Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Value of Life

OPINION: You don't have to agree, you have your own opinion that is equally as valuable. ;) Personally, I think any form of taking a life (when done by someone else) is murder. This includes accidentally killing someone, abortion and any other kind of taking a life that is not your own. No matter what the circumstances it is still murder. I don't believe that before 12 weeks a baby is just a fetus.

Sadly not enough people value any life more than their own and obviously these things still happen daily. Before I fell in love with hubby I knew nothing of India and, as clueless as I was, I didn't even realize it was part of Asia nor did I care. I had too much going on in my life to be bothered by something that didn't affect or apply to me. (I promise I'm not uber-selfish...but that sentence probably makes me sound so lol.)

Now that I'm with an Indian man I have spent the last three years learning about India and some of the things I've found were quite disturbing. The worst one is how families murder baby girls because they are seen as nothing more than burden or an expense. Before 'sex tests' as they are called here the girl babies were starved to death, poisoned, beaten or buried alive. Even reading about all this I was still skeptical to think it was significantly widespread. Boy was I wrong!

I just ran across an article that puts the numbers in perspective. Before you read it consider that India has the second highest population of any country in the world and it is set to be the first highest by as little as next year. Also consider that some of those infant deaths can be attributed to SIDS, poor living conditions or other scape goat means that the trusting family doctor would buy from a grieving family whom he didn't want to cause more discomfort to.

In this article it mentions how 600,000 girls 'go missing' annually. Even the census bureau has dubbed certain areas of India as extreme hot spots for these kind of murderous activities. It would seem despite government efforts and the efforts of so many courageous women who fight for these things to end the trend still rises. I know it can take years for a society to change but it would seem that the more is done here to change it, the further behind they get.

I'm talking about baby girls being killed for no other reason than they are girls. Now it would seem that the issue is becoming critical in India. 20 years from now when the children ages 0-6 grow up, 86 out of every 1000 men will have to find a wife elsewhere. And that number could easily be higher considering the census doesn't usually catch everyone and some babies were born since it was conducted, etc.

So that's roughly 9% of the country that will (most likely) be involved in interracial/intercultural marriage. Yes, I understand Indians are everywhere and that some of that 9% can find an Indian woman abroad. Realistically looking at it though, the Indian women abroad will not likely choose to marry the lower class and poor Indian men because marriages are arranged to well deserving men only and families that go abroad are not going to sell their child's future to someone who lives in a slum here, nor would they likely bring someone from the slum abroad just to marry their daughter when they are sure they could do better.

The girls who aren't murdered win by a landslide. They have more choices for husbands now as they are becoming the ones hard to find. They can choose richer men, live better lives than they had before, etc. This whole thing just makes me sad. What is this going to ultimately do to an entire nation?

At best it will slow the population growth as there are clearly less baby factories available. However, that is likely to increase crimes against women which are already on the rise, cause imbalances in multiple households where young sons are unable to fulfill the duties of marriage and continuing the family as they are raised to do and create a more selfish, gold-digging attitude in the next generation of eligible bachelorettes.

Maybe that's rambling on my part but I just can't find anything good about taking the life of a small child simply based on her gender. Perhaps the government would be better off promoting the reality that girls don't have to be so expensive that the parents should kill them. Girls don't need 24 karat gold to survive, dowry's were already outlawed and sex tests are supposed to be illegal. Yet that's clearly not enough. It's just sad. They need to explain to these baby killers that by taking a girls life they are destroying their son's future. Maybe that slap in the face will at least make a few of them reconsider their actions.

India's gender imbalance 'worst in recorded history'

6 comments:

  1. I wanted to try to write something about this topic, but I never got further than an anecdote about going to a blood bank and seeing a sign that said, "NO SEX DONE HERE," and thinking, "Huh?"

    I later learned that telling an expectant mother the sex of her baby is officially illegal in India, but some people even fly out of the country to have an ultrasound.

    This is a very tragic situation for many women though, as they may not necessarily be having the abortion out of their own choice, but due to coercion from a family member. When this is the case, it is hard to blame them, as they are as much victims of sexism as their female babies.

    Within my husband's family, there is a very tragic case of a woman who has five daughters. Every single one of those daughters knows very well that she was an attempt to have a boy. The rest of the extended family is very angry at them (and rightly so!) for having more children than they can afford to raise and educate only because they wanted a boy.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi,

    I am Ula, from Poland. I found your blog while searching for blogs related
    to the topic of mixed marriages/relationships.

    Recently I started a website - a global forum for people in mixed
    relationships.

    I am looking for contributors all over the world as I would like the website
    to be a great sources of useful information.

    If you like the idea, I will be happy to see your contribution! :-)

    You will find the website here: www.mixedcoupleslife.com


    Have a great day!

    Ula Razmuk

    ReplyDelete
  3. 4B - you're right, no one should have more children than they can afford. It's selfish to bring all those children into the world that way. I still wouldn't have aborted them but the government here has programs where they pay women to get fixed and stop having too many babies. Honestly, this couple should have stopped at 2 or flew to American where gender selection is available in Virginia so they could be guaranteed a boy. That would be less expensive than the 3-4 extra girls they now have.

    Ula, ty I will check out the site.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi! Didn't mean to imply that I think they should have been aborted--only that their parents' insane desire for a boy has led to a very poor quality of life for these girls. Hope I didn't come off that way.

    I've been looking around for info about Indians flying to the US for gender selection. Found some info here:
    http://news.newamericamedia.org/news/view_article.html?article_id=3c7ed640212a030bc2f3163dfdcc8bcb

    ReplyDelete
  5. I didn't mean to apply the abortion thing either and I didn't take you to mean that. They could have been put up for adoption (I know that's not really done here) or they could have used protection, etc. They really do offer gender selection with a guarantee in VA, I'm from there so that's how I heard about it. It started a few years back.

    Thanks for the link!

    ReplyDelete
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