Thursday, January 18, 2018
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DM with child

I saw media persons enjoying to the brim the lavish hospitality of the District Magistrate, Mr Rajshekhar, who had invited them on Sunday  to share his joy on the birth of a daughter, Aradhya . But I thought that the occasion had a two-fold purpose—one, to share with media-persons his joy of being blessed with a cherub-like daughter and the other purpose—the more significant one-- was to give the veiled message to the scribes that they too should equally welcome the birth of a daughter in the family and also use their pen to educate the masses through the print and the electronic media about the need for welcoming and hailing the birth of a baby girl instead of turning it into a day of mourning.

There was also a hint that they should not go in for ultrasonography to find out the sex of the child and eliminate it through an abortion if it is a female. Nothing was said. But the message was clear. If the media persons had read between the lines, they should have known that the celebrations were arranged, very, very significantly enough, on the Daughter’s Day. And when the District Magistrate found some media persons turning up without their spouses, he said he would again arrange a get-together when he hoped they too would come. The presence of womenfolk was essential if the meaning of the Daughter’s Day was to be fully conveyed. After all, it is the mother-in-law who, in many cases, hounds the Bahu  if she gives birth to one female child after another.
The District Magistrate revealed that when his daughter was born in Bangalore, he was in Allahabad. But he rushed instantly ( presumably by train and air) to be by his wife’s bedside the same day and get a glimpse of his dear daughter. When he said this, Rajshekhar  could be having such women in mind, who get so annoyed when they learn that their Bahu has given birth to a baby girl that they do not even inquire about the health of the daughter-in-law and the new born, let alone visiting them even if they were in a local hospital for the delivery.
To those who seem to believe on account of some superstition or the other that the baby girl will bring bad luck, Rajshekhar revealed: ‘Allahabad was in the grip of floods. But as soon as my daughter Aradhya was born, the waters of the Ganga and Jamuna started receding!’
The message, though veiled,  was clear: Don’t discriminate between a boy and a girl. The DM was saying all the time, ‘Mere ghar laxmi aayi hai’. That should be the spirit. Thank you Rajshekhar for conveying such a grand message  draped so well within the layers of sweet hospitality, as sweet as the cake and ice-cream served on the occasion!

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