I sat and spoke to my Grandfather one evening about my MA research on Female Infanticide in Panjab. He seemed sincerely interested, but then went quiet. He then began to tell me stories of his elder relatives and village members that he knew.
He told the story of one of his elder relatives who had two daughters (aged five and seven). One day, he woke the two daughters and told them to get dressed in their best clothes and get ready to leave as he was going to take them on a trip to Goinwal Gurdwara (the one with the 84 Steps Of Baoli Sahib). The two girls got ready with excitement. They began their journey, which eventually lead them onto a long dirt road alongside a river. The girls happily skipped down the road. The father then pushed the two girls into the river, neither of them able to swim, and thus they both drowned to death. The father continued on the Gurdwara, sat there and relaxed as if nothing had happened. When he returned home he said, ‘the deed was done.’ My Grandfather then told me of another story he had heard which occurred in a near by village. A woman had been pregnant and the family waited anxiously for the birth. The child was born, and with the realization that it was a baby girl they strangled her to death, crushing her throat. They then dug a ditch at the back of their farm and stuffed in her body. Soon after, dogs had dug out the body and consumed it.
These stories struck me in the pit of my stomach and acted as a reminder of how important my research was and why I was doing it. Todays figures of a staggering 60 million women in India are missing or dead because of gender discrimination. Female infanticide/foeticide is still occurring. Dowry, caste hypergamy and son-preference are still occurring. Help change this paradigm. Help strive for gender equality.
I have created a link here if you would like to read my research. Please keep in mind that some areas could have been in much more detail but because of word limits I had to keep it concise. However, if you would like to discuss any of the issues I have raised in my research further, then please do get in touch.