Vol. XLIII No. 20 May 19, 2019

AIDWA Condemns Attack on PCPNDT Act

AIDWA, in a statement issued on May 10, has strongly condemned the stand taken by Dr Santanu Sen, president, Indian Medical Association, seeking 'comprehensive review, repeal and re-conception' of PCPNDT Act and deplored the fact that the president and the general secretary of the highest medical body in India considers it a 'harassment' for doctors to maintain transparency of their practice by complying with the rules and regulations of the Act. It may be pointed out that the Act does not represent 'a layman's approach' and it was only after extensive consultations with eminent medical experts that it was finalised by a parliamentary committee and then passed in parliament. It is by no means an Act against obstetricians and radiologists, but seeks to penalise only those who use USG and other methods illegally for pre-conception and prenatal sex selection. The problem of son-preference is no doubt a social problem, but obviously identification of sex of the unborn child and elimination of the female foetus would be impossible without the intervention of a section of people inside the medical profession. Hence people in the medical profession cannot shake off their responsibility to stand up against this social evil and ensure that son-preference is not further reinforced through their own stand. A powerful body like the IMA is duty-bound to generate awareness against son-preference at all levels instead of pushing the burden of such measures on the government alone.

Further, researchers have pointed out that the Act did bring a decline in the rate of sex-selective abortions and helped reduce the alarming fall in sex ratio. AIDWA’s own activists have found that the atrocious sex-ratio in Haryana where the Act had not even been notified up to 2007, began to improve from 2011 when implementation began. Rajasthan and Maharashtra also showed significant increase in male-female ratio because of better implementation of the Act. Increase in juvenile sex ratio at the national level is another evidence that the Act has not altogether failed in its objective. But the act still falls short of its objective because of weaknesses in implementation. In fact AIDWA has always campaign for a stricter   implementation of the Act.

AIDWA’s statement said, “We cannot deny that there has been a significant resurgence in regressive patriarchal ideology under the present regime which is anti-women and encourages son preference. 

“We enjoin all members of IMA to refrain from contributing to this resurgence by endorsing a demand which may distort the sex ratio further and threaten the survival of the girl child.We therefore demand strict and continued enforcement of the Act across the country.”


True BJP has stooped much too low for any political discourse, but AIDWA’s anguish and outrage is that they have lowered the bar of political discourse in the country. AIDWA’s statement on May 10 notes that particularly, during elections, their voices have become shriller. Even the prime minister has forgotten that he is no longer a mere RSS pracharak but a prime minister.

“Why then would the minions lag behind? This is the result of the culture "developed" by the RSS-BJP and their cohorts very diligently in the last so many years,” the statement said.

The recent leaflet trolling the AAP candidate Atishi from East Delhi is a case in point. In one short leaflet distributed in desperation, the trolls have exhibited where they stand vis-a-vis the question of women, caste, marriage … Beti bachao indeed! The central government which had shouted this slogan from rooftops has yet again proved that this was a mere jumla - it has not displayed the gumption to take suo motu action against the defaulters.

Since the leaflet was distributed in East Delhi societies against a candidate and the needle of suspicion goes very pointedly on rival candidate/s, one would expect that BJP would come out distancing itself from this filth. So far it has not, the statement said.

AIDWA appealed to the people of East Delhi in particular to give a fitting reply on May 12 to this slur on a woman candidate by those who had promised a safe India for women but have ended up with trolls and slander.

AIDWA also appeal to the rest of Delhi and the country to use their discretion in deciding where their precious vote (not costly - we do not think a citizen's vote is on sale) should go. “Let us reclaim India from the anti-women, casteist, communal politics that is being imposed upon us by hate-mongers,” it said. It called upon the ECI to stand up against all those elements and forces who are out to ruin the country, bring elections back on the rails and take a strong action against the defaulters before it is too late.