Satyameva Jayate

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 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?

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About Jaya

Jaya Jha is an entrepreneur, a techie, a writer and a poet. She was born and brought up in various towns of Bihar and Jharkhand. A graduate of IIT Kanpur and IIM Lucknow, she realized early on that the corporate world was not her cup of tea. In 2008, she started, one of the first print-on-demand publishing platform in India. She currently lives in Bangalore and divides her time between writing and working on her company's latest product InstaScribe ( with a vision to make it the best e-book creation tool. Blog: Twitter: @jayajha Facebook:

13 thoughts on “Satyameva Jayate

  1. There is education, and then there is social education. It is the difference between an IIT, AIIMS and a JNU,TISS. The first kind of education is prevalent, the second kind needs to kick in soon. Only then will gender sensitivity seep in.

  2. not much educated, not rich, nor much parental property infact nothing, US-returned? but i feel.only LOVE can conquer all the evils.what do u think?Yes only Love.

  3. Well said Jaya. Education, prosperity, exposure will never end any social evil. Take example of any developed country. Social evil will always be there. Good and evil will co-exist. Let us accept this fact. Evil will not come to an end.

    People who are killing their child, people raping girls, people taking drugs, people jumping red light and then bribing, human trafficking etc etc etc….Huge money is involved. Money has corrupted our mind and I know that all these issues will always be there. It does not mean that I am surrendering to these issues.

    People should be punished and brought to justice. When people are killing fetus they should be punished. Until they have fear, things will happen this way only. If they have fear of law they will not do it. Things will reduce but will not come to an end (huge money is involved) and if government and we can save a life it is satisfying but all of us should raise our voice if we see anything wrong happening.

    Now let us talk about solutions. School Education is not teaching us the moral education. We are morally weak. That is the major issue which I see and find all of us corrupt in some sense. It is a permanent solution if we all are morally strong like rock which I see hypothetically possible in current scenario. So we need some quick fixes until we find a permanent solution.

  4. “Education, Prosperity, and Exposure”, in my opinion, are no way related to moral values; hence no point in relating them to the evil of female f(o)eticide/infanticide. Education is a broad meaning word. Relegating it to college-degree-education, I have met illiterate farmers with having highest levels of morality. I do not even need to exemplify why Prosperity is not related to morality. Exposure – it makes you aware, know more, learn more, but not alter your value system. I think value system can be developed by an individual even in isolation.

    Coming back to the root of the original problem. According to me it is the concept of ‘betiyan’ being “Paraya Dhan” as portrayed by Indian culture. Half the problem could be overcome by education of girl child. Who wouldn’t be proud of a daughter who scales heights of success in any field. But then some would say – she has a successful career, good for her and her husband and her in-laws. But for her own parents she is still ‘Paraya Dhan’. She can’t be their insurance for their old age. Apologies to women who find this offensive. Of course it is offending. I believe in the adage – A son is a son till he marries, a daughter is a daughter for life. The evil society preaches – ‘beti ke ghar ka paani bhi sonch kar peena chahiye’. I am sure this is all changing and for good. Let’s do away with the practice of ‘Vidai’ of bride after marriage ceremony. There should be no vidai. It’s just culmination of two families. The couple is going to have two sets of parents. That’s it. No subordination of bride’s parents in front of groom’s parents. Did I talk about dowry yet? Both bride and groom are insurance for both the sets of parents. No solution to the problem of female foeticide unless this happens. Education, Prosperity and Exposure cannot bring about this change.

  5. @Shashi – It’s not about education+prosperity leading to morality. Instead, shouldn’t education and prosperity bring some of the changes you are asking for? Educated and prosperous people can educate their children – boy or girl, give them a good future, let them find their life partners and not worry about dowry or bowing down to anyone. They are the ones who do not need to worry about “paraya dhan” because they would have enough money for their old age. They don’t need to depend on their children. This is what makes it seem hopeless. When those worries are not there, these people are still killing their daughters. Why?

  6. I agree. That’s an interesting question. Why do prosperous people who don’t depend monetarily on their children still kill daughters? There has to be multiple and obvious reasons for it since it’s so widespread. Wildly imagining, following come to my mind:

    – You need to take a little more care for your daughter – like when she comes back home, where does she go etc – not because you mistrust her but coz you mistrust the society and she is still too young to understand. The affluent parents shy away from this ‘extra’ responsibility. Of course a son may become a drug addict too. But may be one is more paranoid about one’s daughter. I foresee no solution to this problem. Is Americanization of our culture a solution? But it has it’s own flaws.
    – Even though parents are financially sound, they prefer someone close by physically with them (to take care when they are sick; old age). A daughter is supposed to be with her hubby and in-laws. She becomes a ‘guest’ at her own parents’ house. This tradition has to simply change. I am not sure how is this going to change? The whole Indian culture is rotten in this sense (Disclaimer: I love Indian culture, but when it comes to gender equality it’s hypocrisy and diabolical machinations are so apparent. Our scriptures like Mahabharata and Ramayana justify these too!)
    – Men who have little respect for women and treat them as mere objects, are horrified at the thought of having daughters. If you are an educated-prosperous-exposed pervert, you will suffer through many contradictions while raising a daughter. May be our society’s rich majorly fall into this category.

