Indifference to female foeticide

Apropos of the editorial “Murder in the womb” (Feb 20) and the report about Dr Nina Puri, President of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (Feb 19), the unholy nexus of technology and tradition has added a new dimension to the problem of female foeticide in the country.

Sadly, the sex ratio is the lowest in Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Gujarat. These states have acquired a dubious distinction of threatening the life of female children. Already many of the young men, reaching marriageable age, are finding it hard to find brides, which, in turn, has led to a new practice of buying girls from the poorer families in poorer states. Early marriage, domestic abuse, sexual exploitation, less food, less access to education, preference for sons etc, have made the women’s status significantly worse than men.

Though successive governments have been fully committed to gender equality and the principles of non-discrimination, nothing is possible unless traditions and religious practices are changed. As gender bias is more a matter of attitudes and the psyche, women’s status will improve only if we are not indifferent to them.

Dr DHARAM PAL MOR, Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Social Work, Punjabi University, Patiala




The editorial “Murder in the womb” exposes the indifference of the people of this region towards the scourge of female foetcide which has led to a skewed ratio in favour of males. Sadly, the technology of ultrasound scanning continues to be misused for minting money by perpetuating the tendency to abort female foetuses by medical specialists, who connive with the culprits not only to commit murders in the womb but also spread the vicious practice of reserving the mother’s womb for a male child only.

The momentum for waging a war against female foeticide has not been built up in society as NGOs’ efforts are not being supported sincerely either by the state authorities or by socio-religious preachers. Religious preachers should be urged to include a solemn pledge in the daily prayers not to kill girls in the womb.

Let the couples take a pledge not to abort female foetuses at the time of the marriage ceremony. This shall definitely boost the dwindling morale of the would-be mothers. Let us admit that it is only the unsafe or the disrespected womanhood which has perpetuated the malice.

Let the state governments involve everyone in the war against female foeticide by ensuring greater participation in seminars.

B B GOYAL, Ludhiana

Protest against quotas

Apropos of the report “Novel protest against caste-based quota” (Feb 15), the government should seriously consider the repercussions of the 85th Constitution amendment. Otherwise, the day is not far off when jobless, meritorious doctors, engineers and technocrats of the general category would be forced to pull rehris for self-employment to earn their daily bread.

Those belonging to the reserved classes with low academic records as compared to their counterparts from the general category are at the helm of governance in many places today. What a mockery of the system! General category forums of depressed jobless youth have started emerging in cities in protest against reservation. A strong rebellion is brewing up which cannot be suppressed by the political masters. India Shining has not forgotten the pain and the agony of bruises, burns and self-immolations in the aftermath of the Mandal Commission report.

No conscientious citizen would like to witness that sombre fragment of history to repeat itself. The “feel-good” mantra will not be “feel-good” unless some balanced and just alternative to reservation is given to the masses on the eve of the elections.

ASHA NARANG, GND University, Amritsar

No clean chit yet

Mr K.N. Bhatt’s article “The Bofors verdict” (Feb 16) should serve as an eye-opener for all the supporters of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, who are celebrating the premature “clean chit” given to Rajiv Gandhi by the Delhi High Court in the most infamous Bofors gun case. Logically as well as judiciously, clean chit of any kind whatsoever cannot be given to Rajiv Gandhi or any of his family members, till the dubious role played by the international Italian swindler, Ottavio Quattrocchi and Congress leader and former External Affairs Minister Madhavsinh Solanki in the Bofors case is not pursued to its logical conclusion.

It is a fact that Quattrochi was very intimately close to Rajiv Gandhi’s family. Solanki was a very loyal minister in the Rajiv Gandhi government. Clearly, both Quattrocchi and Solanki have played shady roles in the Bofors case.

A.K. SHARMA, Chandigarh

Partisan police

The editorial “Gujarat’s shame” (Feb 16) reflects the general decadence and partisan attitude of the Gujarat police in removing the vital evidence in the Bilkis case, close on the heels of the Best Bakery case. God alone knows where our country would lead to if protectors become offenders, as criminals in uniform.


PTU students’ stir

The students of third year of all the engineering colleges of Punjab Technical University (PTU) have been on an indefinite hunger strike demanding revoking of the 24 credits rule. The rule has already been passed by a cabinet committee but the Vice-Chancellor is still adamant. Some striking students are in a critical condition but nobody has come to listen to their demands.

DEEPAK, Student, PTU, Jallandhar

CAT exam

Apropos of your report “CAT held amid tight security” (Feb 16), the full form of CAT is Common Admission Test and not as mentioned.


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