Fighting female foeticide

I refer to two articles, one by Dr S.S. Johl, “Daughters at a disadvantage” (March 20) and another, “Saving the girl child” by Dr Manmohan Kaur (March 21). Upkar, a Nawanshahr-based social organisation, deserves accolades for its effort to save the girl child. However, the desire for the sons is not the sole motive behind female foeticide. Numerous social evils like dowry, child labour, eve-teasing and rape are also responsible for this.

The rich give hefty dowry with their daughters and make public display of their wealth by spending lakhs of rupees on decoration and other antics. The middle class families try to imitate them and fall in the debt trap. When the poor observe all this, they fear to give birth to daughters, lest they should suffer in future due to the avarice of dowry seekers.

Likewise, rape brings shame to the family and scar to the victims. The victim’s parents find it difficult to remove the scars caused by the rape which has become an instrument to persecute women physically and mentally. Thus, both parents and society are equally responsible for female foeticide. Social organisations should join Upkar in fighting this evil tooth and nail.

Dr VINOD K. CHOPRA, Hamirpur

Dear readers

Letters to the Editor, neatly hand-written or typed, upto 150 words, should be sent to the Letters Editor, The Tribune, Sector 29 C, Chandigarh. Letters can also be emailed at the following address: letters@tribunemail.com

— Editor-in-Chief



The two articles are an eye-opener for a society like ours where dowry is a custom and everything is left on the girl’s parents who first spend on her education and once she gets married, continue the custom of serving her and her in-laws on every occasion — be it Diwali or birth of a child.

What about the in-laws? Are they not aware of their duties towards their daughters-in-law? By not accepting the share of ancestral property, daughters can maintain a smooth brother-sister bond and save themselves from the hands of greedy in-laws.

ASHU, Patiala


I agree that despite the Hindu Succession Act, our daughters will remain an exploited lot. It is true that under the existing provisions, they are equal partners with brothers in the family property. The Act should be further amended to make them equal partners with husband in the in-laws’ property. Such an Act will help stop their exploitation at the hands of in-laws.

P.K. GUPTA, Bathinda


Girls are doing well in every field today — in Civil Services, Engineering, Science and Technology and Medicine. Thus, they are making India proud. But even today many people in the villages are resorting to female foeticide. The step taken by Upkar, a small civil society organisation, in changing the people’s mindset at Khothran in Nawanshahr is highly commendable.

The dramatic improvement in the sex ratio this year as a result of Upkar’s campaign is laudable. We should join hands to fight female foeticide and say no to pre-natal determination of the foetus.



Dr Johl’s article is timely. The Hindu Succession Act should be amended in a manner that a girl automatically gets a share in her in-laws’ property rather than in her parents’ ancestral property. This amendment will make the brother-sister relationship more cordial as also check female foeticide and other atrocities on women.

This will also discourage cases of desertion of girls after marriage. Moreover, deserted woman (if any) will get some property share for her sustenance.

The suggested amendment will ensure that people who torture their daughters-in-law will have to pay a price for it.



Dr Johl has rightly pointed out that the Hindu Succession Act weakens the girl child’s position and will increase the incidence of female foeticide. Dowry has also been made obligatory under this amendment. I, however, disagree with his view that girls should automatically become equal partners in the property of in-laws after marriage.

In case of divorce, they automatically share the property of in-laws. The provision will weaken the institution of marriage and increase the incidence of divorce. Already society is raking up lots of cases in which girls are taking advantage of the laws and holding the boys and in-laws to ransom.

What we need today is a fine and delicate balance. Girls should be educated and be entitled only to assets they make themselves. Instead of the Hindu Succession Act, the government should make education of girls compulsory and give the girl child concessions for higher education. Employability of the girl child should be easier and within the provision of the law.


Proxies of God

If we are able to understand the parents’ importance in the family set-up, there will be no reason for us to honour and respect them. Parents are God’s proxies on the earth. Their blessings are sacred and like deferred cheques. And so everyone should respect parents with due respect and honour.


From pillar to post

One reason for the failure of the justice system is malfeasance in the judiciary and the executive. More than 50 per cent of the cases in the courts are against the government offices. The corrupt executives fail to provide just and responsive governance and the decrepit judicial system delays justice to the common man.

To quote an example, a widow in our family had asked for vacation of her house rented out to PWD Haryana for self-occupation. Though the PWD recommended the vacation, the Chief Minister rejected the case even though many government houses are lying vacant.

We have approached the court and no prospects of early hearing. Meanwhile, the widow is running from pillar to post for relief.

Brig W.S. CHOUDHARY (retd), Panchkula


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |