Thursday, September 15, 2005

You Go, Girl!

Via Times of India, here's Anjoo's story

When Anjoo Paul (39) delivered a baby in a Nagpur hospital on September 9, her mother snapped all ties with her. Her family, neighbours, everyone she knew, spurned her. All because Anjoo had dared to become a single mother through in vitro fertilisation (IVF), delivering a 'test-tube baby'.

Very strange reaction by her kin. For what it's worth, we think she's pretty brave -- and cool.


froginthewell said...

I certainly won't say her kin did the right thing. But I think it is much better for children to grow up with two parents than one. So I wouldn't call her actions "cool" at all. So I won't find the divorce-ridden, single-mother-laden western society a moon by any means.

Moreover, God knows what kind of insults the child will have to bear in future. While the society wouldn't be justified in ostracizing such a child, I am not sure it was a good idea to give birth to a child fully knowing that he/she won't be accepted well.

Primary Red said...

So, your advice is that people should live their lives in a very cramped manner -- lest they upset their neanderthal communities?


froginthewell said...

Not quite. My statement is out of concern that this will turn out to be bad for the boy too - as he will be denied care from everyone other than his mother. So I said "it wasn't a good idea", not that she doesn't have the right or anything.

Studies ( I don't know how legitimate they are, but atleast I haven't heard a contradictory opinion on this one ) show that children of divorced parents face much more trauma than those of an unhappy marriage ( which, to make an aside, is one reason why I would prefer conservative countries like India to the west ).

libertarian said...


I so disagree with you. India needs to shed this "what will my neighbor think" syndrome along with the "saving face" thing. I think, with a mother like Anjoo Paul the kid has no problem. Sushmita Sen did pretty much the same thing. That kid seems to be doing quite OK.

I even disagree that India is conservative. India is far more open-minded on things that would be considered "not quite right" in the US. Example - Vajpayee being a bachelor and the leader of the country - I bet that would not happen in the US. A woman being a the leader ... a Sikh being the leader (akin to a Jew being the US President - isn't happening in our lifetimes) ... the list goes on. Much the same laissez faire attitude is visible in personal life as well.

Hey, we are the original melting pot. We've figured out how to accommodate and survive and thrive. And sure, we're not perfect, but the Indian culture is older (and likely wiser) on this front.

As an aside, I have a kid. We're thinking of adopting one more. And honestly, the only stakeholders (they've been consulted) are my wife and I and our parents. We just couldn't care less what anyone else thinks. Sorry froginthewell :-)

Nilu said...

I think the woman was stupid.

Why would a sane woman want to put herself through the crap of a birthcanal movement and follow it up with the existential burden of raising a kid - especially when can't even blame momentary passion for it???

froginthewell said...

Libertarians :

honestly, the only stakeholders... We just couldn't care less what anyone else thinks.

We did not contradict on any of these; this is all beside the point. In addition adoption is a totally different scenario.

While she may not care for the neighbours one doesn't really know what will happen to the child's psyche - particularly since he has only one parent. Anyway in this case we can't prove anything, we simply conjecture distinct outcomes - so I don't think there is scope for arguing on this point.

I disagree with your ( libertarian's ) points on who is more conservative - creating a few powerful women/sikhs/whoever has nothing to do with the condition of the masses ( read this beautiful article by Nitin Pai ). The real index of whether a nation is conservative is reflected in the social indices - and India is more conservative due to female foeticide, dowry and the like, as also things like dress codes, marriages, attitude to divorce etc. ( on which I am strongly on the Indian side ).

As an aside I believe the society should as far as possible discourage people from becoming single mothers/fathers ( say, "rented uterus" ) at the same time not discriminating against existing single parents.


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