    Of course, the above rationale is not to justify a horrendous crime like killing a foetus. It’s a mere effort to find out the root cause and how to eradicate it.

  7. well i wasnt really surprised to know that this practise is followed more in educated and well off families……i had heard from my mum that two houses in our neighbourhood had taken the same route…….but i feel that for this practise to be stopped the root cause shud be targeted…which is not being done….u rightly said that if we ban this in our country many will go to foriegn countires n get this done…so i dnt feel this is the solution..rather the root cause shud be seen…which primarily is the dowry system….if a boy is born the parents know that when the boy gets married they wud get crore rupees worth of gifts…n yes this happens…i have heard of cases where actually boys are sold for crores…….n if a girl is born the father has to give crores as dowry and gifts to the bridegrooms family…..the more u cn afford..the better groom u get… if we talk about educated ppl also..lets say a proffesor in a college who earns maybe a lakh rupees a month…a crore is still a big thing for him….it is quite a big amount for anybody for that matter…and as far as the poor ppl are concerned …they deal in lakhs..i know my maid got her daughter married ,grooms family demanded 1 lakh and a television set……so thinking from the point of view of a person who struggles to get 3 meals a day…getting a lakh rupee of gifts definetly means a there are other factors also……the boy can support his parents in their old age…but according to the so called indian tradition “ladki ke ghar ka paani bhiu maa baap ko nahi pina chahiye “.so for a prson who earns his living by driving rikshaw or something… wud defintely bother him that in his old age when he wudnt be able to do anymore the job he does..there wud be nobody to support him….he wud definetly want a son..and even if someone is broad minded and is ready to take help frm their daughters in their old age…the society really makes their lives hell……..if a guy rapes a girl it is the girl whos izzat is lost and nt the boys..if a girl leaves her hubbys home then its again her character which is challenged n the guy can conveniently remarry…….thinking frm the prospective of an average middle class person these things do matter a lot!! so i feel it is this regressive approach that should be dealt with first and the rest will follow………if we see in countries where this practise in nt at all followed….it is bec there girlsqual..parents know that in their old age if they need any kind of supportheywill get it as much frm their daughters as they wud have got frm their sons…they dnt have to save their entire life to get their daughters married….automatically they wud treat girls and boys as equals

  8. Tanvi I agree to your comments and thinking level as well the only property that stays with our children (boy or girl) is the education in every field and positive thinking towards everything there is saying “agar padoge tho Naukri apke pechae bagega” English translation “if u study jobs will run after u” “agar nahi padoge tho Naukri ke pechae aap bhagoge” English translation “if u do not study then u will run after the jobs” y bring such a situation even if unable to study at least educate the mind to do, think,act in the right way where u will gain only self respect self confidence and no room for greediness of anything because greediness of anything is the total loss of everything . I mean greediness in our culture have only human culture of love and respect for each other which is the route to grow the tree of love and respect asu know girls are energy if that energy is activated then only other right energies also activate she alone can’t be activated so boys are also important so they are equal but not similar. She is not a paraya dhan she is our dhan forever because she is the energy in real sense who has created very good energy in this world which has developed to such an extent but just misused by certain negative minds of over thinking about the population as gun on the shoulder of a girl, woman or lady, mother.

  9. Jaya I totally agree to your pt of view if educated we will be entering the prosperity zone and then entering exposure zone which is very important to bring the awareness exposure.

  10. So – once again and again – if education, prosperity, exposure doesn’t reduce social evil, what will?

    I think there is one thing which can reduce social evil in the society is the Spirituality .
    People will become true Human Being . Not get confuse with the yoga,pranayam by — etc.
    By spritual practices , an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being; or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.

    Spiritual practices, including meditation, prayer, are intended to develop an individual’s inner life; spiritual experience includes that of connectedness with a larger reality, yielding a more comprehensive self; with other individuals or the human community; with nature or the cosmos; or with the divine realm.

    The greatest problem in this is to find a true guru, and realisation of that ,who can take you to that path.
    After too many searches i find the true guru that which can help each human being & you can try once .

    • If you observe more closely then you will find that all problems are due to five evils Kam (lust), Krodh (rage), Lobh (greed), Moh (attachment) and Ahankar (ego) which are discussed in vedas, geeta ..
      So,the problem is in front of us . Now how to control on these things , is only by sprituality . And the problem with us that we didn’t follow our culture i.e. the best way to control all these issues are to be spritual.

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