A TRIBUTE TO THE GIRL CHILD
‘Ek beti ke bina insaan ki, khas kar ke aadmi ki , zindagi adhuri hai.” (Human life, particularly of a man, is incomplete without having a daughter). These were the words uttered by the renowned poet, writer and thinker Javed Akhtar during one of his TV appearances recently. He was speaking in the context of the status of the girl child in contemporary Indian society.
Javed Akhtar truly hit the nail on the head. Yet we find that a female is only welcome as a mother, wife and a sister. But, when it comes to the daughter people shrug it off. Why is this duplicity? Why is it that a girl child is a no-no?
I don’t have to enumerate the reason invents for this attitude. It is enough to say that the society perceives a girl child as an emotional and material liability. Emotional because the parents worry about protecting the girl child(till she gets married) within the bounds of social norms. Material because…well, I don’t want to go into the reasons that are unjustifiable.
I, for one, travelled from one extreme of the spectrum to the other so much so that today I am able to appreciate the gospel truth embedded in what Mr. Javed Akhtar said.
Over the years I have realised why our fore-fathers gave the girl child pride of place, anointing her as Laxmi, Saraswati and Shakti. Any father with a daughter will tell you that his little girl has her heart at the right place. She is the one who worries about him and nurtures him when he falls ill. She is someone who instinctively knows the ups and downs in his life. And ultimately, she is the one who sheds a tear or two when he is gone.
To a dad, the girl child is a divine gift that unwraps into a second mother. And the Second Mother she is of all men and women. So, when she gets married and moves on, he feels a void that makes him see a daughter in every girl child.