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Punjab is not a country of daughter killers
Posted by Lakwinder Singh Send Email to Author on Thursday, 9/09/2004 8:25 PM MDT

I remember we had a discussion in the past where i had expressed views quite similar to the author of this article and defended Punjab being not a country of daughter killers.

Punjab never had any problem with the girl child
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
For the past several years, Punjab has been at the receiving end on the issue of sex ratio. It has been virtually painted black in this regard. It has even been dubbed as “kuri maran da desh” which, if translated into English, means “land of girl killers”.

However, facts and figures tell a different story regarding sex ratio in the state. Those who have been ridiculing Punjab on the sex ratio issue have not tried to have a glance on its history in this connection. Forget for a while the data of census conducted in 2001.

Come straight to the year 1911. Since then the female ratio has been improving in Punjab tremendously. The trend continued till 1991. Contrary to it, this ratio deteriorated at the national level almost constantly. In 1911 the per thousand number of women in Punjab was 780 and the all-India average was 963. In 1921 the female ratio further improved to 799 in Punjab and went down to 956 at the national level. In 1931 it further improved to 815 (1000) in Punjab while the national average went further down to 950 (1000).

Punjab's long march regarding improvement on the female ratio front continued. In the census conducted before the Independence in 1941, the sex ratio in Punjab further improved to 836 (1000) but declined to 945 at the all-India level. Immediately after the Independence, when Punjab was partitioned, the sex ratio touched a figure of 844 per thousand, while at the national level it also showed slight betterment. The national average recorded was 947.

But in 1961 the sex ratio at the national level declined to 941 whereas in Punjab it went up to 854. It continued to improve in Punjab in 1971,1981 and even 1991. The figure during these years in Punjab was 865, 879 and 882, respectively. However, at the national level the reverse trend continued. At the national level the recorded figure of female ratio in 1971 was 930 but it showed slight improvement in 1981 when the figure went up to 934 but again declined to 929 in 1991 at the national level.

However, a break in the improvement of sex ratio in Punjab came in 2001. Its data requires to be carefully scrutinised as it raises serious doubts about its accuracy.

The sex ratio recorded during the 2001 census was 874 in Punjab while at the national level it was 933, a figure better then the previous census conducted in 1991. The question arises that if pre-natal tests and female foeticide are countrywide phenomena, then how come the sex ratio improved at the national level? Only census people can answer this question.

While the sex ratio in Punjab has been constantly improving for eight decades till 1991, at the national level there have been ups and downs.

People have been attributing to the decline in the sex ratio during the period of 1991 to 2001 to female foeticide in Punjab. There are several other socio-economic reasons which no one is trying to find out. No one has spared a thought regarding the tremendous improvement in sex ratio made by Punjab in the 80 years starting from 1911.

One fact that has been established by history is that people of Punjab had no problem with the girl child for 80 years. They accepted its birth happily. Because of this reason, there was improvement in the sex ratio. Otherwise, historically looking at things, the sex ratio imbalance in Punjab was the worst at the beginning of the last century. It almost came near to the national average, that is 933, in the past few decades.

Therefore, it will be inappropriate to dub Punjab as "kuri maran da desh".

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