Posted by: Vikram | March 28, 2009

This is not good news ….

Well, the latest data indicates that the sex ratio in Uttar Pradesh has dropped from 898 in 2001 to 812 in 2008. Given that UP has a huge number of men who migrate to other states, the true sex ratio is probably even lower. Already women are nowhere to be seen on the streets of Delhi and Lucknow, and the real effects of these developments will only be seen in the years to come.

The movie Matrubhoomi is a preview to what much of North India could look like,

On a more positive note, kudos to the Indian women’s cricket team, they finished third in the recently concluded World Cup.


  1. The amount of awareness required is nowhere to be seen even now. And awareness is the only thing that will ever work.

  2. Maybe it isn’t only the sex ratio? My husband notes that Delhi is the “rape capital” of India so maybe women don’t feel free to move around much there?

    Still a drop to 812 from 898 is pretty drastic for only 7 years! What could have changed that much in 7 years? Have abortions become more readily available? The economy worsened?

    Even in the South this is a problem though…one of my husband’s cousins nearly got divorced after giving birth to 3 girls and no boys. His relatives had to step in and talk sense into the husband and his mother.

  3. The dowry rates have increased a lot in 7 years. maybe that is one reason!! I shudder to think what will be repercussions of such a low sex ration.

  4. @ IHM, I dont think anything is going to work now. It is simply too late. North India is really screwed up, as it is landlocked, economically backward and socially stagnant.

    @ MmeetsK, In a few years there are going to be no women to feel free to move around. What has changed in the last 7 years, is the rapid introduction sonographic technology and increased greed of middle class North Indians. The sex ratio is the worst in the economically advanced parts of UP.

    @ Reema, maybe this will reverse the dowry rates ! But more realistically it is going to lead to increased violence and unrest.

  5. As you wanted me to speak, I would say that I have an answer for everything you had asked ..

    Whatever you had mentioned on my blog, I will surely ask Modi if I get a chance to meet him again but I will also give him a pat on his back for following:

    –> According to the August 8 report of the National Council of Applied Economic
    the richest city in India is now Surat , ahead of Bangalore
    and chennai, with an average annual household income of Rs0.45 million (over
    $11,000 per year).

    –>The percentage of man-days lost in Gujarat due to labour unrest is 0.42 per cent, the lowest in India .

    –> Of Gujarat ‘s 18,048 villages, 17,940 have electricity. Under Chief Minister Modi, the face of industrial Gujarat is changing.

    –> The world’s largest oil refinery is coming up in Jamnagar. Owned by
    Reliance, it already refines 660,000 barrels of oil a day and will double that this

    –>Thirty per cent of India ‘s cotton is grown in Gujarat , 40 per cent of
    India ‘s art-silk is manufactured in Surat , employing 0.7 million people.

    –> The world’s third largest denim manufacturer is Ahmedabad’s
    Arvind Mills.

    –> A KPMG report says 40 per cent of India ‘s pharmacy industry is based in Gujarat with companies like Torrent, Zydus Cadila,
    Alembic, Dishman and Sun Pharma.

    –> The state of Gujarat’s GDP has been growing at 12 per cent a year for the last 12 years, as fast as China ‘s.

    –> Gujaratis account for 16 per cent of all Indian exports and 17 per cent of GDP.

    –> This year Modi’s government signed MOUs worth 12 Lakh crore and created 500,00 job opportunities ..

    I can go on and on and on .. But I guess these figures are enough ..

    Soham, these are all great things. But they make it even more important for us to find out why there are still so many hungry in Gujarat. After quoting all this, wouldnt you expect Gujarat to be better fed than states like UP, which have had absolutely no economic growth to speak of ? Gujarat was always an industrial powerhouse, and the Gujarati’s have always been entrepreneurial, I am not denying that at all.

    But you cannot deny that since Modi has arrived on the scene it has become a highly polarized society, and has seen economic growth without social development. Saudi Arabia is very rich and its economy is growing rapidle, so do you want to be like them ? Is sacrificing centuries of tolerance and diversity for a few digits of economic growth worth the price ?

  6. And I know that you will never get a chance to meet your so-called secular and academic-scholar leaders like Manmohan Singh or Sonia Madam as they dont go and meet commom people like modi does but somehow if youcan get a chance to meet them, ask them following things:

    (A) Is this Government really protecting us??!!

