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    ApuWHERE EVERY FAMILY wants a hundred sons, but not even one daughter, where infant girls are killed using many ingenious methods, or even simpler, not allowed to be born, in such a land, what is the future of womankind?

    Manjula Padmanabhan’s recently published novel, Escape is the dystopian vision of such a society where the no-girls policy has been taken to its  extreme; for now, it is not only individual families that conspire to kill women, it is the government itself that has officially outlawed and exterminated women.  Continue reading

    May You Be The Mother Of A Hundred Sons

    ApuBACK FROM THE DIWALI break, I was chatting with the elderly lady who comes to sweep our street everyday. Though she is employed by the municipal corporation, the wages are paltry so residents usually help her with small tips in cash or kind. As I handed over her Diwali tip and a small box of sweets, she blessed me saying, “May you have male children year after year!” Quite apart from the fact that overburdened India doesn’t need anybody producing children year after year, what is with this obsession with the male child, that simply refuses to go away? Continue reading