Baby Falak is finally dead after a long battle for her life in a hospital in New Delhi. India obsessing with its annual budget and cricket, was too busy to mourn this little girl. But then thousands of little girls are battered to death by their families in India every year. And baby Falak was just another one of them.
How low does India’s unchecked misogyny strike — the misogyny that so does not want women in its household? The misogyny that is so fixated on a narcissistic, obsession with male progeny and masculine lineage that it has killed more than 50 million women in 3 generations. Well it aborts millions of girl fetuses and murders thousands of women — using, dowry, ‘witchery’, ‘honor’ and widowhood as excuses! Yes! YES! EXCUSES! And it does not even spare little girls!!
Between 1985-2005, a study revealed, that there were 1.8 million little girls between birth and the age of 6 years, who like Falak, had been battered to death by their families. The research came to the conclusion that, “Shockingly this violence does not pose a threat to your life if you are lucky enough to be born a boy.” See this report I wrote for the Women’s News Network.
I have known a little girl like Falak, through my work with The 50 Million Missing Campaign. To read Karishma’s story click here. When I first met Karishma, she was almost 2 years old. There had been attempts to kill her. When that didn’t work out, she was beaten, battered, and starved. She had not even been given a name in the assumption that she wouldn’t make it part a certain age. Her brother on the other hand was loved, pampered and treated like little prince. So I named her Karishma, which means ‘miracle.’ Baby Falak too at 2 years had no name and the hospital staff that took care of her in the last few weeks of her life, had named her.
I have now given up wondering, how a family that is supposed to be a person’s source of love and safety, can do this to their own child!! I am sick of looking into their heads and hearts and trying to understand. I also know that Karishma’s family had enough money to open a motorcycle show-room in their village and if she had been born a boy she would not have been abused! I am also certain that if Karishma’s family had tried to kill the child of a neighbor, the village would have lynched them. Then why don’t they respond the same way when a family tries to or kills one of their own little girls?
I now realize this about the brutal killing of little girls in India: The only reason the families are able to do it, is because we as a society and system allow them too. We make excuses for them. And that makes us complicit in the mass murders of India’s little girls. Every time someone offers a ‘reason’ or ‘explanation’ for why families are mass murdering their daughters in India all they are doing are being a part of the system. They too are making allowances for the brutal murder of another little girl or woman. It is more important for me, for us as a human society, to think about what’s happening to these little girls, specially because they are small and helpless. They cannot speak. Or run. Or explain. Or understand. Or try to protect themselves in any way.
What I just absolutely cannot comprehend is why this does not rattle the feminist movement in India? Baby Falak’s death does not rattle India’s feminist movement. Nor does the ongoing female genocide. But recently they did make a big sound — a loud, vocal, irate, objection in the name of women’s rights which was heard all over India and in the press. The chair of the the National Commission For Women, Mamta Sharma, while speaking at a function had told the girls there that “sexy” is not a bad word. She said sometimes it can be meant like a compliment. Women’s groups got fired over this, and demanded that Sharma resign as the chair!! I wonder why this “sexy” comment is so much bigger an issue for Indian women than the mass murder of girls and women in India? I do not understand why the battering and murder of girls and women does not get the women’s movement in India similarly fired up?