Monday, July 29, 2013

The Girl Child - A symbol of sorrow?

Can you think of killing your own daughter? The daughter whom you loved so much when she was in the womb and to whom you delivered kisses through your wife’s stomach.

A smile from a daughter, hug from a sister, pinch on the cheeks from mother, a kiss from grandmother, all the above from the lover - This is all a man needs from life. The feminine gender has always been very kind and helpful to me. Happiness is what we derive from within. But, a girl child born is considered a crime in south India, while in Rajasthan they are used for carrying pots of water. There are many reasons for girl children being disliked in southern households. They are:

1) Dowry issues: You know what? If the girl’s family is ready to give them 400 grams of gold, an engineer is ready to get married to the girl. Higher the price paid, the better the social status of the man. The only solution to this is love marriages. I thought education would put things back, but even engineering grads are also doing this. May be the education system needs to be corrected a bit.
Dowry actually started as an asset to the girl, if at all the man dies, to survive.  Then, it gradually took up on the society and now it has come up to a level of bargaining - Very similar to ragging which started up as a
friendship act. Now girls have started to go to work and everyone thinks the society has changed. Now the dialogue has changed to, “now that your girl is working, why can’t you give more?”
Vairamuthu's Sahithya Academy award winning novel 'Kallikkaattu Ithihasam' says, how happy a family feels when a calf born is feminine. It gives milk and supports the family financially, in contrary to a woman child.

2) Sanctity: All that goes is the girl’s sanctity. The men are always virgin – they think. When men are not proper, how can they expect women to be? When he loses it, one girl also loses it. This is not accepted by this male dominant society. Sanctity is for women alone, they think.

3) Gender Inequalities:  Girls are not allowed to take any decision on their own. In the same family, when a man marries a girl out of his own will, there is no issue for anyone. But, if a woman does it, it is a big mistake. Women are considered as the social status of the family. The privilege men enjoy is far more than the arrogance every woman faces from the society.

Story 1: There was a girl I know. Take her as any Kasthuri or Vasanthi.  She was married to a man, whom she knew was alcoholic on the second day after her wedding and eventually on the 10th day she came home and told her parents that she was going to apply for divorce. She had a job and could take care of a family of three. But, they had to give her in marriage to another guy. They did. She lives happily working for an MNC in Chennai. The past has been forgotten or buried. The parents were not in our town for more than three years from the divorce to the next marriage. When she bore a child she said, “I prayed it to be a boy, otherwise she would face all the difficulties I faced”

Story 2: Kamalam or Vimala passed away, as her surgery during delivery of a baby was not proper. The child was left in the girl’s house itself and the man has married another girl. No problem for the family and him.

Moral: Only when it happens to a girl, it is taken personally.

Evan Grae Davis delivered this speech and Franklin Templeton Investments partnered the TEDxGateway Mumbai in December 2012.. More than saying that he delivered the speech, he played a small movie on gendercide, telling the world what it was.

There are so many reasons why a girl need not live here. As in the documentary by Evan Grae Davis a tamil girl says, “yes, I killed and buried eight of my children, just because they were all girls”. From the same state, it has been a lot of people who have come up with revolutions in form of poetry, movements, films and much more.

Bharathiyar has been a pioneer in this arena. Many of his poetries have been for women liberation and gender equality.
கற்பு நிலை என சொல்ல வந்தார், இரு
கட்சிக்கும் அஃது பொதுவில் வைப்போம் – is a classic, which tells if we are talking about sanctity let us keep it common to everyone. But, nothing has changed over the past few decades. Men are men and women are women.
When a girl child is born, the woman who gave birth to her is cursed. But actually it is the man who has the capability to determine if it is a girl or boy. They hold both X and Y. But men, being men, complain women for all their activities.

As Evan says, “Women are products of the environment”. Women are helpless. They are powerless. He also says, “The number of women missing in the world, a 200 million, is more than the sum of people killed in World War I and II combined”. This was very shocking to me. The ‘It’s a girl’ documentary has been directed by Evan, the orator in this video. This video goes on to tell about the female gendercide happening in the world.

Can you think of killing your own daughter? The daughter whom you loved so much when she was in womb and to whom you delivered kisses through your wife’s stomach.  Killing is not a solution, to end all this. Proper education, love, affection, humanity and much more has to be developed to stop this. More than education, the knowledge that a person gets must be quite good.

If girl children are killed in this ratio, we are soon walking into a world where there will only be men. If there are only men, soon they’ll kill each other and this world will turn to what it was before homosapiens. Now that Evan has done his part, of creating this movie we have to do our part by at least promising that we would not do this.

If you have watched this movie and read this blog, you are one among 3% of Indian population to have known about TED and blogs. Thanks for being here. It is now our duty to stop all this non-sense against women. Even, I have thought what is going to happen with all these feminine liberation movements and all. But, now I feel a different way. All these popular women liberation movements are not as we think. The real movements are yet to come.

Women have been used in every point in history. Earlier they have been used to bear children and safeguard family when, man is out hunting. Now they are used as a machine that makes money. This has to change. The freedom must be equal. The seed needs to be sown in every individual. Every one of us needs to know what is happening and if it is happening the wrong way, we need to correct it. Evan asks us to at least, “Stand against injustice to woman in our own culture, and become culture changers”. That is the least we must do.