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About Me

I am not a social crusader. Have never been one. So why am I writing this blog on a social issue?

The shorter version of the story is that I was stirred into it. The longer version is a series of events against the backdrop of a story of my friendship with a woman whose version of feminism doesn’t (yet) incorporate the f-word. Like many other conversations that begin with an apple and end with a pumpkin, our conversation had ended up with the topic of female feticide in Punjab. That ending became the beginning of this blog.

On a light-hearted note, I had shared with her a news article about the shortage of brides in Punjab, a state-of-affairs attributed to the low female-to-male sex ratio in Punjab. I gave her the numbers. They shocked her. She had read about sex selective feticide in China but was not aware of its prevalence in India, especially in Punjab. She was neither a Sikh nor from India, and this new information contradicted her (positive) impressions of the Sikh community that I had painted for her. She found it hard to digest the fact that female feticide could happen in Punjab where Sikhs were more in numbers as compared with other parts of the world. Weren’t Sikhs supposed to protect others? Did they not have a history of giving up their lives to defend other people’s rights? Then, how could they let female feticide happen in their own families? How could they do it to their own? How could they watch it being done to their own? How could they not stop this practice? More importantly, why wasn’t I – a Sikh male who prided himself on the history of his community and principles of his religion – doing something to stem this crime?

I had no answers to these questions, partly because I had contented myself with the egalitarian state of affairs merely in my immediate family, and partly because I had not given much thought to this issue. In a sense, her questions, though about Sikh men in general, applied specifically to me. They tugged at my conscience and continue to linger on.

The winds of change swept away the relationship and also the sand I had buried my head in. Looking around and brushing away the last bits of sand off me, as a first step, I decided to put up this blog. This blog is for myself as much as it is for others. Through these writing, I hope to develop a deeper understanding of this social evil of kudimaari, and connect with those who are fighting to eradicate it.

My concern about female feticide in the larger world is heightened by my concern of its incidence in my community. I am a Sikh and am proud of my community. I believe in the egalitarian principles on which it has been founded. However, looking at the current affairs in Sikh society reveals some practices that do not conform to espoused values of Sikhism. Unfortunately, gender discrimination, akin to casteism, has crept in over time in the Sikh society too. It is time we did away with the gap in what ought to be and what is.

An engagement with feminist literature as a grad student in the US somewhat helped me with a language to understand the world I do not inhabit. However, more than the theoretical lenses, it is my experiences of everyday encounters with the remarkable women I meet that have been instrumental in instilling a desire to change the world to a better place for all those who inhabit it and for all those who – as in the case of some female fetuses – are being denied an opportunity to inhabit it.

As stated earlier, I am not a social crusader. I am aware that this blog may not even be a ripple in the ocean, nevertheless, it is a big wave for me. That tells something about the size of my world, doesn’t it?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. June 12, 2010 2:31 pm

    This blog is sure more than ‘ a ripple in the ocean’. The task of dedicating a blog to a cause that needs immediate and grave attention is certainly praiseworthy. You are doing a great job. I am truly glad i am here. Thanks a lot for sharing your experiences, thoughts and musings.

    • June 12, 2010 5:36 pm

      Thanks for your encouragement 🙂 especially when this issue is so discouraging 😦

      • Charanjeet permalink
        November 4, 2011 12:26 pm

        Sir! This blog is very relevant and useful not only for awareness of Punjabis but also research scholar, who is working in this area of Female Feticide.

        • November 4, 2011 9:26 pm

          I am glad that this blog is helping you with your work on this topic. If you have any resources in this area to share with other readers, please feel free to email me links to those and I will be happy to post them on this blog for you.

  2. Punjabi permalink
    February 23, 2012 7:06 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 9:09 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.

      Best,
      Mr. Singh

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