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Sex-selective Abortion: Legal vs Social Justice

December 3, 2008

A recent news-story reported the developments in the Gambhir case of sex-selective abortion in Ludhiana. As per the report, in July 2008, a team of officials from the Health department raided the premises of Jatinder Ghambhir Hospital on Pakhowal Road in Ludhiana, where a woman was being readied for the abortion of her female fetus. It has been four months since then and the “police are still grappling to gather more evidence against the accused in order to strengthen the case”. [Note: Accused are the husband-wife doctor-owners Mr. & Mrs. Gambhir; it is not clear from the report if the victim too has been accused.]

While the legal arm is still struggling to serve the justice, it seems that the social pressure has certainly made itself felt. Owners of the hospital, Dr. APS Gambhir and Dr. Jatinder Gambhir have changed the name of the hospital from Jatinder Gambhir Hospital to Angat Superspecialty Hospital.

Is this a sign that being identified as a kudimaar carries a threat of social stigma in that society? If we thus interpret it, then it asks for the offenders to be spotlighted more often. Understandably, determining whether an abortion is genuinely sex-selective will not be straightforward and will have to run its course to ensure that legal justice is served. However, social boycott of those businesses (hospitals and ultrasound clinics are businesses) that practice or abet kudimaari will be a good example of free-market retribution.

While I believe that banning sex-selective abortion is not a perfect solution to stop female feticide and that it threatens women’s rights to abortion, I believe that it can give a shot in the arm to other approaches such as education on the issue and empowerment of women.

Note: Jatinder Gambhir hospital has been in news over the last couple of years for other reasons not-so-great. In August 2006, people had packed up the streets outside the hospital protesting the death of a patient due to doctors’ negligence. In another incident, 2 girls were ‘rescued’ from alleged captivation at the hospital where they worked as maids but were not allowed to go outside and did not receive the full wages they were promised.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. savedaughters19 permalink
    February 21, 2012 10:37 am

    Beginning of December, a program aired on ABC 20/20 about India’s deadly secret. It was about 40 million girls who have vanished. All aborted before they could take their first breath. Their crime was that they were girls. As you know the gender ratios is India are terribly skewed about 914 girls per 1,000 boys. In Punjab it is about 833 girls per1,000 boys. Unfortunately this happens amongst the privileged and the educated also. The only woman who has brought cases against her in-laws and husband is Dr Mitu Khurana. Please watch her story and sign her petition for justice. Please give those 40 million girls silenced forever, a voice. Please forward this to as many friends as possible.

    and here is the link to her website-

    After you sign the petition, there will be a request from the site for a donation. This donation is totally discretionary and does not in any way or form affect or benefit Dr Mitu Khurana. All she is asking for is your support (signing this petition) so that pressure can be put on the Indian authorities that the whole world is watching them in total disbelief as they make a young mother run around in vain for four years in search of justice

  2. Punjabi permalink
    February 24, 2012 1:36 am

    Dear Mr. Singh,
    Please advise:

    If someone does such a job like female infanticide or feticide and later after some time he or she realize the blunder then what should he or she does do?
    How can he or she get rid of Kudimaar Tag? especially from internet.
    Please do advise.
    Best Regards

    • February 27, 2012 9:08 pm

      Dear Punjabi,
      It is not easy answering the question. In my opinion if a person realizes a wrong that one has done, regrets it, and wants to move ahead in life, the society should help such a person especially if the society has punished such a person for his or her behavior.

      In the Sikh community, the Sangat plays such a role in the forgiveness. I can’t speak for the Internet world, which can be cruel.

      My blog is an attempt to dissuade people from committing infanticide or feticide. Towards that purpose, I might have relied on news reports to name people and organizations that were reported to have committed such acts. If I find that those named in the blog are genuinely regretting their past actions and seeking to move forward, I will consider it my duty to draw attention to their efforts through my blog and help them in the process.

      Mr. Singh

  3. Punjabi permalink
    March 1, 2012 3:05 am

    Thanks for your reply Mr. Singh. I appreciate your social activities.
    What are the ways or how can a person who was involve in such crime in the past but now have been changed in present can get rid of such tags (Kudimaar) from the internet?
    Because, one who had been in such crime had been in litigation and has faced darn consequences till now.


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