It’s all in the punctuation after all. This is the first FTB post on the Silent Majority theme. I try and group posts under various themes, so that people roughly know whats in the post. I quickly found out that not everyone is interested in every topic.
One of the amusing bits about human evolution and indeed human demographics is that our genders aren’t equal in terms of life expectancy and survivability. In nearly every country across the globe women outlive men. This actually means something very interesting.
There are more women on the planet than there are men. It’s a slight majority at the moment. 51% of people on the planet are women. They are the majority, albeit a silent one.
Reproductive rights are a contentious subject in India for a different reason than they are in the USA. Contraception is cheap, subsidised and easily available. India is facing a crisis on the scale of the holodomor or worse. India has too many people. We aren’t talking about “the breaking point” in a few years, the breaking point has passed.
Today in India I have power for only 22 hours a day. The hospital where I am posted has it for 14 to 16 hours a day. A cousin lives in a place where there are 18 hour cuts. There are so many people that electricity is running out. India needs to lose close to 50% of it’s population to be stable and around 70 to 75% to have a stable self sustaining first world demography.
This is a titanic goal. India has 1.2 billion people on it. It’s got enough people inside it’s boundaries to populate most continents comfortably.
So in India we have contraception. It is cheap, plentiful and easily available. Most hospitals and clinics give out free condoms. The IUD is available for cheap. The pill is available in more urban areas. There are government incentives to get tubectomies and vasectomies. The One Child Ideal is flogged heavily but the overall message still hasn’t reached everyone. It’s a good thing…
But what’s the contentious issue? India is one of the few countries on the planet where there are fewer women than men. The age demographic in my age group is 1:8.5 for every 100 men there are 85 women. India’s women are vanishing at an alarming rate.
The reason? It used to (And Still Is) Female infanticide. Female babies meet with an inordinate amount of accidents. They often die young. Often the logic is not that it’s murder but saving the child from suffering. The mother not wanting the child to suffer. A lot of the time it’s death by negligence. But that’s falling. Prosecution of such cases is good after all. But what’s the reason for the fall?
Gender selective abortion is rife in the north of India. Lack of oversight and corruption means that it is easy enough to get information regarding the foetus and terminate a female child. This has led to an increase in trafficking of women as brides from the eastern parts of India, Nepal and Bhutan. It is estimated that 50 million female foetuses were terminated over the decade resulting in this demographic shift. It’s a practice seen in the west too amongst indian communities.
So what does India have to do? The current law states that the pre-natal ultrasound screenings should not include gender. Indian parents do not know if the child is a boy or a girl until the child is born, or atleast they shouldn’t know. However they are still finding out. It’s not hard to sneak a peak at the ultrasound after all, and in a country infamous for it’s corruption, there are probably clinics that let patients know the gender of their child for a fee.
It’s not religious, it’s cultural. The three major religions of India (Hinduism, Christianity and Islam) all demonstrate this problem. It’s mainly in the north but it is seen in the south too where the treatment of women is better. It’s the misuse of useful technology. It’s a republican’s wet dream, a group of people misusing abortion for pointless and almost frivolous purposes.
In medicine you have 3 types of treatment. Personal, Social and National. How you treat the patient, the community and everyone. The ultrasound restriction treats at the level of the patient. But for the community? For India?
Only a complete destruction of the notion that girls are not wanted. That the entire sexist culture of India needs to be destroyed and replaced for the better. It doesn’t have to be “western” in origin. It can actually exceed the equality of western culture. After all, India manages to break down the western barrier between male and female engineers, IT and mathematics students. Why can’t it do the same for this?