Regressive spin on a government campaign is going viral in India

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Regressive spin on a government campaign is going viral in India

  • A campaign ad making the rounds online reads, ‘Kaise khaoge unke haath ki rotiya, jab paida hone nahi doge betiyan.’
  • It essentially reads, ‘If you don’t let daughters come in to the world, who’s going to cook for you?’
  • The twitterati has expressed their rage over the regressive nature of the new campaign message.
Instead of the usual ‘Beti bachao, beti padao’ slogan, an image of wall graffiti that’s gone viral has given birth to ‘ Beti bachao, roti banwao’. And the twitterati are enraged over the photo, criticising it for the regressive message it sends. At the center of it all it is the graffiti that endorses protecting girls by saying, ‘Kaise khaoge unke haath ki rotiya, jab paida hone nahi doge betiyan’.
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That translates to, ‘If you don’t let daughters come into the world, who’s going to cook for you?’

‘Beti’ means daughter in Hindi and thus, the first part of the slogan reads, ‘Save your daughter’, which is simple enough.

It’s the second part where things get sticky. The original slogan propagates ‘beti padhao’ or 'educate your daughter’, whereas the latter endorses ‘roti banwao’, which means making the traditional Indian bread, roti. Sounds a lot like ‘go make me a sandwich’, doesn't it?

The original Beti Bachao campaign was started by the Indian government, and is intended to thwart gender discrimination and ensure the survival, protection and education of girls. It’s a government scheme with the objective of preventing gender biased sex selective elimination and ensuring education.

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The campaign urges people who have daughters, to educate them. Its success may be debated, but there are few who would disagree with the premise that it’s, at the very least, progressive.

On the other hand, the wall graffiti that’s been going viral online is the exact opposite. Twitter users have called the display ‘primitive’ and lacking ‘logic’. The mural has been deemed extremely inappropriate.

Female infanticide is one of India’s biggest problems and the Beti Bachao campaign came into effect after reports of declining child sex ratio (CSR) in the country in 2011. Their ‘Model for Master Trainers’ even states that they will enforce ‘Immediate interventions to eliminate various forms of gender biased discrimination against girl child in areas of cultural and educational sectors.’

Whereas, the wall graffiti is enforcing ‘gender biased discrimination’ in the area of ‘cultural sectors’.
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