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Do we need a national debate on our abortion law?

August 7, 2008

I think this whole issue of the Mehtas wanting to abort their 25 week fetus (because it could possibly be born with a heart defect) has been blown out of proportion. But people say this case is very important as it has put the spotlight on India’s antiquated liberal abortion law – the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act of 1971. This Act says that it is legal to abort as long as:

1) The fetus is 12 weeks old or less

2) But abortion is allowed up to 20 weeks for the following reasons:

  • If the mother’s life is at risk
  • If the baby is conceived because of rape
  • If there is a fear that that the baby would suffer mental or physical abnormalities
  • If the pregnant couple can prove that the child is a result of a failure of a family planning device

3) After 20 weeks – no abortion. That is indeed a lacunae in the Act, but let’s see this from a global point of view. Here is a map that gives you as to how liberal or antiquated we are as compared to the rest of the world – click on the map for a bigger picture:

The Key:

  • Most liberal – Blue area (eg. U.S, Canada) – abortion is legal.
  • Second most liberal – Light Green (eg. India, United Kingdom) legal upto a certain number of weeks, and after that depending on special circumstances as laid out by the law, eg. bad health, rape.
  • Brown and Orange (parts of Africa and South America) – legal under special circumstances like health of the mother, rape. You can read more
  • The navy blue areas prohibit abortion

As you can see India doesn’t score badly at all where this law is concerned. And considering that we are way behind the rest of the developed world with regard to other laws, whether it is cyber laws or child abuse laws, why so much fuss about an abortion law? Our abortion law is a decent one. Sure, the law can and should improve, everything can be improved. I just wonder whether this subject is worthy of a “national debate.”

The second thing confusing me is the actual case. I like to solve mysteries and I would like to know why a doctor said (in court) that the Mehtas’ baby is likely to be fine after all! But the Mehtas went to court because they were told that their baby would most likely be born with a heart defect. According to the law, they cannot approach the court unless they have taken at least two opinions, that is what the MTP Act says. So was this some third doctor who said there are few chances of the baby being born with a defect? It’s strange, but he actually said it was a “typo” and that instead of “few” chances of being born with a disability, the stenographer wrote “fair” chances. But what about the other doctor/doctors? Did those doctors also make some sort of typo? It’s a mystery to me but no one seems to be talking about this…instead there is a “national debate” about our fairly reasonable abortion laws.

A thought did cross my mind…did the parents know that their baby had “few” chances of being born disabled from the start and they went to court anyway, because they didn’t want to take any chances at all? No, it can’t be, that seems too horrific an idea.

I wasn’t going to write about this whole issue, but a reader sent in a request. And that is why Mad Momma wrote about it too, because someone asked her too. I liked her take on it and am quoting her here:

It breaks my heart to think of a 26 week old foetus being aborted because in my head its already a baby by now. By this time I was feeling both my babies kick and each movement made me smile…But I understand if the Mehtas don’t want to take the risk of a child who might need a pacemaker. Perhaps they don’t have the space in their lives and don’t have either the time or the money to do it. And who are we to question or judge that?

Related Reading: Two new laws concerning women in India
Prominent doctor trapped in a sex determination racket by the BBC
Profile of Renuka Chowdhury, India’s Minister for Child Welfare and Women’s Development

More Reading on Women’s Issues in India
Children’s Issues

43 Comments leave one →
  1. August 7, 2008 8:38 am

    Thanks Nita,
    Am linking your post back to mine

  2. August 7, 2008 9:12 am

    “Few to Fair” – That is one big fat totally unrelatable typo!
    “If the baby is conceived because of rape” – Wait, If you are raped and hopefully you know that you are raped and hopefully you know that you are pregnant within atmost 10 Weeks, why wait till 20th week to abort. Is this some sort of allowing some grace period for the mother to think about before aborting?

  3. August 7, 2008 9:53 am

    Hi nita,
    I guess the issue has been made such a big deal of, because it involves so many aspects – medical, social, ethical, etc. In this case though, my heart goes out to the Mehtas.
    I think they have a pretty genuine reason to go for an abortion. Not just considering the costs involved in taking care of a child with a permanent heart defect, but also the agony and the helplesness for the child as well as the parents !
    I read that many individuals and organisations have come forward to adopt the child. I wonder what would seem more ‘heartless’ to people…aborting your child at a later stage of pregnancy, or giving away your child after giving birth ??

    P.S. I agree with Dinesh Babu. The same thought came to my mind !

