While impassioned cases for increasing women’s involvement in politics continue being made on one side, it is also a fact of life in India that women doctors themselves are a party to female feticides, i.e. illegal abortions of newborn females.
One such case took an ugly turn yesterday when Dr. Laxmi Garg, owner of a private nursing home in Bathinda, Punjab, swallowed two poison tablets and ended her life. Dr. Garg’s troubles started back in September of 2006, when Ashok Kumar, a local resident, filed charges against her and a janitor working at her clinic, alleging that a murdered fetus was thrown or dumped by the clinic.
The police slapped the doctor with the Prenatal Diagnostics Techniques Act (PNDT) when they found two fetuses dumped in garbage behind her clinic. Earlier this year in February, a local sessions court found Dr. Garg guilty of the charges and sentenced her to two and a half years of rigorous imprisonment. The janitor who threw the fetuses in the garbage was however, acquitted.
But Dr. Laxmi Garg had no plans to go quietly. When first convicted in February, she tried to avoid her imminent arrest by getting herself hospitalized for chest pain symptoms. Her appeal against the guilty verdict failed, and so did the authorities attempt to make her pay for her crime. For Dr. Garg had carried a couple of poison tablets with her inside the court, and hearing the rejection of her appeal, she immediately swallowed the pills.
It is not known if charges were ever brought or filed against the parents of the murdered female babies. In the land of a woman president and a woman kingmaker and woman chief of the nation’s capital state and almost 10% women in the parliament, women seem to be a powerless bunch, happily or sadly allowing their lives to be run by their male chauvinist counterparts. This is what happens when you have your politics filled with kingmakers who are never accountable for anything they do, their pawns who are never aware of who does what in their names, and the vast ignorant audience who do not understand why accountability should ever be an issue in the first place.
As for little babies being dumped in the garbage, one must then attribute their misfortune to their being born in a wicked place where garbage-dumping of little babies of the female gender, has been around for ever. God, how I wish India’s politicians carried with them a poison pill for every social ill they cannot correct. And how I wish the members of the public carry a poison pill for every politician they cannot dump in garbage.