This is not a post reviewing the much awaited, much publicized and much discussed show. I am rather piggybacking on it to express my dissatisfaction with how little education does to eliminate social evils.
It seems some people were surprised to know that female foeticide (and infanticide?) were actually more prevalent among educated, urban and prosperous families. I was not. This is a fact that has long been known and a lot has been written an said about it. (What did come as a surprise to me was that the origin of fetus’ sex determination and killing them selectively was in a government programme to help control population in seventies! The programme has since been eliminated, of course, and now there is a law against pre-natal sex-determination in India, but the market for female foeticide was created before the law went that route!)
Yes – I think Aamir Khan’s call to action should be honored. The cases spread over all the districts in Rajasthan, practically harassing the journalists who brought the issue of illegal, immoral and inhuman practice by the doctors, should be brought into a fast track, single court. If my going on http://satyamevjayate.in/ and putting in a support for Aamir’s letter helps in that, that’s good.
But here is the question that bothers me to no end and makes me feel hopeless. So long as there is a market, and such a huge and profitable one at that, a market among the prosperous and educated, a market coveted by any business in the world, to what extent will the law be able to control it by trying to destroy the suppliers? Some will go down, some more will spring up. The more galmourous ones will go down, the shady-corner shops will keeping coming up and running. We will run into the problem (we are already into it) of it being done in more and more unhygienic and life-threatening conditions for mothers. It’s a huge country and people find thousands of ways to find a loophole in the system, a crack through which they can slip out. When it is the disease of the rich and the prosperous, then if we deny them the treatment here, won’t they just fly to another country and get the sex determined and fetus aborted?
Here is the question that scares me. If the education and prosperity does not destroy this market, what will? Here is what scares me even more. I know, not just from those numbers, but from real experience that education does not do a thing to broaden people’s mind. On this very blog, I had people saying things like “girls marrying into another caste are bringing shame to their community and this is a reason girls should not be educated!” (And said it in much vulgar, personal and pathetic ways) Would I be surprised, if tomorrow they say that “girls are a burden and I am not going to let mine be born”? May be some of you are still reading this blog and if you are, let me tell you I am not apologizing for calling a spade a spade. You were pathetic. If you still are that pathetic, I am sad that education, experience, exposure – nothing destroys our social evils.
And every corner where there should be hope, turns out to be hopeless. Recently read an article, which reported the finding of a survey conducted among the students of some of the most elite schools in India. The biases against the females, immigrants from other states and differently-abled was mind-numbing. And it grew worse in higher grades. The educated, the prosperous, the rich, the nouveau-riche, the exposed-to-the-world, the NRIs, the US-returned, they all have disappointed and saddened me with their regressive world-views. Not always on this topic, but on related ones, and I see a female-fetus-killer in many of them?
So – once again and again – if education, prosperity, exposure doesn’t reduce social evil, what will?