Maneka’s statement reflects insensitivity, lack of awareness: Congress

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New Delhi, Feb 2 (IANS) The Congress on Tuesday hit out at the Centre over minister Maneka Gandhi’s statement on female foeticide, saying it reflected the government’s insensitivity, complete lack of awareness and understanding of the ground realities.

At an event in Jaipur, Maneka Gandhi said: “There is an alternate point of view that if each pregnancy could be registered and the sex of the foetus made known to parents and if it happens to be a female, the delivery should be tracked and recorded. Such a system will help ensure that a foetus is not aborted only because it is a female.”

Reacting to this, All India Mahila Congress president Shobha Oza said: “The Modi government appears determined to convert ‘Save the girl child’ campaign into ‘Banish the girl child’ campaign.”

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“Shocking and outlandish statement made by Maneka Gandhi proposing to lift the ban on sex determination test and instead to make it mandatory, reflects the insensitivity, complete lack of awareness and understanding of the ground realities on part of the BJP government.”

Shobha Oza said: “Preposterous and bizarre as it is, lifting the ban will undo years of hard work, institutional mechanisms and legal framework that has been put in place for last two decades to discourage female foeticide.”

“Instead of implementing Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT) Act in letter and spirit, the Modi government appears to completely abdicate its solemn obligation, thereby opening flood gates for medical termination of pregnancy originating on account of sex of the foetus,” said Oza.

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Oza also said Maneka Gandhi appears to be either completely naive or myopic in her belief that those wanting to kill the girl child will state the true reason for termination of pregnancy.

“What is even more outrageous is the fact that the BJP government wants to keep a track of all pregnant women in India from the time of conception of child up to the delivery.”

“The suggestion in itself borders on eccentricity. Does the Modi government intend to act as a police state and employ state machinery to track each and every woman who becomes pregnant?” Oza asked.

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