Since time immemorial, our society has been inclined towards wanting a male child. A male child is considered to take forward a family’s name, inherit its property and riches, and bring prosperity. So much so, that even in prayers that are offered to deities, we say ‘Putran Dehi’ which means ‘bless us with a son’. Even though in recent years this bias has decreased, it still exists in several rural and conservative parts of the country.
Speaking of which, a Marathi preacher named Indurikar Maharaj urged his followers to have sex on even dates to conceive a male child, reports Deccan Herald.
“If intercourse with a woman is done on an even date, a male child is born. And if intercourse is done on an odd date, a girl child is born. If intercourse is done on inauspicious timing, the child that is born would bring a bad name to the family,” IndiaTV quoted him saying.
Maharaj also mentioned that if couples have sex after the proper “timing” of intercourse is missed, then the child born will be “sub-standard”.
A video of the kirtan in which he makes this remark has allegedly gone viral on the internet and has received severe backlash.
According to ABP Marathi, Maharaj’s remarks allegedly violate Article 22 of the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques Act for which a notice has already been sent to him. According to this act, any advertisement or public statement urging people to determine the sex of the child is a punishable offence.
This mass frenzy of wanting a male child is not just an orthodox, anti-equality, and anti-humanitarian approach but has also resulted in innumerable cases of female foeticide and infanticide. It has also resulted in India’s declining sex ratio. We cannot stress enough on the necessity to school people on sex and gender neutrality. Only then will such prejudiced ideas be debunked in society.