indian funeral 2.jpgA press release yesterday from the Indian Hindu reform group Navya Shastra called on Hindus to “allow daughters to impart final rites at the funerals of their parents.”
A NS rep explained, “One religious reason why boys are favored among Hindus is because of the anachronistic belief that only a son can formally conduct this ceremony, so a girl is totally worthless in this regard.”
I found this information fascinating. According to

Hindus… believe in the hastened departure of soul. They believe that once it sheds the body, the soul prepares to depart immediately on its karmic journey, and as such, it’s very important to cremate the body as soon as practicable so as not to provide any allurement for the soul to linger on to this side of the world. Therefore, Hindu customs require the body to be taken to the holy grounds and cremated as soon as all the family members have had a chance to view it.

The New York Times added:

[T]he son of the deceased should perform the ceremony, If he [is not able] at the time of the death, the father or brother of the deceased or some other male member of the family [must] his place. When there is no son in the family, one Is adopted for the purpose…. The body is placed upon the [funeral] pile…. Then the chief mourner walks around the pile three times and fires it….

So according to Hindus, one’s post-death future is dependent on a hasty cremation, and only family males can see to that. Thus, preborn girls are killed so her parents can live after dying.
indian boy.jpgNS called on “Indian feminist leaders” to address the growing female-to-male gender imbalance.
Apparently it is not only American feminists but feminists worldwide who are silent on this most extreme demonstration of sexism – killing.
Two reasons why. First, to speak up would be to admit preborns are human. Can’t do that.
The NYT reported April 28 the Indian gender imbalance is only worsening:

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh highlighted an “alarming” decline in the number of girls for every 1,000 boys in India, slipping to 927 in 2001 from 962 in 1981, according to the latest census figures….
The Lancet, the British medical journal, estimated in 2006 that as many as 10 million female fetuses had been aborted in India over the previous 20 years by families trying to secure male heirs. Unicef… noted that the imbalance in the sex ratio had become particularly acute in India’s wealthier regions, where couples were easily able to afford ultrasound tests.

Well, that’s interesting. So are Planned Parenthood et al trying to stop female feticide, or are they focused on getting more money from abortion by forcing UN and government programs to more widely avail abortion to poor women?
pp india.jpgIf you picked B, you’re right. See here and here. The abortion industry is aiding in worsening sex-selection abortions in India because it wants to make more money.
And that is the primary reason feminists and the abortion industry are silent.
An NS rep I spoke with told me the group has only taken a position against female abortion, which is also interesting.
[Funeral photo courtesy of Encyclopedia Britannica; Indian family photo courtesy of the Boston Globe]