Just yesterday I was talking to my super boss from
Italy about Female infanticide when I had to explain to him what the phenomenon is and why it happens in . I was infact discussing the same thing with my mom also a couple of days ago. India
I want a girl, no really. I think they are cuter, you can dress them up, play with them and they care about their parents in a naturalistic maternal way eventually. However, I have come to realize that most Indians (even Chinese for that matter) do not concur with this idea.
So the question is why do Indians kill their daughters the moment they are born or right in the womb when they know they are going to have a girl? The answer is simple… Dowry.
What is dowry? Now, if you realize that till some years back a daughter did not have any legal right to their father’s property. Because this was prevalent even hundreds of years ago, parents gave their daughters’ ‘gifts’ in her marriage so that they can give her what they want as per their financial capability. It also meant that they keep giving their daughter ‘gifts’ on special occasions after her marriage because she had no claim/right in the property.
Now, the downside of this practice. Certain families who had/have sons thought/think they have a ‘right’ to ask for ‘gifts’ from the girls parents, during and post marriage. Girls are tortured, burnt and killed for dowry. Girls’ parents are pressurized to pay up for marrying their daughters off to these sons. Over the years and for centuries now this pure practice of ‘gifting’ has taken a hideous turn and has turned into a bane called ‘Dowry’ for the girl and her parents alike.
Keeping this in mind, many people think that they did rather not have a daughter at all than facing issues of Dowry, ransom, torture etc in the future.
A couple of days ago when I was talking to mom (who is highly educated and has been a teacher) she said something like – I will have to give so and so to your mother-in-law for so and so occasion. Huh? Why? I mean if she wants to ‘gift’ me something or my husband something or my family members (in-laws) something it makes sense. But her stress on the words that she ‘will have to’ really annoyed me. She said that ‘the relationship demands so…’ Huh again!! Why? I mean my mother-in-law hasn’t done a miracle because I am married to her son. Or no mother in this world has done a miracle by giving birth to a son. And there is no reason why a daughter’s in-laws need to be treated differently from a son’s in-laws.
Why today someone like my mom also agrees that my in-laws need to be treated differently than my brother’s in-laws. The daughter’s in-laws demand higher respect? Why? Why should a girl be made to feel she is in some way inferior in a relationship? I mean, I just don’t get it.
I don’t believe that my in-laws can ‘demand’ anything materialistic from either me or my family, they also do not have a ‘right’ to any gifts my parents give me. My gifts are mine alone. This exchange or relationship is something that I will share with my parents for my lifetime. What I receive from them or give them is mine alone and no-one else’s to share or demand or ask.
But this is something that the standard ‘Indian’ mentality does not understand. And majority of Parents who have sons think they have a right to what a girl brings in the house. They treat their sons as some commodity that the girl’s parents ‘need’ to buy at the terms and conditions of the boys parents and keep feeding that commodity for life as some recurring cost at no expectation of any returns really.