It’s difficult to decide which act was tougher – murdering two female newborn babies still struggling for their fragile lives in an incubator…. or raising them? The grand- mother and mother responsible for their deaths are being held in a prison. But the tragedy continues. What was heart- breaking was the ‘explanation’ given by the two women when the cops picked them up. The mother claimed her husband and his family had categorically told her not to come back to her marital home since she had disgraced herself and them by giving birth to girls – not one, but two! The grandmother stated that she was sure the babies would suffer from deformities after coming out of the incubator, so, in any case their lives were worthless. Two ghastly distortions are evident in these macabre confessions - one, that a mother who gives birth to females is instantly discarded by her husband , as if she has committed some terrible crime, and two, that incubators cause birth defects in normal infants. The level of abject ignorance in this day and age is not just shocking but dangerous. Those two women feared not only for their own lives, but believed killing those innocent babies was some sort of a bizarre solution to the problem.
What will happen? Absolutely nothing. The media will lose interest as soon as something still more grisly takes place, and this shocking case will soon be forgotten. Perhaps, the husband who threatened the young mother will get picked up for questioning. Perhaps his family members will also get hauled in. Then what? The thing is, even the police will be on the side of the husband, even though the law dictates that he be considered a co-accused for instigating the twin murders. Nothing of the sort will happen. For the cops will decide it is a ‘family matter’ and leave it there. Cops are not super humans… most are men from similar backgrounds as that awful, heartless husband. They may put themselves in his shoes and conclude they would perhaps be tempted to take the same route if placed in an identical situation. Babies unfortunate enough to come into the world with vaginas in place of penises, are doomed before they can take their first breaths. This is the grim reality in our country. So it has been for centuries. And so it may remain for a few more.
When we talk of empowering our women, I often wonder which women we are addressing? Women like myself ? Empowered to start with ? Most times we are preaching to converts and wasting our time. No amount of legislation can bring about a change in this archaic mindset that continues to view females as liabilities who drain the family of resources. We can have more and more women in panchayats, more and more women in parliament, but till such time as these sort of brutal killings come to an end, there can be no real hope of ‘progress’ much less, genuine empowerment. I watched the impassive faces of the two accused on tv as they were being led away. They appeared unnaturally calm – almost like they were resigned to spending their days in prison, since life had absolutely nothing to offer them post- the arrival of those twins. And I wondered – what if the mother had given birth to just one, not two girls? Would that baby have stood a better chance of survival? Or would the husband have adopted the same rule? Was it the shock of the double whammy that pushed the women over the edge? And worst of all – did they actually do those babies a favour and save them from an even worse fate - as unwanted, rejected and loathed burdens, not just for the family but society at large? In which case, we are all guilty, each one of us. But where are the courts to try us??
Tomorrow is D-Day for Maharashtra. And I shall spend it hurtling between tv studios, starting with Arnab and Times Now, followed by Rajdeep Sardesai and CNN-IBN. It is horrible to know that our assembly elections are running along IPL lines, with bookies placing bets on the outcome. As of now, there are over a 100 crores riding on the poll results. The aam aadmi is filled with apathy.... even ennui. It is as if we have all surrendered to our collective fate which says anybody can become C.M. at this stage, it's just a question of who brings how much to the table.
Disgusted by these shenanigans, I went off to watch 'All the Best' in the crazy hope that a crazy film would take my mind off the election results. How wrong I was!! It was such an awful film, I was ready to commit harakiri with a fork. Mugda is no murgi (or even mulgi) worth spending five seconds on - horribly styled, with the worst make-up ever, she took away even those few fans she may have attracted post-'Fashion'. Bips - here are a few tips : stay miles away from such bilge, and stop rolling those eyes. Fardeen was the fat farm escapee, while producer-actor Ajay Devgun had all the fun - not just with the chicks but those cheesy lines , too. God! Why am I bothering to key this in ?
'London Dreams' promos look pretty slick and entertaining. But so did the promos of 'All the Best.'' Jeeeez. I need some rest.