Yes. But this is about some real kolaveri(killer rage). I was really disturbed at reading the sad end of a three month old girl child Afreen. She was killed by her own father for no fault of hers but because he wanted only a boy. How can a man after seeing his own baby (be it boy or girl) in flesh and blood commit such an act? This is cruelty with no justification.
But this incident made me ponder over the reasons for prejudice against female child in this country.
I could only think of three major reasons for this:
- Dowry menace prevalent in the society.
- Lack of safety for a girl or woman of any age to move about freely.
- The belief that only a boy can perform the last rites to his parents and only then their soul will attain the right to rest in peace.
We shall consider the first one alone for now.
The dowry system might have come into vogue since there was no inheritance right to women. But then the system is prevalent in Kerala too where a section of the society is supposed to follow matrilineal succession system.
Added to the dowry evil the grand gala Indian wedding expenses make the life of a girl's father quite tough, no doubt. There is a saying in Tamil that if he had five daughters even a king will become pauper(Anju pennai petral arasanum aandiyavan). But today even one daughter's wedding makes a middle class family immersed in debt, if not insolvent.
Yes the dowry system is bad. But the condition stated above is not only because of the dowry system. Consider the expenses incurred in the grand Indian shows called wedding. Everyone wants to outdo the neighbours and friends and end up spending their life's savings for the one day affair.
My dear girls and boys, you show all the courage and confidence to stand up before your parents –right from choosing the dress you like to the course you like and in many cases the life partner of your choice too. (No- I'm not against your choosing your life partners, but show a little prudence. O.K—that is for a different story).
But when it comes to the wedding function you become all too obedient and hide under the cover of parental pressure. You have no stinch of shame in imitating or outdoing some one who has made an ugly display of their wealth, rather their ability to borrow. Your friend or neighbour wants to outdo when their turn comes and the circle becomes vicious. No, I am not against having fun with a lot of guests. In fact it is an occasion to renew forgotten relationships. But creating scenes as in movies and using film cameras to shoot them, isn't it too much? Yes, platforms on which the couple are standing are suddenly raised to some height leaving the guests standing nearby awe struck. Fortunately things have not gone to this height in the south. But Keralites' weddings which used to be a simple and short affair until a decade back are no more simple these days. I have actually seen a wedding using a camera with a trolley used for shooting films. And this extravaganza is taking place in a country where the planning commission is lowering the poverty limit from Rs.32/ to 28/ and is pleased that the population below poverty line has reduced. Again this in a country where we the middle class don't bother to read about female foeticide unless reminded by a celbrity in a TV serial (after getting a hefty pay packet for himself). And that too to click Like button in the facebook. There are many youngsters with social awareness, no doubt. But the majority are not even aware of the harm caused by the show offs. If the younger generation wake up and decide to eradicate female foeticide there will be no more Afreens.