    7/11 2006: Mumbai Train Blasts. 209 Killed.
    25/8 2007: Hyderbad Blasts: 42 Killed
    Oct 11 2007: Ajmer Blasts : 2 Killed
    May 13 2008: Jaipur Blasts : 68 Killed
    July 16th 2008: Ahmedabad Blasts : 57 Killed
    July 25th 2008: Banglaore Blasts: 1 killed
    Sept 13th 2008: Delhi Blasts: 26 Killed
    Sept 27th 2008: Delhi Blasts: 2 Killed
    Sept 29th 2008 : Gujrat Blasts : 1 killed
    Oct 21st 2008: Imphal Blasts : 17 Killed
    Oct 30th 2008: Assam Blasts : 40 Killed
    Nov 26th 2008: Mumbai Attack: 180 killed

    Every major city in India has been attacked consistently over the last two years.
    Since 2004, 3850 Indians have died in Terror attacks in over 3000 incidents.

    Did you know that on the day of the Mumbai train blasts, the Government gave Rs 150 crores for earthquake relief in Pakistan ?

    Last year our Govt. has given Rs 3000 crores (600 Million Dollars) to Afghanistan? This, when victims of terror in India have not yet got aid? What’s going on?

    (B) Is this Government really secular ?

    1) When Madrasas are being shut down in Pakistan, the Indian Government is giving them CBSE status !! It is depriving Muslim children in getting secular education. A Madrasa educated person can get a job in any government office without going through the secular education system. Can India afford to have fundamentalists in government departments? Why cannot the government shut down Madrassas and let Muslim children study with the rest?

    3) Thanks to the Congress led Government, out of 36000 temples in Andhra Pradesh, 28000 have closed down in the last five years. Do you want the same trend to continue in other parts of the country? Do you want a Nagaland type of situation in the whole of India? While government controls most of the Hindu temples, the minority community has had full freedom to organize their religious bodies. The minority communities now have the first right over resources. Is this not a blatant violation of fundamental rights of the majority community?

    (C) Is this Government really pro-poor?

    The number of people living below the poverty line has increased by a horrifying 20 per cent. India had some 270 million people below the poverty line in 2004-2005, when the present Government took office. That number has gone up by 55 million, or 20 per cent!

    (D) Does this Government really care about the nation?

    The Pakistani flag is now being hoisted in five districts of states like Assam where the Muslim population has gone up significantly. 92000 Hindu and 6000 Christians are now languishing in refugee camps. The government has turned a blind eye to this.

    In the name of security, innocent people have been put in jails, whereas people like Yaasin Malik who has 23 murder charges on him, are moving Scot free and gathering their own strength. Is it acceptable to any patriotic Indian?

    Can the Congress led UPA promise a non-muslim CM in J&K ? Reservation for a Hindu student in Nagaland ? If so, we wholeheartedly support them. Otherwise they should sit at home the next few years and rethink their policies.

    I’m not here to fight Vikram .. You are a wise man .. Just dont believe what you see on English-media .. In India everything is skewed to the political whims and fancies!! .. Don’t be deceived. What appears to be communal is not communal, and what appears to be secular is not secular. It is time we change our thinking.

    Stand up for this most tolerant and ancient civilization and prevent this great nation from becoming a communal battleground.

    Soham, what makes you think I am a supporter of this government ? Please read this,

    I am not judging who is communal and who is secular. And I am not anti-BJP or pro-Congress, I have repeatedly praised the MP government (BJP) for improving literacy in that state. But my criticism is based purely on issues of human development that are very serious in India, not on hearsay or attributions to terror incidents (which are the responsibility of all parties and our bureaucracy).

  7. Vikram couple of points here of interest:

    1) Given that a lot of migration is seasonal and cyclical is the sex ratio really going to be affected that much by it. I don’t think undercounting is going to have that much of an impact.

    2) There will be inter-regional differences; on the whole Western UP is much worse affected than Poorvanchal and urban centres much worse affected than rural ones. This raises a troubling problem – it is the richer and more developed parts of the country that are exhibiting a worsening sex ratio which raises serious questions about what kind of values economic development and our urban middle class who are meant to be the bearers of modernity are actually bringing.

