Skip to main content

India 2050…Part 2

I recently came across this article - Playing God in caste-crazy Bihar in the Hindustan Times.

An excerpt from the article:

Couples opting for sperm donations in Bihar are demanding to know the donor’s caste before they go ahead — and often getting their answers as well.
“Neither features nor height nor even IQ concerned us as much,” says Anuradha Rai (36), an Internet marketing manager from the Bhumihar community. “My husband felt if the sperm donor was from a different caste, the baby would not get the right genes.”
I couldn't believe my eyes. This is urban, smart the next generation of India? The so called hip Gen-X? The same generation which was supposed to finally throw off the shackles of colonialism, step out of the shadows of Partition and take its place on the international stage in an age of globalization? Where has that generation gone? 

I thought education was supposed to enable people to think differently, analyze and decipher the meanings of thoughts and most importantly, inculcate the courage to question old dogmas and reach out to others beyond the time honored, artificially created boundaries. Apparently not.

I used to think that those in urban areas who are educated would lead the charge towards a caste free nation. Even here obviously the change has been slow. Marriages are still arranged within the narrow confines of caste. The day should come when a person is unable to name his caste simply because various members of his family belonged to as many different castes once upon a time. That day I think, the question of reservation will become completely irrelevant. Instead of moving forward to this goal, we seem to be determined to find new ways of preserving the caste structure intact and passing it on to the next generation.
bihar_india 2050 part2  
What else can explain the fact that even childless couples, who are looking at the last option available to them simply refuse to let go of such outdated and insane notions? The right genes? 'Purity' of blood? What on earth are these people going on about? It seems instead of making people think logically, education in our country is enabling us to come up with creative new excuses to legitimize age old, and in my view positively retarded, customs!


And the most appalling and troublesome fact in the article is that these people get the answers they are looking for! I mean what the hell?? Why is there a need at all for sperm banks to keep information beyond medical history? While I do not believe that laws are very effective agents of social change, in cases like these they may be only hope. It is the simplest solution in the world to ban establishments from asking and maintaining this information. True, banning sex selection and selective abortion hasn't corrected the skewed sex ratio, but just imagine what would be the state of affairs if it was not explicitly outlawed. It does not even bear thinking about.

In the end, I am quite shocked at the fact that while we continue to debate the ethical implications of genetic engineering or in other words 'made to order' babies (want a baby boy with blue eyes and six feet tall? coming right up) and cloning which frankly are quite some way off in the future, we could not be bothered less about what is happening now in our backyard.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Why Don’t We Raise Our Sons like We Do Our Daughters?

This post originally appeard in Women's Web: Why Don’t We Raise Our Sons like We Do Our Daughters?

One of the hot button topics right now in Indian media is the safety of women – or rather how our country doesn't really care about half its population. From rape, sexual assault, harassment (in streets, public transport, nearly every public place) to violence perpetrated on women, Indians are finally getting around to discussing taboo topics.
One refrain that caught my eye throughout these debates – both online and off – is the fact that the reaction of the majority of Indians is the same: girls should stay at home, not go out after dark, dress appropriately and so on if they want to stay safe. No one seems to bat an eyelid when laying down these precautions for women. Except that the reality is women would be far safer if all the men simply DID NOT RAPE or HARASS any person that looks remotely female. No one has to stay at home and become a hermit! That got me thinking further. F…

One Step Up

Diya
Diya forced herself to relax while the attendant spread a mud pack on her face. She’d been nervous all week thinking about today. This was totally unlike the little beauty parlour she went to every month for eyebrow threading and the occasional haircut. No, this was a spa and they didn't just cut hair here. They styled it. And that was only the beginning of all the treatments a woman could get done. Normally she would have been too intimidated to even set foot inside, let alone enquire about the prices which she was sure would be too high for her budget.

But this visit was a gift from her dear mother for her 30th birthday. Luckily for her, the gift card was for a particular package which meant she would not be gaping like a fool at the exorbitant rates. Once again, Diya tried to relax telling herself that these women were being paid by her. She employed them and as much as she was sure they were secretly laughing at her naiveté, Diya wasn’t the one working for a living. But de…

One Step Up

Sana
Sana hung up the phone and hurried onto the set. Thankfully the director hadn’t finished yelling at the technicians, so the rest of the models for the shoot were still lounging at the far end of the room. She sank into a sofa next to Maddy, relieved that her sister had taken the bad news well. She’d really been looking forward to meeting Abhay after such a long time but this shoot couldn’t be postponed. Damn her manager for doing this without consulting her!

Raj had been her first agent when she started her career and she had no complaints about him, until a year ago that is. He’d started behaving oddly, pushing her to do more campaigns than she liked and booking ramp shows without so much as asking her. Yet despite working a hectic schedule, her bank accounts weren’t growing. Whenever she asked anything about her finances, Raj would put her off saying that her investments were doing well and not to worry.

But she did worry. She had thought of asking Nihar for help but she had he…