Dina Ferdous(Translated by Sabiha Sultana):
In a Facebook post yesterday, I saw the picture of a newborn baby in the box lying on the street. Many people were standing around the box. In the comment section, most of the people questioned the mother of the child. Why did she bring the innocent child to earth? How could she throw away her baby? How could she do it being a mother? Comments were accompanied by vulgar slangs through which we reveal our true nature. No one asked about the father. No one even needed to, if our true face is published. I know all men are not same. Then it should bother that person whom I am talking about, why you are bothered about that? Our society’s fathers, brothers, husbands, sons, father-in -laws, brother-in-laws, Uncles these same people do these things.They are also part of someone’s family.Please stop justifying them.
My question to those people who such things- if you learn that a girl from your family is pregnant, that baby has no paternal identity, what will be your advice to that girl? Will you say that the baby is innocent, let the baby live? The baby will grow up in our society. Or you will do the opposite, harass the girl by continuously asking who is the father of the baby, how everything happened? If the father of the child doesn’t want to take responsibility for the baby then again you will blame the girl and make her life hell. Whatever has happened, it cannot be broken. Then what will be solution? I will say those who are saying that the baby is innocent, first change your mentality. All types of birth are legal. You will hide the incident if it’s someone of your own and you will spread it if it’s someone else, stop doing that.
Preity Zinta’s Hindi movie “Kya Kehna” showed that when she becomes pregnant without marriage, the society starts hating her. People make drama on her hinting that she should commit suicide by drinking poison. But nobody suggests on how she should live despite everything; just like how we fulfill our responsibility by questioning and mocking. Because it is a movie, her family supports her and both the mother and the baby continue to live.
That’s why I would like to say: stop making big claims and abusing, come out from conventional superstition. Teach your children about sex. Sex education will not spoil your children rather it will make them careful. When kids learn about sex from outside, they often get wrong information. You cannot prevent them from having sex by hiding. Lack of information will cause unwanted pregnancy and newborn babies will be found in dustbins, bushes, drains. You better come to a conclusion rather than being shy to teach about sex, feeling pity for newborn babies lying streets, putting the baby in a box if it is from your unmarried daughter ; insulting and moral policing if the baby is someone else’s.
Shackles of religion and society have never able to prevent such incidents and will not in future. By acting like a blind crow, you cannot hide anything. “Not my children, they don’t understand anything”- stop saying these .Will they say what they understand and what they don’t? So when they are old enough to understand (especially in adolescence period) give them sex education. Come forward first. We are the society. If we change, the society will change.
To read the original article in Bengali, Click Here
Dina Ferdous currently resides in New York. She started expressing herself through poetry in 1999. Other than that, she was associated with Sylhet Shilpakala Academy. She has been a prolific contributor of Women Chapter since 2016.
Sabiha Sultana is currently a BBA student in Bangladesh University of Professionals. Her hobbies include reading books, free writing, debating, painting etc.