This post has been first published for Parentous.
Putrarthe Kriyathe Varja is an ancient Sanskrit phrase which means, “we marry with the sole aim to have a son to keep the clan progressing”. This was the blessings that one of the relatives of my friend gave her some few days back.
And blessings in its more refined version kept coming at her till she finally conceived. What shocked me was none of the relatives (read aged 60+) actually blessed her with a baby girl or just a healthy baby! She was lucky to have a broad-minded family in the environment full of ancient thoughts and beliefs.
What is even more shocking is that such ancient thought process is still finding place in the hearts and minds of 21st century India. India, where most grandparents know to operate a cell phone, where women from various strata of society nowadays are employed and earning and are making a mark in their respective fields, where things around them have drastically changed, standard of living has increased but the thinking and the thought process have not changed. In spite of they themselves being a viewer of the change in society, it is surprising that they stick to this old age idiom so rigidly.
Extremely lucky are those who have very supportive in-laws, who do not differentiate between a boy and a girl and who are not obsessed with this nonsense. Even there are cases of high society people going for sex determination tests, having drugs like Misoprostol and so on only to find out whether the child is a boy or a girl. The amount of education doesn’t matter here (report). It seems that even if you have all the degrees in the world, the learning will only fall on deaf ears. This is one of the instances where our education system has failed drastically. And then to make it worse you have daily soaps like ‘Balika Vadhu’ airing prime time on national television!! It simply cannot get worst than this.
Despite of many living women role models in front of us, the majority still prefers a boy child because they feel he will carry forward the name of the family and look after parents in their old age while the girl will get married and go to another family. There are in fact so many examples before us that girls remain emotionally attached to their parents even after they get married while it is the boys who tend to go away or just be there out of a sense of duty, but people don’t seem to understand this.
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