The experience of silence helps us to regain our inner peace.

P.L. Sethi, Patiala

Pictures that speak

This refers to the article "Pictures that speak" by Manohar Malgonkar (May 13). It makes very interesting reading.

This is a fact, though a sad one, that most great painters of the world have died a pauper’s death. Their masterpieces sell for millions, but mostly only after their penury-riddled and scarcity-hit life comes to an end.

But it applies to many other fields as well. Down the ages, the one who took the first step in any new direction, the one who tried to show the multitude a new way, the one who endeavoured to do something path-breaking and visionary, always stood alone. The one who is a visionary and ahead of his time, always got ridicule and stones. We tend to be able to look at the things from the point of view such geniuses only after a considerable lapse of time. And it is aptly said, "First we crucify our Christ in every age and then we worship those whom we have slain."

Even if someone helps to get one genuine artist recognition and emancipation from hunger and neglect, he or she deserves great admiration, for that person renders great service to humanity.

Amritpal Tiwana, Kalka

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