‘Satyameva jayate’: Are our star TV anchors poor actors, or Aamir Khan a better journalist?

Aamir Khan at the 2010 Toronto International F...

The ripple effects of ‘Satyameva jayate’ are being felt all over the nation. Actor Aamir Khan has roiled up the stagnant system by picking out burning issues for his TV show. The nation, so drowned in trivial sitcoms, ‘reality’ shows and talk shows that can put street cockfights to shame, seems to be finally experiencing self-awakening moments.

What is it that Aamir doing to wake up a nation that prides itself on the pip-squeak number of flyovers and malls it builds, but shuts its ears when it comes to female foeticide, child sexual abuse—the issues that Aamir handpicked for his first two episodes? Did these episodes act as truth-finders? Continue reading

Dumbing down: Reducing our children to a bunch of box-tickers

It’s out: Some Oxford University students cannot spell ‘erupt’, ‘across’, ‘illuminate’, ‘blur’, ‘buries’ or ‘possess’ correctly, said a news agency report recently. It was quoting the examiners’ reports who termed it a “worrying degree of inaccuracy”.

Sounds bizarre, doesn’t it? Well, they can’t even get ‘bizarre’ right! Continue reading

Female foeticide in India-VI: A virtual Holocaust

Inside Asia's largest slum, Mumbai - India

By calculating the number of extra women who would have been in China or India if these countries had the same ratio of women to men as obtained in areas of the world in which they receive similar care, noted economist Amartya Sen calculated that in India alone there were 37 million ‘missing women’ already in 1986 when he did the first estimation. Continue reading

Female foeticide in India-IV: Are mothers killers?

Indian family with goat in field, India

Image by World Resources via Flickr

A question that often leaves even thinking people befuddled is how a mother could kill her own baby! If we fail to fathom what actually makes a woman kill her own child or not protest when others smother it to death, the most important question is this: is it her intent? Her will? Or someone else’s? Continue reading

Female foeticide in India-III: Swatting them like flies…

Indian baby

Image by Zuhair Ahmad via Flickr

When and how did it all begin? Writers have drawn references from Atharva Veda, which states, “Let a female child be born somewhere else. Here, let a male child be born.” As far what Manu Shasthra says about the futility of being a woman, the less discussed the better.

Research on female foeticide in India reveals how deep-rooted misogyny is and how mechanical the killings have become. As if the traditional methods of killings weren’t efficient enough, we now have modern ultra-sound scanning machines that swat foetuses like flies. Continue reading

Female foeticide in India-I: Murder in the womb

Beautiful baby girl

Image by adam.declercq via Flickr

Think hard. Search every corner of your mind for words that can match this act called female foeticide. Chances are that you may not find one. Female foeticide in India is one such dark realm that words can’t enter.

Words fail because there is no way to explain how the nation continues to be in a self-congratulatory mood when 7,000 female foetuses are eliminated each day (Unicef—State of the World’s Children 2007). Worse still, there is no way to fathom how mothers are turned into killers here, and how suddenly motherly instinct seems like a multi-dimensional deception.

There were a few incidents that took place in mid-2007 that I have never been able to forget. Continue reading