Health indicators like Infant Mortality rate & maternal Mortality Rate can’ be stated without mentioning the Declining Sex Ratio at Birth
The Congress led UPA 2 government celebrated its 4 years of achievements yesterday. The Congress leader and MP from Hardwar, Harish Rawat appeared on one TV panel debate. He stated the UPA2 Government’s achievements in the area of Public & Social Health indicators. He quoted decline in mal-nourishment among children and decline in maternal mortality rates across the country. Not surprising though, he never mentioned the Declining Sex Ratio at Birth. An indicator where both the country and his own constituency, Haridwar in Uttarakhand, perform badly.
It’s obvious that no Government in India, be it in state or at Centre, be it of Congress or BJP, will ever mention the Sex Ratio at Birth at such celebrations. As they are meant to celebrate the achievements. But the sad thing is — the Declining Sex Ratio at Birth, is a question — Every Government Can safely Ignore during its entire Tenure.
The fact that declining Sex Ratio at Birth (The Ratio between the Number of Girls and Boys Born) is never important to the society and hence is never debated by the society, allows every political party, and every Government, simply overlook it. If the declining Girls in Indian Society may become a political Question (that is votes are cast on the question); yesterday’s UPA2’s achievements, and previous BJP led NDA Government’s achievements, may instantly look dwarf.
The absence of the question of declining Sex Ratio at Birth, from the societal and political debate in our country, is a shocking reality, we are not confronting ourselves with. We are focusing on the questions of corruption, Scams, individual impropriety, professional impropriety, criminalization of politics, Black money, religion, Faith, woman safety etc.; but we are not focusing on the most important of all Questions: Personal Morality.
The declining Sex Ratio at Birth in India is an indication that we Indians (I and You) are giving least thought to the morality on our personal fronts. And if we are giving a thought, then we are contemplating wrong questions. And those wrong questions are : Womanizer (having relations with a woman other than the wife), Adultery (making conjugal relations other than one’s Wife or Husband), Live-in Relationship (Living together without a Wedlock), Dating (Two individuals, not husband and wife, spending time with each other), Stealing electricity, defaulting loans etc. We are not contemplating the most important of all Personal Morality questions: Is it Good to Abort a Life in the mother’s womb; simply because the Life has a Female Gender?
Actually, we as a society need to contemplate this question, with the same force if not more, the other moral questions we discuss. The moment we start thinking on the moral questions surrounding the killing an unborn daughter; all other questions like corruption, faith, black money will automatically get addressed. The reason is: Every derailment in terms of individual impropriety, professional impropriety comes from moral impropriety.
Make Declining Sex Ratio at Birth a Political Question:
It’s important for Society to be concerned with declining sex ratio at Birth, as its manifestations for society are bad. The atrocities on women is just one example (if a society doesn’t want a girl born; it will not respect woman even as adults).
The killing of Girl child in India has taken such an enormous proportion, that merely having No Gender bias is not sufficient. You may be happy with your two or three daughters; but what about society, where they have to go as adults. Will the society give them the same respect and care you gave them as your daughters? Ask yourself this question. And decide, isn’t it time to speak about it in the society, you live in.
[PS: Don’t wait for the political parties to speak on the killing of unborn girls in India. Political parties are normally apathetic to any issue, you as a voter don’t see as an issue. Hence even when the sex ratio in the society goes below 500 and the society is not affected by it, no political party will make it a political issue. But the moment, men in any society remain unmarried for the lack of brides; the issue will come to the political spot light. Something which is happening Haryana and Madhya Pradesh. Take another example, killing of Girl Child in Uttarakhand , 40 percent of whose population is from Army, is taking place unhinged, and a literal bloodshed is happening. But since, the society at present is not feeling the direct consequences of its actions, hence it’s yet not a political issue or a debate issue.]
[PS: I think the Health indicators like Infant Mortality rate, Child malnourishment & maternal Mortality Rate can’t be quoted without mentioning the Declining Sex Ratio at Birth. The reason is: If the society chooses to keep only male child in Womb, it automatically provides best pre-natal care to the Mother (the aim here is not to prepare the mother better for the demanding pregnancy, but to ensure that the boy in the womb gets the best care and develop well). This automatically decreases the maternal mortality rate (death a the time of giving birth) and Infant Mortality Rate.
In the similar manner, if the society chooses to have only boys in their housholds; they will be fed well so that they become strong. Hence in societies where unborn girls are killed or where there’s visible negative bias towards female gender, Infant mortality rates, Child mal-nourishment and Maternal Mortality rates always project a bright picture. The picture will somehow change if the health of women who aborted more than one girl in womb is taken into focus. ]