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We also love our girls, in fact, we love them more. But why do we have to specify that we ‘also’ love our daughter?
As Indians, we value our traditions a lot. One of my favorite tradition is the ritual of giving blessings and gifts to a newborn baby and well wishes to new parents.
Very recently I joined my mother in such a visit. An old family friend was blessed with a baby girl and we bought a cute little princess dress for that little princess.
But contrary to my presumption of this being a congratulatory visit for the new parents, it felt more like a sympathy visit. Why so, because they already had a daughter, making their second child, an unwanted second baby girl. Some of the dialogues exchanged during this gathering were quite thought-provoking.
“Nowadays there is no difference between a boy and a girl, it’s okay to have 2 girl children”
“You know X uncle’s Y daughters, they are so successful. They also didn’t have a son. You know progressive people”
“Girls are ‘Laxmi ka avatar, don’t worry a girl comes with her own fate.”
(God forbid if the girl is dark-skinned)
“Hmm !! Don’t worry!! she’ll gain some weight na! She’ll have fairer skin. You should use “besan” for bathing her”
Many more of such dialogues we hear every day when a family is blessed with a baby girl. Unfortunately, almost everyone says the same thing. Yeah, we hoped for a son but that doesn’t mean we don’t love our daughter. We also love our girls, in fact, we love them more. But why do we have to specify that we “also” love our daughter? Shouldn’t it be socially acceptable that every person loves their own child irrespective of the gender?
I understand not many people are cruel parents, and of course, they do love their daughters eventually (after the initial disappointment is fades away) but how would a girl feel. That she is not wanted. She is not accepted. Love for the daughter is not socially accepted and normal, it is given as examples. Wanting to have a girl child is not obvious, it is questionable by idiots and admired by progressive people.
There are people who argue that there is nothing wrong with wanting a son, and it’s their personal choice. But the issue starts when the whole society starts having the same choice. Especially when the choice is inspired because of the numerous inequalities of the society. Most basic reason for this sympathy on a girl child’s birth is because girls are considered as a liability. And the root cause of this liability is dowry. Parents with only girl children are worried about their old age? And this goes back to the traditional Indian mentality to shame people who rely upon their daughters financially in their old age.
These are also the basic reasons for the abortion of a girl child. Many severe steps were taken for the prevention of female infanticide. Laws have been made and implemented, and we can see the result in the improving gender ratio. But is this enough? The struggle of being an unwanted kid is hard and no law can help to reduce that.
So… let’s say no to the sexist wishes, let’s say no to dowry, let’s say no to shaming for depending upon daughters. Because wanting to have a son is not wrong but usualy not a person’s individual choice. It is a choice that the entire society forces upon a person to make. Because nobody ever said “putrivati bhav:”
But what can we say except “Oh! Congratulations on baby girl number 2. (Everything will be alright)”
Image source – Shahbaz Akram on pexels
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