If, in spite of science and conjecture, the grandparents want only a boy and not a girl child, they have to blame their son and not daughter-in-law.

Viwanath Gujar and Taramati, both labourers from Beed in Maharashtra, wanted to give up their newborn daughter in an orphanage as they wanted a son but not a daughter.

In XYZ village of Haryana, a man and his wife poured kerosene on their daughter-in-law and tried to set fire to her, but timely intervention by neighbours saved the woman. The in-laws were angry that their daughter-in-law gave birth to girl child for the third time, and not a boy.

In ABC village of Bihar, a man beat up his wife with a belt severely and the profusely bleeding woman was hospitalised, in a critical condition. Her crime? She gave birth to a girl child for the second time.

In PQR town of Andhra Pradesh, a man, abetted by his parents, aborted the pregnancy of his wife after giving a bribe and learning from the ultrasonic test that the foetus is female.

The unlettered and even the educated are ignorant on the birth of a baby. Ignorance of science and blind beliefs contribute to the sorrow state of affairs. The sex of foetus is determined by nature and is a conjecture.

Is the mother responsible for the birth of a girl child? Let us see logically what cellular science says.

One Thousand is 1 followed by three zeros, one million is one thousand thousands (1,000,000), one billion is thousand millions (1,000,000,000), one trillion is one thousand billions (1,000,000,000,000). An adult male or female human being is made of nearly 100 trillion cells. The cell is the basic building block of the human being as well as every living organism.

The human body is composed of trillions of cells. They provide structure for the body, take in nutrients from the food, convert nutrients into energy, and carry out specialised functions. Cells also contain the body’s hereditary material and can make copies of themselves.

In humans, each cell normally contains 23 pairs of chromosomes, for a total of 46. Twenty-two of these pairs, called autosomes, look the same in both males and females. The 23rd pair, the sex chromosomes, differ between males and females. Females have two copies of the X chromosome, while males have one X and one Y chromosome.

For the embryo, the woman contributes only X chromosomes and if the man also contributes X chromosomes, then the child will have both X chromosomes and thus a girl is born. If the man contributes Y chromosome, the child will have X and Y chromosomes and be a boy. Thus it is clear that the man plays a decisive role in deciding the sex of the foetus. An amazing truth, and a wonder why it is not given wide publicity. The innocent wife is always blamed for the birth of the girl child, whereas the culprit-husband joins the chorus, blaming and punishing her.

If this fact gets publicised, the blame game will ease, providing the much needed relief to the woman and perhaps we might be saving thousands of crimes perpetrated on womenfolk as a punishment for the “sin” of giving birth to a girl.

If, in spite of science and conjecture, the grandparents want only a boy and not a girl child, they have to blame their son and not daughter-in-law. And in a lighter vein, if the couple want a son, not a daughter, and want to conduct a religious ceremony (vratam), it is the man who has to perform and not his wife!

(The writer is a retired Deputy General Manager (Electronics & Instrumentation) from a public sector enterprise)

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