  4. August 7, 2008 10:05 am

    I think, in this particular case, the choice can be left upto the Mehtas. You are right, this is being blown out for no reason. I completely agree with Mad Momma’s comments that you included at the end. But then, will there be ill-effects because of this? Who knows if tomorrow someone else might come out and claim their right to get aborted too? I confess I did not read Mad Momma’s post completely though.

  5. August 7, 2008 11:30 am

    Nita:

    The key point here is that they went to the courts. And the courts would not want to set a precedent that sets a legislative crisis in motion.

    Many of India’s laws are antiquated but this one is in line with many other countries’. That said, reproductive laws are globally in flux and the momentum will also affect India in ways which are not always desirable.

  6. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    August 7, 2008 11:39 am

    Dinesh Babu,

    At the risk of being accused of tasteless humour, I’d like to point out the following:

    Such a typo is entirely plausible if it was by a steno inputting data from hand-written text (and that too by a doctor — a member of a tribe whose shoddy handwriting is proverbial). Get half a dozen randomly selected people to write “few” and “fair” side by side in running hand, and you can judge for yourself.

    Also, I need hardly point out that many Indians — even those who know reasonably good English — are unaware of the distinction between “few” and “a few”.

    And finally, when in a hurry to meet a deadline for a report, even the most scrupulous of people can miss a typo.

    I feel the Mehtas have been made the victims of a mere technicality of law. The agony of bringing up that child is not going to be shared by either the court or by any of us.

  7. August 7, 2008 12:44 pm

    Indian abortion law is liberal because abortion is often used in India as “birth control”. The government is desperate enough to control the population one way or another. Secondly I think a birth defect is not a criterion for termination of pregnancy. In the future it may be possible to determine many “defects” before a child is born, would we end up terminating a child that may turn out to be a diabetic? Where is the full stop and who is going to put it?

  8. August 7, 2008 1:14 pm

    Nita,
    I read your and Mada Momma’s thoughts, and went to my mother and told her everything. And her reply startled me. My mother is a simple, straight forward housewife and she said : “I think they should allow her to abort if its really true case. If the child is going to be born with some dreadful inabilities, then he will suffer a lot in his /her life. His/her parents will suffer. Money and financial conditions are nothing before a child but in some cases, we should allow exceptions.”

    I tried reasoning with her by saying that its like killing a child, look what Mad Momma writes. Then she replied,”Look beta, I gave birth to you and I know it all. But I also understand how a mother will feel while looking at her child who will be suffering things she had never dreamed him to.”

    Well I don’t know what to say now. I mean my mothers reaction assumes that the Doctor’s report is true and child will be born with some real big heart problems.

  9. Ashish permalink
    August 7, 2008 1:57 pm

    It’s fairly possible that doctors found the problem with baby but now reverting their decision with typo excuse since they don’t want to get into all the legal hassle by going against court decision. All in all, it’s always fair to say that parents should be ultimate decider for fate of their progeny. Another related debate is how much say should father have in such decision. He should but he doesn’t.

  10. August 7, 2008 2:26 pm

    Forgot to add main bit, I took my mother’s opinion on you question “Do we need a national debate on our abortion law?” and she replied hotly, “No, don’t make it national issue, just try refining the law if you call yourself experts”.

    And I agree with her (not by fear of course😀 ), I think instead of debating, some so called experts in social issues and India’s development etc should come forward and try making changes in law if they are really needed.

  11. August 7, 2008 3:43 pm

    Nita, I have seen families suffering. Mothers who could not die in peace because they weren’t sure that their abnormal kids will be taken care of once they are no more. Siblings who weren’t able to settle in life because of spastic siblings. It is more complicated than we can imagine. Emotionally, financially and socially it is a difficult situation.

  12. August 7, 2008 4:59 pm

    It is difficult to take a decision. I think the decision is as serious as the ‘mercy killing’ one.

    But then when I read the news I wondered why the family is not going to get a second, third or a fourth opinion before going to the court. I mean when it’s our child we do everything we can. May be they did and the newspaper did not report it.

    The ‘typo thing’ is the hospital’s way to be on the safer side. Miraculously if the baby does survive, that will give them a bad reputation.
    Miracles do over throw medical conclusions.
    Even for those people who don’t believe in god, they believe in miracles although none can really explain how that happens.

    lets hope the baby will be fine.

    Regarding ‘National Debate’ what not is a national debate these days? MEDIA !

  13. August 7, 2008 5:29 pm

    Dineshbabu, as Vivek pointed out these things happen and the only thing worrying me is how 2-3 doctors made a mistake.

