Then, Western values had valiant defenders like General Sir Charles James Napier. When “Hindu priests complained to him about the prohibition of Sati by British authorities,” Napier replied:
“Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs.” (Via Wikipedia. )
Nowadays, our “national customs” are exemplified by “enlightened” observers—ABC’s Elizabeth Vargas, for example—who gather and disseminate spotty, decontextualized data, in this case about “the systematic, widespread elimination of India’s baby girls.” Vargas traveled to India for the current affairs program “20/20.”
Back in the 1800s, Napier understood “Sati” as a cultural barbarity.
In 2011, Vargas is somewhat vague. Critical faculties dulled by the belief in the equal worth of all cultures and peoples, Vargas failed to firmly finger the sacred cultural cow to which Indians sacrifice a million girls every year. (The Economist is more optimistic, putting the number of girls who go missing as a result of a gender preference for boys at 600,000.)
Women’s rights activist Ruchira Gupta gets what Vargas struggles to accept: Indians “put very little value to girls and to women, so they’re always in danger from birth to death.” “Nearly 50,000 female fetuses are aborted every month [in India] and untold numbers of baby girls are abandoned or murdered,” reports Vargas, who incongruously blames “money”: “Girls are a financial burden to their parents, who must pay expensive dowries to marry them off.”
Incongruously because, if money drives Indian gendercide—how come the educated and the rich are just as eager as the illiterate and the poor to dispatch their girls?
No, poverty and lack of education play minor roles in this morally monstrous practice. Moreover, “India’s 2011 census is almost all heartening,” writes the Economist. “[F]amily size is stabilizing, literacy is up; life expectancy is up.”
And so are “sex-selective abortions.”
These “have gone up sharply among more affluent, educated families, with women from higher-income, better-educated families being far more likely than poorer women to abort a girl,” confirms Jim Yardley of the New York Times.
“In Hindu funeral rituals,” observes Yardley, “only males, preferably a son of the deceased, may perform last rites; sons also usually inherit property (while daughters are married into other families) and carry on the family name.” Most Indians are Hindus.
Witness Mitu Khurana, a young pediatrician, no less, whose physician husband and his well-to-do family “tortured her and deprived her of food” so as to induce a miscarriage. Mitu was carrying twin girls. One of the little girls was only “4 months old, Khurana said, when her mother-in-law threw the baby down a staircase.” Now the traumatized toddler clings to her mother for dear life and won’t let go.
Vargas’s cameras capture an ordinary “Indian woman holding her newborn niece.” The infant isn’t pretty in pink, but viewers can tell that the tiny bundle clutched by the detached relative is a girl. A look at the woman’s expression says it all: It is pure evil.
Abortion is not illegal in India, although “It is a crime to use an ultrasound to determine the sex of a child, and it is also illegal to perform an abortion based on gender.” However, law which is alien to the culture upon which it is imposed will be flouted. “The very people who have to implement the law—the police and the judiciary—… never implement the laws because they believe in the same thing, and sometimes actually do the same thing,” explains Gupta.
In utero and outside of it, the elimination of women in India is not about what Americans call “reproductive rights.” This is about the right to life. In India, a woman’s life, fetus or fully formed, is worthless.
Indians make up over 34 percent of America’s annual H1-B Visa admissions. If you are as clueless as the Republican presidential contenders about America’s labyrinthine visa programs—most of the candidates call for more special visas for highly skilled individuals—listen closely: There is no limit to the number of geniuses American companies can import through the open-ended O-1 visa program, which allows unlimited access to individuals with unique abilities.
H-1B visas, on the other hand, go mostly to average workers. In addition to their mostly ordinary abilities, the Indian H-1B intake is bringing with it an extraordinary antipathy for little girls. Chain migration means that each H-1B recruit brings in an extended family—all the better to help sustain the practice.
Empirical proof of these impregnable positions comes from the University of California, San Francisco. The UCSF conducted a “qualitative study of son preference and fetal sex selection among Indian immigrants in the United States.” It showed that “Indian immigrant women are using reproductive technologies and liberal abortion policies in the United States to abort female fetuses.” The study was published in Social Science & Medicine. Therein, the objects of observation are quoted as saying this: “There is such a thing as too many daughters, but not too many sons.”
The current monomania over Muslims and their disdain for women conceals that the habits of Hindus are as horrible. (And that diversity is a catastrophe, or is that a stretch!?)
©2011 By ILANA MERCER