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Beti Bachao… What? Here’s Why Indian Parents Don’t Want Daughters

Posted: September 23, 2019

India is still a long way from creating a safe space for women, despite the beti bachao rhetoric. Here is why the author thinks Indians don’t want daughters. 

Despite being one of the most rapidly growing economies in the world, India is still considered a conservative country in several matters.

As per the Constitution of India, all the citizens have equal rights and opportunities without being discriminated on the basis of caste, class, religion or gender.

Then why is it, that most Indian couples don’t want a girl child? Why do they all want to be parents to a male kid only?

I have been wondering about this for a long time, I have also heard a lot of logic in favour and against the same. At the risk of sounding heartless, I do agree with a number of strong reasons that parents have for not wanting a girl child.

Even though, I am a mommy to a cute little princess, I always worry about her future in this country. Neither do I want another girl child.

Here are my reasons for this thought. I know a number of you will agree with them.

Safe world for daughters?

This is the biggest concern of all Indian parents who have daughters. It completely shatters them to read about the news of a young girl (even as young as a few months old) being brutally tortured and raped. How can we give birth to another girl in such a world?

What’s more is that you can’t even expect speedy justice if something wrong does happen to her! There are those ‘intellectuals’ who claim that the boy was 17 and a minor, thus should not be tried as an adult. The boy should be sent to some shitty reform home for two or three years just to come out and commit more of those crimes. As if the little girl, who was one or two, was an adult. Ridiculous and disgusting!

No parents can ever imagine anything bad ever happening to their daughters. However, it is the sad reality that girls in India are NOT safe.

That is one reason why we are scared of having a girl child.

Victim blaming

While crimes against women are rampant all over the world, the attitude of the Indians towards the survivors of such crimes is the worst.

Instead of shaming the perpetrators, Indian society shames and blames the women who survived the crime. Be it rape, acid attacks, domestic violence, the women are always blamed for either ‘being bold’ or for speaking up.

No girl/woman/female wants to be attacked, abused or raped! Victim blaming not only breaks the girl but also the entire family.

Gender gap at home and everywhere

Even though there will be a number of people who would disagree with me and state examples of women achievers, the gender gap in India does exist! When talking about it, I have several examples to prove my point.

Firstly, even if a woman is well-educated and earns as much as her husband, the house and kids are always her responsibility. Men may be a little more modern and let their wives have the freedom but in-laws still don’t! They think it is the sole responsibility of the woman to take care of the house and cook.

If a boy was busy with his education and didn’t learn to cook, it is still okay. However, if a girl does the same, she is ridiculed. An aggressive man is okay and women should tolerate him. But god forbid, a woman is aggressive, she is disgusting.

A man who smokes, drinks, has multiple affairs and speaks in an abusive language, it is normal or even ‘cool.’ At the same time the girl needs to be a soft-spoken virgin who is a great cook and a caretaker!

Hypocrisy at its highest!

Girls’ parents have to live alone

The Indian society has a cruel ritual where after the marriage, the girl has to leave her house and go live her husband and his family. She needs to consider his parents before her own and take care of them and look after them. There are times when she is not even given permission to go visit her own parents.

A boy’s parents are always proud and feel privileged to be the parents of a boy while finding faults with the girl and her family.

Daughters only visit their parents when the in-laws ‘allow’ them. The parents cannot expect her to look after them when they are older. In fact, they are made to believe that it’s their destiny to live and suffer since they gave birth to a girl. 

Now tell me, who would want to have a daughter in such a scenario?

I love my daughter and I am raising her like a princess. But everyday, I am shaken when the above and several other points come to my mind. All I want is a safe future for my daughter and all the daughters of India.

I desperately hope that all the negativities disappear from our country and it becomes a little more accepting of women. Only then will it be a good time to have daughters!

A version of this was first published here.

Picture credits: Pexels

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I'm Deeksha- mommy of a little girl, a school teacher by profession and a

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