BHOPAL: The city has witnessed the murder of three female infants over the past fortnight. The ghastly incidents have pricked the conscience of every citizen. Social activists and psychologists say that many factors may be responsible for such incidents but patriarchal mindset is the key one.
In the first case, a one-year-old baby girl was drowned in a water tank on September 17. In the second case, on September 18, a nine-month old girl was thrown into a lake while the third case, the most gruesome of all, a two-day-old girl was stabbed with a screwdriver more than 100 times.
In three of the two cases, the mothers of the infants have been arrested on the charge of murdering their daughters. In the third case, the probe is still underway.
Sarika Singh, director, ActionAid MP said that schemes to save girl child and the laws made from time to time only provide short-and medium-term solutions. “The real problem is that girls are seen as a source of impoverishment – not only economic but also social and cultural,” she said. According to her ‘deep-rooted patriarchy’ is at the root of such incidents. “Women’s organisations should also realise that merely working among women would not change things. They need to sensitise males as well,” she said.
It is societal and family pressure that is making mothers kill their daughters. They harm their little ones only when they are left with no other option, said Shivani from Muskaan, an NGO. She said that various schemes like Ladli Laxmi are not really effective as they only address the needs of grown-up girls. “What about the younger girls?” she asked.
Archana Sahay, director, Childline, Bhopal was of the opinion that circumstances, including mismatched marriages, are responsible for these kind of things. “We need to change the mindset of society,” she said. Let us try to find out why and how a mother kills her baby which she has nourished in her womb for nine months, she said. Sahay said that we need to convey to the mothers that if they cannot or do not want to bring up their daughters, they can always leave them at a proper place. Why should they kill them? She said.
Brijesh Chouhan, member of MP Commission for Protection of Child Rights said that weak laws, rotten mindset and unsuitable schemes were responsible for such incidents. “We need a social movement, involving the people and the government both,” he said.
Sociopathy, psychopathy responsible for gruesome incidents: -Rahul Sharma, Psychologist
With the kinds of incidents we are witnessing, say in Hathras, which mother would like her daughter to grow up. Each such case needs to be analysed. I do not agree that these mothers killed their daughters only because they had no other option. “The brutality involved indicates that the women may have been psychopaths,” he said. Sociopathy i.e. gender discrimination and violence against women as well as psychopathy i.e. individual psychological illnesses are responsible. Our society is basically anti-women.