Through this paper, I would like to address the heinous act of female foeticide practiced at an alarming rate in various Indian states. I would like to focus on how the phenomenon of selectively eliminating female foetus is not dying away, but rather is emerging as a new disturbing trend. I even wish to highlight how with rapid advancement, technologies such as ultrasound and pre-natal diagnosis are being misused in order to find the gender of the infant.
What I wish to mainly examine is the failure of implementation of the PNDT Act. Along with it, I critically wish to analyze why despite awareness being created against such crime there hasn't been much substantial reduction achieved in this matter.
I plan to structure the paper as such where initially I shall be dealing with what is female infanticide and foeticide. What thin line distinguishes the two and what has kept this practice intact despite 66 years of Independence. Later I shall point out how the law has been misused largely to dispose off the unwanted girl child, which instead were in first place made to ensure them being born. And this will be followed by a conclusion.
It has been 66 years since India has gained Independence by driving away the colonial forces. From 1947 till date, India as a nation has successfully tackled and surpassed most of its hindrances to walk down the path of modernization, advancement and prosperity. But we shouldn't get disillusioned just by the rosy picture India projects on global forum as the other side of the coin highlights the gloomy portrayal of widespread corruption, mass unemployment, casteism, poverty and illiteracy which is steadily crippling the nation's identity. Despite many measures taken to eradicate it, it yet thrives on, indicating the weakness of the governmental bodies in matters of administration, execution and implementation. One of the pressing issues which has been haunting India is of gender discrimination.
Malpractices such as harassment , exploitation have been performed on women who constitute a major portion of Indian population. They always seem to be confronted with innumerable obstacles. But the most disturbing form of gender segregation can be seen in terms of denying a girl child her basic fundamental right i.e. 'right to life'! The practice of killing the 'unwanted' girl child or FEMALE INFANTICIDE is not new as this tradition has been surviving from past several generations.
Before moving ahead, I would like to demarcate female foeticide from female infanticide.
Female infanticide is the traditional method used for getting rid of undesired girl child. "They employ various ways such as either poisoning her or choking her or by crushing her skull under a charpoy."1 Female foeticide on the other hand uses sophisticated techniques to get rid of the foetus before it is even born! It uses technologies like ultrasound scan and amniocentesis to determine the gender of the foetus during pregnancy.