    Gee, when you ask, “what would seem more ‘heartless’ to people…aborting your child at a later stage of pregnancy, or giving away your child after giving birth” I think it’s difficult choice, a choice between the devil and the deep sea, Choosing the former would be selfish because that choice means that the person does not want the child to be raised by someone else. True unselfishness is if you allow the child to be born, and allow others (in this case many have offered) to look after it. Ofcourse the parents didn’t know then if anyone would come forward to pay for the child as they know now. But now at least they should rest in peace because financial problems at least will be looked after. And infact many have offered to adopt the child! How wonderful that is! This child will be blessed. I feel they can do that much for their child, because how can they abort when they know there is a high chance of their child being born normal?

    Shefaly, Manoj, this was a point that came to me several times during writing of the post but I did not somehow include it in. I agree with you completely on this.

    Vivek, true, it’s difficult for any one of us to sit in judgment but I wonder if they are willing to give up the child to the church or something.

    odzer, you know that you have echoed my thoughts, thoughts which I am afraid to put down. This whole question throws me into a quandary. Specially as in this case it looks like the baby may not be disabled after all and it’s a 25 week old fetus, fully formed almost. I am not a religious person, but something in me is revolting against this. I cant help it, it’s an emotional reaction.

    Suda, your mother is a practical woman and I certainly see her point of view. But I wonder what she would say if there are high chances of the baby being born normal?

    Ashish, but what about the other doctors? All turned “hostile” witnesses?

    Prerna, I confess this issue still confuses me. I am torn in two, which I rarely am about issues! And after thinking a lot on this I think that if there are high chances of the baby being born normal and the baby is 25 weeks old, the baby should get a chance to be born.

    Xylene, no one in the media reported the second or third opinions and I find that odd! They have to had taken those various opinions, otherwise the court would not have taken up the case at all. It’s mystery to me and if today I was working in a newspaper I would have asked these parents what about the second and third opinions?
    You are probably right about the typo thing, but this means they are not sure are they! If one cannot stake one’s hospital reputation on it, then why allow the snuffing our of a tiny life? I think this is immoral. Also I want to keenly know what the other doctors said…

  14. August 7, 2008 5:39 pm

    Nita:

    “..the only thing worrying me is how 2-3 doctors made a mistake.”

    I think doctors really ought to state probabilities and not add their own judgments to things. People can then match those to their own risk propensities and decide what to do.

    I have a friend, whose wife refused to have an amniocentensis to test for Down’s. As chance would have it, their daughter has Down’s.

    Another was told the chances are 1 in 1200 and she said, we will take it, although in the UK, counselling is booked right alongside amnio and a termination can be had if the mother so wishes.

  15. August 7, 2008 6:36 pm

    Nita,
    I am not so sure if giving away the child for adoption would be such a great idea, although it is indeed very heartening to know that so many have come forward to do it ! Also, if the court rejects their appeal, it is probably the next best resort for the parents.
    The only thing is, the child would then have to live with the burden of knowing that he/she was given away by the biological parents because they couldn’t take care of him/her. I should think that must be quite traumatic for a child..
    In any case, I really hope the child is born healthy !!!

  16. August 7, 2008 7:17 pm

    media is blowing this out of proportion . If the baby is sure to have a disablitly i feel then its the parents who should decide rather than a judge who wont be thinking wiht the parents point of view,,
    i dint read the post u have linked…
    i think its better to abort rather than let the baby die after getting born…

  17. August 7, 2008 7:25 pm

    Vivek, Thanks for a good explanation. Yeah I do believe a Doctor’s scribbling is barely noticeable as English leave alone figuring out what it means.

  18. August 7, 2008 7:55 pm

    you know Nita – to a large extent most people on my blog have argued that regardless of what the reason, its a woman’s body and her right. it shouldnt have to be just rape. what is wrong with a woman getting pregnant after a drunken dandiya night and aborting. its HER body and HER right.

