Transformation of Sunday – SATYAMEV JAYATE 1
Sunday morning! The laziest day of the week! It started as usual for me; got up at around 9:30, had morning tea, read the newspaper. Then I realized that we had planned for a trip to Lavasa today! Oh yes! What about the trip?? I shot that question to my wife immediately. She looked at me with ‘are-you-nuts’ look in her eyes. I got the message that the trip was dead already by now :(. Killed by a famous assassin named Lazy Sunday!!
Anyways, I settled down on my couch browsing through the channels on the television. Oh man! Today is the maiden telecast of Aamir Khan’s much awaited show – SATYAMEV JAYATE. The moment this thought came to my mind, I immediately switched to Star Plus (channel which is hosting the show). It still had another 5 mins for the show to be on air and so we (me and my wife) started talking about what the show would be about. We both were of the same opinion that since it is Aamir Khan, it must be something different and unique. Going by the promos of the show, it gives an idea that Aamir must have picked up real sensitive issues of our society and would present in it with an inimitable flamboyance and wit. Well, 5 mins went past in this discussion and we had Aamir on the screen. He looked as young and fresh as always (in fact he is getting younger and fresher with time!!).
Suddenly, our door bell rung and I opened the door for our help who ensure that my car is in a good shape every morning. He was there since it was first week of the month which means pay day!! This small transaction actually took a long time, which I realized after I sat on my couch again to watch the show. I had missed most of the introduction and now Aamir was talking about the issue of the day that was to be discussed. Initially I took it as another Public Awareness Shows which are in abundance today discussing the social issues and doing nothing in the end (in terms of impact on society). However, by the end of Aamir’s show – I had wet eyes, which itself speaks as to how I feel about it. Little did I know the previous night that my SUNDAY is going to get transformed completely the next morning!
I want to narrate my understanding of the entire concept, issue and the way it was presented along with the facts that were shared in the show so that it can reach maximum people. Below column contains the transcripts of today’s show.
Issue – FEMALE FOETICIDE
Aamir opened the episode with a very touching, meaningful and thought provoking word about MOTHER.
First segment of the show was narration of real life stories by 3 mothers who have been through the turmoil just because they supported the birth of a female child, much against the desire of their families to have a boy.
1st case – Amisha Yagnik from Ahmedabad
This story is about Amisha, a mother from Vastipur, Ahmedabad who has a 8 years old daughter named Kamya. Amisha was married in year 2000 and since then she had gone through an ordeal of cruelty by her husband and in-laws who forced her to abort her pregnancy only because the baby in her womb was a GIRL.
They had an arrangement with the doctors who were supposed to take care of Amisha in the days of her pregnancy. Her in-laws got her determination test done and on finding out that it was a GIRL, they gave her some medication to remove the pregnancy, or must I say KILL THE BABY. It was even more gruesome and shocking to learn that this was repeated 6 times with poor Amisha in 4 years!! I can’t describe how I feel about those people who could do such things to babies!!
Once, taken ill, Amisha asked her in-laws if she can go to her parents’ house for a few days. This was the time when she went against the will of her husband and his family to give birth to her baby, Kamya on 1st March 2004. Though they were not at all pleased to have the girl child being born (none of the in-laws including husband visited Amisha for 2 months after the birth of baby), but since the society must have pressured them they took Amisha and her baby home. It wasn’t long after that when they pushed Amisha out of the house claiming that they can replace her with many women in a matter of no time. They even confiscated her baby and didn’t let her meet the baby for 3 months!! They black-mailed Amisha to sign the divorce papers and take her daughter back! How INHUMAN is that?
Amisha even revealed a disturbing fact that doctors use code language to share the news of sex of the baby in womb – ‘Jai Shree Krishna’ for a boy and ‘Jai Mata Di’ for a girl. I don’t have words to express how I felt on that!
She fought a legal battle for her baby with help of a lawyer from her home town. The case is still in hearing in a local session court.
Today, that baby if 8years old and Amisha is working in a small time call center to make her ends meet.
It was after the appalling narration of the story by Amisha that Aamir broke the myth of many educated yet ignorant people that it’s a man’s sperm which determines the sex of the child and not vice-versa!
If anyone must be blamed for what sex a new-born baby is of, it must be the husband. Moreover, why should anyone be blamed at all? Do we actually have a right to choose as to which sex the new life coming in this world should be of?
2nd Case – Parveen Khan from Madhya Pradesh
The other story is about another mother from Morena, Madhya Pradesh. Her life can be seen as a perfect example of a woman who has seen it all and have still embraced life in the best of the spirits. She was beaten and manhandled by her husband only because she gave birth to a baby girl. She was dragged by hair to the abortion centers where her baby was killed against her will. It became worse when she gave birth to second girl child. Her husband just couldn’t stand the site of it and literally ran away from the scene. Later, he attacked Parveen in fit of rage and violently bit her face with his teeth, much in a way how an animal would attack its prey. Honestly, I feel that I am a brave person, but even I could not look at the picture of her disfigured face shown in the show and trust me even you cannot look at that.
