No laughing matter
THE people of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh should hold their heads up with pride because the sex ratio in these places is quite high. People here celebrate the birth of a son, dancing to the bhangra beats ó Shava kaka jamm peya. They are overjoyed by the thought that the waaris of their khandaan has arrived. Itís a different matter that the same waaris might one day be found in the courts, trying to usurp his parents property.
The Supreme Court has issued a directive to the government to ban sex-determination tests and sex selection techniques to arrest the rise in the incidents of female foeticide.
Yesterday I asked a friend of mine from Punjab, "Howís the scene in Punjab? Iíve heard government organisations and NGOs are mobilising a drive against sex determination tests. Is it having any effect?" He said, "Of course! The doctors who earlier used to take Rs 500 for the tests are now charging Rs 5000 because now conducting sex determination tests is a high-risk job!"
If the shameful act of female foeticide is not banned, the day is not for when it would be difficult to find a bride for a groom. Imagine a typical filmi scene ó the father of the bridegroom removes his turban and places it at the feet of the brideís father saying, "Main aap ke paon padta hoon, baarat wapas mat bhayjeye. Agar aaj ye baraat laut gaye to mere ladke ko aur ladki nahin mileyge!"
The mother who gives birth to a male child is seen as a winner, as if she has won the gold medal in the Asian Games or the Olympics. And the mother who has just delivered a female child is made to feel less worthy. Itís a different matter that one day this same girl child will grow up to be a Sunita Rani who will bring laurels to the whole nation.