Launching the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao scheme on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi denounced the practice of female foeticide, saying such discrimination reflects “mental illness” and displays a mindset “worse than people in the 18th century”.
“We cannot call ourselves citizens of 21st century by practising such a crime — we are worse than people in the 18th century when newly born baby girls were drowned in a bowl of milk. At least they allowed those girls to see their mother’s face, see the world for a few moments. We do not even allow that because we do not even let them be born,” said Modi.
Significantly, Modi chose to launch the scheme from the state of Haryana, which has one of the worst sex ratios in the country — the lowest being in Mahendragarh, where there are only 775 girls per 1000 boys.
This campaign is certainly a step in the right direction – but will it be sufficient? A campaign to prevent the abortion of girls is hardly credible, if it is not directed against abortion in general.