Parveen fought with all the odds, completed education along with work to take care of her kids. She left the house of her husband and is living alone and leading life as a true fighter.
Before leaving the stage, she said a few lines which plainly depicted her view towards life:
Zindagi hamein bahut kuch sikhati hai,
Kabhi hasanti hai toh kabhi rulati hai.
Par, jo har haal mein khush rehtey hain,
Zindagi unkey aagey sar jhukati hai.
Really, hats off to her spirit!!
Aamir must have felt that many people watching the show would not concur completely with what he is trying to put across. That must be why he presented the facts in the form of a slide to depict the declining numbers of girls in comparison to boys for last 40 years. From 1981 to 2011, the boy to girl ratio has depleted to 914 from 962 against 1000 boys. I am sure many must have got shocked looking at this data.
Aamir also explained this in a very subtle way claiming that 914 to 1000 looks a very minor difference – merely of 86!! But, don’t get fooled by this comparison. Difference of 86 to 1000 becomes a big number if looked from a different view – compared to lacs or crores of boys.
Another revelation: The figure of girl child killed in the womb in last 30 years is shockingly more than 3 CRORES. Shocking indeed!!
The surprising display of spread of this epidemic in most of the part of the country in last 30 years have been directly proportional to the increase in the literacy rate of these parts. Is our education system doing this to our society? I bet not! Then what is the cause of this?
Even the myth of most of the people that this evil is prevalent in country side was also shattered when Aamir shared the census data, which itself proves the point that it all started in cities, completely opposite to what most of the people feel. In comparison to 934 girls to 1000 boys in villages, cities have only 906 girls per 1000 boys. What do you have to say on this now?
It was not the illiterate and the poor who tipped it off but the rich and educated are the ones responsible, who reside in most urban cities like New Delhi, Mumbai and Chandigarh.
The next narration was from a mother belonging to a high profile family full of highly educated people.
3rd case: Dr. Mitu Khurana from New Delhi
Mitu is a resident of a posh locality in capital of the nation, New Delhi. Doctor by profession, she comes from a family of doctors.
Even a highly educated woman like Mitu had to undergo the wrath of the evil of sex discrimination. Her in-laws started pestering her to get the sex determination test done, from the moment she shared the news of her conceiving. They also cheated and fooled her into getting the tests done after she refused to get it done willfully.
In the test it got revealed that Mitu was carrying twin girls in her womb. Wow!! What a feeling that must be!! Isn’t it? Not for her cruel in-laws though.
They started torturing Mitu to get the babies aborted. They even pushed her from stairs when she was in 20th week of her pregnancy.
Learning about her condition, her father took a strong stand and brought her to his home. It was there where she gave birth to the babies. Since Mitu was a cultured and educated woman, she went back to her husband’s house with her babies. The behavior of in-laws didn’t improve after that and they tortured her by making her do all the household chores along with taking cares of twin babies.
Her ignoble mother-in-law even kicked one of the less than a month old babies from the stairs, clearly with an intention to kill it, who got saved since she was in a carrying cot covered in blanket.
This incidence made Mitu leave her in-law’s house immediately and she went to her parents with her babies.
Now, let’s look at the profile of Mitu’s In-law family:
- Husband : Orthopedic Surgeon
- Father-in-law : Professor at Delhi University
- Mother-in-law : Retd. Principal of a School
- Sister-in-law 1 : Ph.D. Mathematics
- Sister-in-law 2 : Teacher
This description needs no further description now, i guess!!
One of the researchers and social workers from Rajasthan, Mr. Ram Babu shared the findings of his research carried out for years now. He also supported the fact that this evil is not rooted in country side but is prevalent in the cities and urban areas. People amongst us, professionals, doctors, lawyers, educationists, CAs, IAS officers, all equally have their hands stained in these killings. Another shocking revelation that Mr. Babu made was that this is being carried out as a packaged deal by the doctors and nursing homes. Ultrasound with abortion!! Is this a business offer? How disgusting it that?
As that is not enough, these nursing homes aka ‘business houses’ give false reports to such parents claiming that the child in the womb is a girl and make them get it aborted.
Phew!! I was already feeling sick and speechless though I feel that I am a well-informed person (relatively).
Another practicing doctor, Dr Shaili Agarwal from Sirohi, Rajasthan who deals with many tribal women expecting babies shared her views and experiences. She claimed that she has never been probed by any of these tribal women to know about the sex of the child in their womb. They feel as happy for a girl child as they be for a boy.
I was feeling guilty enough to call myself educated and urban if that is what urbanized people are doing and if this is where we stand compared to poor tribal people on moral & ethical issues.
I will bring the next part of the post where I will share my views about this issue in a more elaborate way and how the society only can bring about the change in regards to foeticide.
Visit the link to watch video of the show http://www.satyamevjayate.in/