    I just watch all this debate that shifts from the foetus to the woman… and then i ask – so if the reason doesnt matter – then is it okay to abort girl foetuses?same logic – mother’s body – her right to do as she pleases…

    the entire thing to my mind – is that life is sacred. girl, boy, healthy, unhealthy. we have no right to take it. if you give people that right – then it cant be selective…. then if they want to drop girl babies – they have a right to do so…

  19. August 7, 2008 8:31 pm

    @ Mad Momma:

    As consistency in principled stances on abortion goes, you make a frightful but valid (from argumentation and logical perspective) point…😦

  20. August 7, 2008 10:46 pm

    The typo thing is surely a white lie. Because a doctor and ofcourse a mature person will read before signing on a legal document like a medical report. They dont want to get involved in court case.
    As far as the decision goes, I guess instead of stating that its the woman’s body and her discretion; the right thing would be to go for amniocentesis and abort if its advisable (not too late into pregnancy) and if I daresay for the greater good . And that goes for unhealthy female foetus too.I wonder if its possible to determine a so called third sex foetus and what would be people’s views on abortion of such a foetus which is otherwise healthy except that its of third sex.

  21. August 8, 2008 1:22 am

    I think if everyone agrees that this is a very complex issue where consistency, ideology and logic will fail at some point (for some instances) on both sides of the debate (or will lead to people supporting absurd situations), and if people can take a step back and realize that the other side has valid points too, maybe, just maybe, it’ll be a little easier to understand it. Besides, it’s one of those issues where theoretical understanding goes only so far when it comes to grasping this issue, and the old adage of “walking a mile in someone else’s shoe” fits. I could recommend a documentary called “Lake of Fire” which I’ve also reviewed on my blog.

  22. rabdrake permalink
    August 8, 2008 3:32 am

    There is nothing complex about this issue. I’m an “absolutist” on a woman’s right to choose. I know as sure as the sun is coming up tomorrow, that if men could get pregnant abortion would be a sacrament. Men wouldn’t tolerate any restriction on their right if it directly effected them.
    Every major religion is under the total control of men. Does anybody seriously believe that if women had had a modicum of power in the Catholic church that they would silently stood by or would have aided and abetted the child molestation by those priests?
    It is easy to engage in Jesuitical casuistries as a male. It is easy when pregnancy is an abstraction. Men, it’s too patronizing to march out our genuine concern for our mothers, wives, sisters and daughters because they might have an unwanted pregnancy. The fact is men don’t get pregnant! Women, it’s easy to wax philosophically after the fact about the sentimental memories.
    To all of us, it’s quite another matter when “being late” is an anguish, a particular woman, can just not afford to have to endure. She is entitled to have her reproductive freedom completely in tact. She has a right to all the help the society can provide.

  23. August 8, 2008 3:54 am

    mm:
    “and then i ask – so if the reason doesnt matter – then is it okay to abort girl foetuses?same logic – mother’s body – her right to do as she pleases…”

    Yes, it is okay to abort girl foetus if a mother doesn’t want it. I know I write a blog on female foeticide and I know I feel strongly about it …. but it’s not the ‘abortion’ i feel strongly about but women’s rights ….. women’s rights to decide, women’s rights to live the way they want, women’s right to equality, justice, freedom!! i’ll write more about it on the blog like i said … didnt get a chance. will do.

  24. August 8, 2008 5:09 am

    also, Nits: in US, partial birth abortion is illegal now. post conservative govt.

  25. August 8, 2008 9:26 am

    Shefaly, I wonder why probablities are not given. Those would be more scientific and would enable couples to make the decision. I don’t know if it is because the doctors are incompetent or because it is not possible to give probabilites in that particular case!

    Gee, adopted kids all have to take on this burden, of knowing that their parents didn’t want them. I think they do reconcile if they are told early enough.

    Arvind,
    if there was a surety of that kind, ofcourse I agree. But no one seems to know what will happen! The whole nation will watch with bated breath now, for Mrs, Mehta to deliver!

    Mad Momma, actually I agree with you but at the same time have no answer to give those who fight for women’s rights! But then I always believed in human rights before women’s rights.

    Reema, you are right, it is a lie! And yes, I agree with you that abortion at an early stage is an entirely different matter. The point about the third sex is very valid, and why just third sex, if people are allowed to kill their fetuses after 25 weeks, god knows what other perfection they will want!

    Amit, I agree entirely with your view that the issue is complex and firmly am against applying any rule to all. each case needs to be seen on it’s own merit but for that we need to have a very advanced legal system. I hope that one day we do have such a thing.

    rabdrake, your argument is indeed a tempting one.🙂 However, as we are talking hypothetical do you think that men would be the “stronger” sex if they got pregnant? They wouldn’t.🙂 But even if assuming that men did get pregnant and they were still the dominant sex, and they ensured that they had full rights on their bodies, I would be against it, totally against it. It doesn’t matter if they were men, or if they women who got pregnant. Just because men would do it, doesn’t mean we women should want it. That’s what I feel. One injustice does not justify another, in my view.
    I think a fetus after a certain number of weeks has rights (after it passes that 25 week stage, after it can survive on its own). It’s absolutely true that women have suffered because of male dominance in society, but I do not think that absolute rights is good from the human rights angle.

