India is on the verge of a sociological time bomb waiting to explode, due to the large number of genetically manipulated births. As in China, everyone wants a boy and in a population which already exceeds one thousand million, the practice could create a dangerous imbalance, with many more males than females in the near future.
Many women visit fertility clinics, where they are implanted with male embryos. The defenders of the practice claim that in the past, baby girls were killed or women went to have abortions when they discovered that they were carrying a female child, while others were badly treated by their families if they gave birth to a girl instead of a boy.
The desire to have a boy comes from old traditions. A girl has to bring with her a dowry at marriage and many poor families cannot afford this, while there is also a custom in Indian villages whereby the son lights the funeral pyre of the parents.
A census conducted recently showed that there is already a marked imbalance between the sexes in India, with boys outnumbering girls by 1,000 to 865 in some areas, and even by 1,000 to 796 in others, according to figures in The Times newspaper.
In Punjab and Haryana, the states where the practice of female infanticide is more common, husbands have to bring in their wives from other areas, while in some families, brothers share a bride.
John ASHTEAD PRAVDA.Ru LONDON UNITED KINGDOM
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