    3) nobody wants to really say it but there are real communal and social aspects here. Most demographers have found that Hindus have a much worse sex ratio than Muslims and that within Hindus it tends to be the middle and upper castes that exhibit the worst trend. This is also troubling.

    4) the situation in the “Green Belt” states of Punjba and Haryana is even worse; I think certain issues of social strcutre and landownership are at play here. It is important to note, that we are not the only country with this problem; South Korea also has this imbalance which will become more serious, as do parts of Indonesia and Taiwan.

    5) EPW did an article on the lack of visbility of women in public spaces in Delhi a few months back; the lack is marked 30% less women on average seen compared to other cities; I think a lot of the problem isn’t just lack of women but the fact that public spaces aren’t that safe for women, there is persistent harassment that no one seems serious about combating and lets face it, most of society still is very traditional and wonders what women are doing outside the home alone or without a male companion who is a relative. Outside the small middle class, it isn’t seen normal for women to be walking around like this unless they are doing so for work/shopping purposes and these are restricted to certain times of the day.

    I wrote an article on this a while back which may be of interest a few years back when the last census came out – I can email it to you fi you wish.

  8. There are vrious reasons for this.Dowry is one but,I feel lack of education,especially for the girl child is a major reason.Eventually,it is only knowledge which will take us through.

  9. i think soham is a BJP owned person !! Probably a bot that search for this kind of word and post a supporting BJP words. Do you want to see that ? Search for the starting of this article within the dobule quote in google 😉

    BJP “acts” like a smart people !! Will they release the caste status of their top political leaders ???

  10. @ffakeguy: I have been a pro-BJP all my life .. I’m no bot here .. Vikram had asked me a question and I gave him the answers .. And why you want to know about the caste status of BJP leaders .. They are all Indians and that is enough ..

  11. @Vikram: I got your point .. I too am concerned about the hunger ratio in Gujarat .. But rome was not built in a day .. It takes time to achieve what you have planned for ..

    On one hand, modi is trying to make Gujarat a industrial power house but then he is not forgettinghis duties about the poor and middle-class .. these figures will improve for sure in next 1-2 year .. Believe me, this man with the beard is doing a tremendous job in Gujarat .. I’m not saying this coz I’m pro-bjp but if you ask any common man, you will hear only praises for Modi in Gujarat .. That’s very rare thing to happen in India that someone is praising a politician .. Seriously !!

  12. @ Chowla saab, yes it is only education, not just of the children but also the parents.

  13. Vikram, I too feel that this is out of control. People even the young have the same attitude. They want sons. No amount of reasoning will work with them.

  14. Matrubhoomi is a superb movie. Every Indian should watch it. The only thing is I had to take a week’s break between the first CD and the second. It was too much to handle emotionally. Very disturbing consequences have been depicted artistically without resorting to graphic presentation.

  15. I don’t think the answer is merely ‘education’. If it was, then it would be the poorer, more oppressed, less educated communities that would have the more skewed sex ratios. One of the commenters here wrote that the worst sex ratios are seen amongst middle class families from upper castes and middle castes.

    Do the poor view women differently or do they just have less access to sex selected abortions?

    I am not sure exactly how the poor in India treat their women. I think this might be one of the biggest cultural differences between the upper and lower castes. Partly because the upper castes in independent India have mostly been opposed to the state, while the low castes have clinged to the state and its ideology (which is an egalitarian one).

  16. Vinod and others, if indeed it is the middle and upper class that has a skewed ratio, then why is Matrubhoomi a superb film, as it inaccurately depicts this happening in a village?? Is that just to feed our prejudices about our own “educated” urban status and to look down upon rural people? Seems to me that some comments here validate the elite-urban/rural divide.

    Amit, female infanticide is most rampant in the elite rural families and thats what the movie tried to depict.


    Sex ratio is improving, also govt. is finally waking up, I think sex ratio will get better soon.

  18. […] the custom of calling daughters ‘paraya dhan’, or tradition of widows wearing dull colours or the ritual of kuan poojan only when a son is born (in Haryana). Do we realise the serious repurcussions these have on our society and our daily […]

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