Female Infanticide, a slur on the Indian society - Sarthak Singh

Female infanticide is the deliberate killing of newborn female children, which mostly is proceeded without taking any consideration of the arguments and viewpoint of the mother. In India, female infanticide has a history spanning centuries. We may take the point into consideration that female infanticide is criminalised in India, and has strict penal codes, however owing to its substantial population of 1.33 billion people This practice is still followed among the people at the grassroot level of the society, mostly in rural areas and in some cases in urban areas too. To build an insight about the magnitude of this practice in India, we come to know that it was first known to the british colonies in 1789, where they were subjected to the wake mentality of the heartland and various kingdoms of killing any female child that was born under the rule. This disheartened and paid the Queens of such plans so much, that they started to abandon their high status and took refuge elsewhere with a female infants. Historically speaking we all have read in our history books about the wedding period, where women were respected, female infants were welcomed with pride, and great scholars like Gargi and Maiyteri flourished. However the social structure changed, patriarchy became rigid, and females were started being considered inferior to their sex counterparts. Dowry system became more rigid, and then started the downfall of the great Indian social structure.

Reasons for the practice of Female infanticide In India

Extreme poverty among various families is one major reason for the practice of female infanticide. Families fear that the inability to afford for the standard living of the child would affect them, moreover the diminished mentality of considering a female child as a burden in the lower levels of the society and rural areas encourages them to proceed with such horrendous practice. Another major reason for the practice is dowry system, another slur on our society, where the family of the bride provides money and materialistic items to the family of the groom for a better future of both. However This act is forced upon by the society, and even though the government has taken steps to abolish it, it still continues to this day. Poor families belonging to rural areas feel that they would not be able to put up a considerable amount of dowry, and knowing that they would be socially ostracised they carry out the practice. Other reasons like birth of the child before marriage and postpartum depression form small proportions of reasons that lead to such a horrific and unforgiving practice.

Statistics and responses of the people

Statistically speaking, rural areas of the Western India consisting of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana have the highest number of female infanticide cases, while cases from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra or also prevalent. However the sex ratio has been decreasing since 2018 and people are becoming more aware. Policies implemented by both the government and various organisations have proved to be a boon. Learned citizens have always raise their voices for the education in emancipation of women and prevention of female infanticide. We must be aware that we the youth, may from only a small proportion of the total population of a country , But we surely are one hundred percent of this country’s future. Various organisations have stepped up to make people aware about the evils of female infanticide, and to those too, who consider them inferior by giving them examples of how their own mothers, sisters, wives form the family and the entire nation. Conclusion to this is that we all hope that the complete eradication of this harsh practice at the grassroot level can be proceeded. Thank you!