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Satyamev Jayate is great…could have also highlighted need to change customs

May 7, 2012

Loved the first episode of Aamir’s Satyamev Jayate for various obvious reasons – the effort, the focus and the awareness created, etc. It also correctly highlighted the importance of deterrent punishment (establishing rule of law) to ensure that people think twice before committing murder.

However, it could have also highlighted the real economic and practical reasons why people want at least 1 male child …so much so that even very educated and well-to-do people actually kill the girl child. In general, in India:

  • girls have fewer employment opportunities  – so, for parents, they are less a financial support and more a burden
  • weak law and order means girls are subject to sexual harassment and hence, need greater parental effort in bringing up
  • dowry is still prevalent
  • once married, girls do not live with their parents, do not financially support them and do not continue the family name
  • last rites are performed only by the male child

If we highlight these issues and find a way to incentivize and gradually change customs, there will be less of an incentive to prefer a male child.

Seen another way, even supposedly good people like me (I treat my wife well, did not take dowry and will be perfectly happy with a girl child) contribute to female foeticide since my wife no longer uses her maiden surname, doesn’t contribute financially to her parents and doesn’t live with them. Time to improve!


From → Lokpal

  1. amit khemka permalink

    well hats off to ur last point……..but about ur shortcomings i think he just wanted to stop the crime….afterall a crime is a crime which should not be justified….a person committing any crime in case of any circumstances does not make it right……one should bring the above mention changes that u have said but thn everything cannot be done at one go n seeing at the larger picture if we just keep our eyes open….a change can happen……n he has just shown us a path…..we can take it from here n bring more changes or make the movement more powerful but lets not take away anything away from the guy…..everything done can always be done in a better way but whts been done should also be applauded….. a person doesntt takes dowry but thn the expenses of wedding reception is on gals side in my community….now i have a problem with tht too but thn fighting it in the society is smething will create chaos(say my family itself might not approve of it)… lets just take one step at a time…..a thousand miles journey starts with a single step n i m sure u do agree that somehow people after yesterday’s episode will think once before saying out any such statement in the open about aborting a gal child or their desire for a boy child

  2. totally agree amit…..aamir has done a fabulous job and we should all support him …..also, murder cannot be justified…if law and order enforcement is strong, then female foeticide/infanticide will come down drastically….

    changing customs is also important since it will not only reduce the incentive to murder but also reduce neglect of / discrimination against the girl child (which cannot be stopped by any law).

    how to change customs – people like aamir will hopefully take up the cause (he has already written something to this effect in HT) and people like us should calmly but firmly lead by example to the extent we can (impossible to change family thinking but when it comes our personal life, we should still give it a shot)

    (by the way – when you get married, you’ll find out that marwadi log main, even the guy side spends obscenely just like the girl side, even more…….very bad custom that i was forced to follow…will regret for long 🙂

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