Sunday, November 18, 2007

Matrubhoomi becoming a reality?

Tell me folks- how many of you saw the movie Matrubhoomi (2003), starring Tulip Joshi- that innocent-faced girl with a look and build of a teen(She's 28 it seems), dealing with themes like female foeticide and infanticide and fratenal polyandry?

If you didn't you better check out this wiki page:

Once you've some basic idea of the story, and start thinking how fantastic, unrealistic is the plot- then you must read this article by Kalpana Sharma, a brilliant and fearless writer- who writes on women empowerment.

Here are some excerpts from her article: World without women published in today's Hindu Sunday Magazine (dated 18th November 2007).

In the late 1980s, when we had the first indications that technology was being used to ensure that girls were not born, a few people made rather prescient predictions about the future. They predicted that women would face much greater violence. They suggested that women would be trafficked.
These campaigners against sex-selective abortions were condemned as scare-mongerers. They were told they were exaggerating to make a point. Fewer women would mean a greater demand for them. That instead of dowry, women could demand a higher price for marriage. Realities now
We know now that the opposite has happened. Many of the dire predictions made in the 1980s are coming true. In the States where sex selection is most rampant, there are entire villages where the men cannot find women to marry. So they are “buying” women from other States. And in some instances, where the family can afford to buy just one woman, she is expected to “service” all the men in the family.

The 2001 census was a wake-up call. It exposed the damning Indian reality of falling sex ratios in the 0-6 years age group. The national average stood at 927 girls to 1,000 boys.

(I've already written an article regarding the disproportionate sex-ratio read that article here

Meanwhile, according to recent reports, in villages in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, women are being sold as “wives” for as little as Rs. 3,000. Impoverished women from Bihar, West Bengal, Orissa and Jharkhand are finding themselves in households where they do not speak the same language as their “husbands” who have paid for them. They are expected to clean, cook and procreate. Ideally, they should bear boys. If they have girls, they have several reasons to worry. For one, girls in these villages are unwelcome. Second, in villages full of men, many of who cannot find women to marry, girls are unsafe. They cannot be sent out of the house alone. And even within the household, they have to be protected.
In some villages in Punjab, however, all the men in a household have access to the bought bride. She has no choice. Even if she is married to one brother, she must be available to all the other brothers in the house. Thus, polyandry exists, particularly in poor households where only one man can “buy” a wife.

Yet, sex selection has clearly shown that prosperity enhances and deepens inherent prejudices and provides the resources to act upon them. It is no coincidence that the most prosperous districts have the lowest sex ratios.

Read the full article here:

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