    Roop, shall read your post and comment on it.🙂

  26. August 8, 2008 11:40 am

    nice analysis
    i had expected this judgement . Such cases should be dealt on a case by case basis …

    Im pro choice and this law like many others is Victorian and antiquated like many a justices s mindset…

  27. August 8, 2008 12:26 pm

    @ Nita

    Forgot to tell you this was on WP yesterday.🙂

    As for: ” I wonder why probablities are not given.”, I have the following hypotheses:

    1a. Doctors find themselves communicating in a language that many may not understand.

    1b. Wider mathematical illiteracy may hamper understanding. After all how many can make sense of a risk of 1 in 1200?

    2. Patients sometimes want doctors to give them a decision, not line up options like a (management) consultant might.

    3. Not big in India yet, but malpractice lawsuits mean doctors may rightly be keen to do a CYA than be definite about something.

    Just some thoughts.

  28. August 8, 2008 3:00 pm

    @ Nita- As its confession spree time here on wordpress I will confess something too. I have been your fan…but in your awe too…that’s why never left comment as I was left with nothing to say as you already cover the topic well, and I am not so daring enough to say great work, keep it up as I guess I am too small in front of your writings..
    But this one made me leave a comment – I am really disturbed after following this case from IBN Live news site. I think the parents should be given the whole say…thats what my penny wise mind says.
    I don’t know if you are aware of my blog but please do pay a visit-I will be really honored- http://mindflirting.wordpress.com/

    God bless

  29. August 8, 2008 9:41 pm

    Prax, thanks.

    Shefaly, thanks! Whenever I check there,I am never there!🙂 Thanks for that detail. I hadn’t thought it out like that.

    Mahak, thanks, that is really sweet and I hope I can live up to that expectation! You know it’s always wonderful to get a comment and hear from a reader, but at the same time I don’t want anyone to feel any pressure to comment! Thanks, it was great to hear from you.🙂

  30. August 10, 2008 12:36 pm

    @ shefaly – yeah it scared me to articulate it – but its something that has crossed my mind. a thought – not an opinion😉 sorry – couldnt resist that!

    @Nita – I love how you articulate it. human rights before women’s is my logic too.

  31. August 10, 2008 3:27 pm

    @ MadMomma – That arbitrary – to me, at least – epistemological difference was drawn by the blogger, whose stance on teen bloggers I challenged in the post. Good you find it funny – I doubt she did🙂

  32. raghav in geisterstadt permalink
    August 11, 2008 5:49 am

    In my opinion, its time for the law to be changed. The law should cover more areas where the family could abort for genuine reasons. That would also entail the above mentioned case if its not a ”typo”.

  33. rabdrake permalink
    August 12, 2008 7:10 am

    Hi Roop:
    I love feedback. Thanks
    It may sound anomalous to you, but I am perfectly reconciled to both pro-life and pro-choice as a position.
    It seems common sense to be pro-life. Statistically women are more likely to die from a wanted pregnancy than the termination of unwanted pregnancy. Anyone embracing a pro-life position must logically support a woman’s right to life in those circumstances. It is why my pro-life beliefs are absolute.
    I have already explained my absolutist position on pro-choice. It is not hypothetical, it is grounded in realism. It is the height of male arrogance and sexism to try and control women this way . To presume that even though men can not be pregnant, nevertheless, they should have power over women in this regard is the ulitnmate in degenerate pride.
    If it will help you, I believe a woman’s right to choose ends when she consents to bring her pregnancy to fruition and not a moment before.
    Women who are viable and fertile represent a “discrete and insular minority.” When you factor out the disenfranchised women, those from menarche to under eighteen, this minority is all but politically insignificant. As to reproductive freedom, I belive all women, from menarchy on, should be allowed to vote on choice issues that relate to pregnancy.
    It is the oldest axiom of politics to divide and rule, The faux issue of pro-life/prochoice is a perfect example of the maxum at work.

    Rabdrake, you addressed the comment to Roop, but I have a feeling it was meant for me. So thanks for your feedback. I do understand your point of view and whenever I read your comment I feel like agreeing with you.🙂 However I do believe in abortion but simply not after say 25 weeks. Okay evern that is a wrong statement. I prefer to see each case separately as absolutism in anything is not my way. Whether it is pro-choice or pro-life, I am neither. I am for human rights, and they could be of the fetus, the child, a man or a woman. Thanks for your response. – Nita.

