Controversy over India Ad on Female #Foeticide

Indian Govt Ad Goof-up: former Pak Air Force chief included in the ad

January 24th was marked by the Indian government as National Girl Child Day to raise awareness of sex-selection abortion and female infant abandonment.  This 24th was also marked by a goof up.  An Indian government ad aimed at stopping female foeticide — also known as “feticide” or “fetus homicide” — shows a series of well known successful Indian men (& one Pakistani man) with the caption “Where would you be if your mother was not allowed to be born?”

India apologized for adding the Pakistani but some people believe India apologized for the wrong thing.   After all, it doesn’t hurt to send the message across all South Asian countries.  But, does this ad send that message that the reason we need  females is just so that they can have successful male children?



  1. alayni

    They should have showed some successful SA females and asked the same question.

  2. Shyamal

    Yes, I have seen this news report in Times of India. In fact, all the major news papers in India carried this news about the gaffe. The Pakistani man happens to be the ex Air chief Marshall of Pakistan. I think uproar would have been much less if it had been the picture of a Pakistani cricketer. so given that it carried a picture of Pakistan air force head (ex) Indian govt apologized for the gaffe.

    I think the message is absolutely right and targeted towards the men (perhaps MCP) who make the decision on killing female fetus and/ or shun or desert wives who bore female child and thus created a taboo in the modern society about having female child in India. Not women. In India this is a BIG issue, where there is a distinct shift of sex ratio. Also, surprisingly this is a phenomenon that was not so prevalent in India till seventies. (By the way, how bad the situation is, just see this piece in today’s Telegraph)

    So, It does not make any sense in creating a full page ad in all national newspapers to target the message towards the male population by narrating or specifying women’s role in society… The message is simple and targeted towards the male population that they need to be aware that successful males will not be born unless they had a mother in the first place.i.e. Let the female child be born… Let’s not find too much into this simple message targeted at the male (MCP perhaps) population.

  3. Indira

    i wish they could have found a better and more respectable way to express it but the subject is so primitive it may warrant a primitive way of hammering in. i just wish they showed a crowd of all male population instead of just a few ‘worthy’ men for this ad. men in general needs to be hit with this, not just a few. to me it seems this ad would be most appropriate if they showed urban male population of different age groups in a big crowd [this is more prevalant in cities among people who have money and education, not in villages].

    i agree the men should be the main target as they are the main perpetrators – but most women in india are brain-washed enough to think their only salvation comes from being the mother of a son and many times willingly submits to it – even though mostly it comes from the pressure they get from in-law families [women are part of the pressure-giving machinery also as mothers and MILs – part of the learning process/brain washing we get through generations] – we are all crude products of a pretty crude society.

    please forgive my strong words but i guess this subject warrants it. i have worked with people who have been working to end sex discrimination at birth and female feticide and know through statistics how widespread this problem is and how ignorant, crude and violent many educated, urban people are in this respect. this is kind of an epidemic in india reason why they may have thought of a full page ad. it is also illegal in india for doctors to tell clients what the sex of the child is before birth. i am glad they are trying to do more.

    the telegraph piece sent by shyamal is an eye-opener for people who think mothers should take it and live with the abusive husband for the children. he may be an abusive husband but is a good father, and the children need their father. through research and statistics it is proven that abusive fathers are never good for their children for multiple reasons. this is a stark example of one such reason – even if he has never abused the children as yet, there is no guarantee he will not in the future. and lethality is a big concern for these family members.

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