Why Baby Boy

Centuries are taking their turns but one thing which is seriously consistent in the Indian Society is still the wish for a boy in the family. It is not like there is no change at all in the mindsets of the people but the question is why the change is taking so much time and why the change is not reaching to every portion of the society.

When I was in my graduation, one of my friend's brother became a father of a baby girl. When my friend came back after seeing her, we asked him for the sweets and he said his relatives asked him not to take sweets to the college since it's a baby girl and not boy. That was year 2003. And my friend is from Delhi. It's disappointing that both the factors, 21st century and Metro like Delhi, in this case, couldn't de-motivate such biases. Here, the nice-to-know-thing is that my friend and his brother and bro's wife were absolutely satisfied and happy.

A similar thing happened 4 years later, in 2007. One more of friend became a father of a baby girl and when we were at there place, his wife was telling her experience with the relatives back at home. "Congratulations. I wish it could be a boy... anyways congrats... oh she is so sweet.. you remember pushpa, mrs gupta's daughter in law ?? She gave a grandson to mrs gupta.. (lol)."

So does that mean that change has already reached the younger generation and we will see the altogether transformed and revamped society in another 10-15 years??? But before that, we must say that we can't generalize this theory. Still there are young people who are there inside their mental blocks.

I really want to put forward this question and try to counter-questions the possible views.

Q# what is so good about boys and why people prefer a boy over a girl??

View# 1. Boy will carry the family name. A girl will be married and go.
View# 2. Boy will be a bread winner for the family and will take care of the parents.
View# 3. Marriage is a costly affair for girl's parents.

Counter view #1. That is absolutely wrong and absurd. This is just a point of view and nothing more. What do we mean by family name??? Actually, family name and wish for a son are two inter dependent concepts. Also, there are 2 fundamentals, rigidly carved in people's mind.
1. Our family name should continue.
2. Only man/husband's family name should be given to the child.

Now again, I would say, it is a point of view and nothing else. Let me again break these two fundamentals. What is this fuss about the family name??? What we will get if our family name continues for the next 100 years??
People reading this, tell me, how many of you remember (or even know) the name of your grandfather's father??
We need to realize that we, middle class people, are not Nawabs or Marathas or sultans of pre-1800 era. How many of us are having pictures of our forefathers in our homes?? Can I assume that my great-grandson will get an edge in US Presidential Election in 2060 for being from "Jain Dynasty"??

I am nothing and even if in the next 20 years I become the CEO of Motorola, my grandchildren will not get any special treatment because of their family name, though they may get it in some areas, for the reputation of the family name but that will be same for my Son's and daughter's children. I mean to say, this world will not treat anybody on the basis of the family name but only by the capability of the individual.

Now coming to the 2nd fundamental of giving husband's family name to the child, I really feel, why can't a woman give her family name to his son/daughter?? Family name really doesn't matter when it comes to the achievements.

How many us know/remember Rajeev Gandhi's father's name?? Or Rajiv Gandhi's grand father's name??? Rahul Gandhi and priyanka gandhi are still flaunting the blood line of Nehru. Priyanka is still Gandhi and not Vadhera, practically.

Counter view #2. Now that totally depends on an individual. With the increasing number of young boys and girls moving out of their hometowns and pursuing careers in metro cities and abroad, the only thing they can do to their parents is sending money. And with the growing foresight for the retirement options and investments for safe future, everybody is moving towards a state when money will not be a favor to take from children, any more. And if you talk about taking care of your parents then to do that either sons have to give up their jobs or parents have to move away from their homes and start staying with their sons which again is a sensitive issue when it comes to leaving your comfort zone at the age of 60.

There are examples of children settled in US, keep sending money and visiting only when any of their parent dies. There is a absolutely shocking real incident I know. In a family a man was very ill and was on his death bed. Doctors asked his wife to call up the relatives. She called up her son. He arrived and the man miraculously survived. While leaving for US the son told his mother that this time it was very difficult for him to take leaves and come. So if similar thing happens in next 6-12 months, he won't be able to come.

On the other hand there are examples of daughters taking care of their parents. So clearly, as marriage is seen a bond between two families and not only between to people, it is a time to realize that if a woman can take care of her ailing parent in laws then similarly this is duty of a man also to take care of his in laws.

Counter view #3. Until and unless we make our girls independent, educated and smart, we will continue to be haunted by the marriage expenses and dowry ghost. If your daughter is a deserving candidate for marriage she will surely be taken. Or if she has her own identity she can rather become a chooser and not a beggar. This problem is more specific to smaller cities and towns where lesser girls come out for professional education and primarily seen as a liability who must get married and go.

I'm reading: Why Baby BoyTweet this!


Harry April 9, 2008 at 1:29 AM  

Very well written !!!

Having a girl child is more of a concern for neighbors than for mother herself.... Even if the family is happy, the external factors will force them to think on this discriminating lines.

I feel this stuff still exists because people do not react to the things the "third person" says...
Who are they to pass a statement on your family ? Who are they to state that our families should have a boy and not girl.

All you neighbors who creates this disturbing factor... just F*** off......

shreya May 17, 2008 at 4:09 AM  

Hey Abhishek..reading ur blog for the first time because the topic caught my attention..

Really good to know that there are still sensible men in Indian society who can question their own society instead of perpetual indifference towards everything that doesn't concern us.

You know what, our society, specifically the non-city one, has in fact become worse than earlier. Not many people could kill a living girl child, but now, people don't think twice before killing the girl child before it's even born..Highest kind of abuse of modern medical technology!! And surprisingly, these people are not ignorant illiterates but educated individuals..

These people still claim to be enlightened and developed..Hypocrisy at its best !!