  34. August 12, 2008 8:42 am

    It is the oldest axiom of politics to divide and rule, The faux issue of pro-life/prochoice is a perfect example of the maxum at work.

    You’re talking about USA, right? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think abortion is such a divisive issue anywhere else when it comes to politics and voting. Specially not in India.

  35. Ralph Bruno permalink
    August 15, 2008 11:09 pm

    Hi Nita:
    Waited a while to let the more relevant audience, i.e. men and women from India, wade in.
    Thank you for your generous comments. Your last entry makes my point for the need of absolutism. You would subordinate a preganant women’s right to life in pursuit of some hypothetical and abstract goal of human rights. Not a great trade off if your pregnant, in trouble and bereft of a loophole.

    Hi Amit:
    The reference of the “Mehta case” reminded me of another Mehta. Deepa Mehta’s “Fire” is a film that documents the life that a vast number of Indian women face. For most, it is one of penury and drudgery, with the status of a brood sow. And woe be tied, if male sons don’t come soon! This cultural matrix is reinforced by the male religious/political/economic hegemony. Older women, wives and/or widows with sons, join in to support their vested interests.

    I don’t know why you have misinterpreted my words. I believe it in a case by case basis and if you read my post and my comments you will understand that I do not believe that anyone has to interfere in the rights of Mehtas. . What you are saying that I believe in is amusing, because I don’t believe that! I believe just the oppsoite, I am totally against any abstract principle, I detest them! I do not believe in absolutism or any of your abstract principles. I believe in taking it on a case to case basis, on the basis of whether it is man, woman or child – that’s called human rights. Only women’s rights at all cost is not what i believe and do respect my views. thank you – Nita.
    P.s. your reference to Deepa Mehta’s film made me realise that you are not aware of Indian reality at all where abortion is not an issue. Everyone here aborts, and that is allowed. No one follows the law. We have a thing about reducing population here. If you want to know Indians’ views then the 99% or Indians support Mehtas because disability is abhorred here!! As for me, I might have aborted too!! Don’t you understand what I am saying?? It depends on the actual case!!!

  36. rabdrake permalink
    August 16, 2008 4:22 am

    Nita : Thank you for your clarification. I am not in a position to appreciate the reality there. It was very interesting exnchanging views. Please know that I feel your incites have given me a better understnading of the matter.

  37. August 16, 2008 4:35 am

    Ralph, yes I’ve seen “Fire” and I grew up in India, so I am aware of some ground realities. What’s depicted in “Fire” (a work of fiction, not a documentary) is not applicable to all Indian women – Indian society is much more complex than Deepa Mehta’s movie, and I hope you don’t view reality strictly through the lens of a fictional movie, just as I don’t think that “First Blood: Rambo” is a reflection of all Americans and American society.😉
    Deepa Mehta is least interested in improving the social conditions of Indian women – her movies are primarily aimed at Western audiences who are/will be easily shocked at what they see. Next, you’ll be telling me that what’s shown in “Water” is true for all Indian widows.

  38. Ralph Bruno permalink
    August 16, 2008 9:50 am

    Hi Amit;

    As far as your general claims go, I can’t see what there is to disagree with. In the making and release of both films “Fire” and “Water,” there were violent reactions in India. Apparently, it is not only foreigners, who are shocked by her fiction. In my attempt to offer my views, I stressed a parochial view more relevant to the USA. I still feel that what is wrong with America is that there are too many men (particulaly, White men) over 50 in power. As to how this analogy applies, please adapt it to India. Regretfully, until the ensconced male hierarchy is unsettled, women and men in India will cling to the notion that men really are the superior sex. Therefore, why shouldn’t the value of a pregnant woman be depreciated below vis-a-vis a male fetus. Thank you for your incites.

  39. August 16, 2008 6:57 pm

    Ralph,
    You are correct. In adapting the feminist view to India, I come up with a white woman who has been in power for the past 4 years or so. That colonial mentality needs to change, so we do agree on some things.🙂

Trackbacks

  1. What’s a good time for you? « The Brat, the Bean and Bedlam
  2. Much ado about a potentially disabled foetus « La Vie Quotidienne
  3. The Abortion Debate Begins in India. at scan man’s notes
  4. the Mehta case (and the bloggers) « banalities of my life

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