Coming to the West hasn’t changed all that much. The cultural baggages and gender stereotypes still exist among Indians who have settled in the West. A recent research publication proved it beyond a shadow of doubt, in a rather controversial issue - Female Foeticide or Infanticide (abortion of girls). Check out the entire report in Times and Telegraph. The same may be true of Indians in North America ( I don’t know of any similar studies done yet.)

Researchers at Oxford University have carried out a probe and found that a number of Indian-born women living in Britain are aborting ‘unwanted’ daughters in order to have more boys — only because of cultural pressure. According to their findings, nearly 1,500 girls have gone missing from the birth statistics in England and Wales since 1990 — that is, one in ten girls missing from the list for Indian-born women having their third or fourth child.

Sex selective abortion are illegal in India, but still a lot goes on everyday. But in the liberal West, sex determination and abortions (even in late stage of pregnancy) are allowed. So Indians in UK and North America, who preferboys over girls, think it is okay to terminate lives of girl childs. Some of our age-old beliefs continues to determine our steps today. Ideas do have consequences.

Some of these beleifs stem from the assumption that boys will grow up to provide labor (much needed in the agricultural economy) and take care of the parents in their old age (social security). Not to mention the burden of dowry that parents dread and subordinate role desginated to women in the Indian society. Also there is much peer and social pressure to bear sons. In partiarchal societies like India (most of India with an exception of few) power transfer dynamics forces young brides to desire boys over girls. As a result girls are often seen as a liability. But none of that is true in the modern world, but our old beliefs continue to shape our daily actions.

All major faith beliefs are against abortion. Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism and Bhuddism speaks strongly against all forms of killing including unborns or just born children. Yet religious teachings have failed to overcome cultural and popularly held views of masses of Indians!

Coconut Generation