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Maneka Gandhi’s proposal on sex determination

The Congress on Tuesday reacted sharply to Union Minister Maneka Gandhi’s proposal to make pre-natal sex determination test compulsory to check female foeticide, alleging that Modi government appears “determined to convert ‘save the girl child’ campaign into ‘banish the girl child’ movement”.

Dubbing as “shocking and outlandish” the statement of the Women and Child Development Minister, Mahila Congress chief Shobha Oza and Sharmistha Mukherjee, Chief spokesperson of Delhi PCC, said such a move “will ostracise the ‘Girl Child’ and in one stroke, nullify all efforts undertaken to prevent female foeticide”.

They said that the Minister’s statement reflects the “insensitivity, complete lack of awareness and understanding of the ground realities” on part of the BJP government.

“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,” they said in a strongly worded statement.

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

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

Besides, the two leaders said making sex determination tests mandatory will lead to corrupt practices like issuing illegal certificates and put the poor in the clutches of corrupt government officials and unethical medical practitioners.

“We demand that Prime Minister Narendra Modi come forward to conduct ‘Beti Ke Mann Ki Baat’ and clarify the stance of BJP government on this single most important issue affecting our nation,” they added.