“baby Afreen loses her 3-day battle?” various Indian new agencies !!April 12

As part of the counsellor training we are told to be empathic and not sympathetic; empathy allows us to stand at the periphery of the client’s problem and help in an objective manner whereas sympathy results in us getting deep into the problem yourself thereby unable to help the client help himself; sympathy in our profession is self-defeating !

However, this case in question is such that getting involved is not even a choice anymore!!

We are in 2012 and supposedly poised to join the elite developed countries as a power to reckon with – India shining?

Yet despite all the economic growth and accolades we are jolted by a case which could put the pre-medieval era to shame – that of a father brutally ending the life of his 3-month old offspring because she is FEMALE??!!

A lot of noise has been made about giving this father the corporal punishment so as to make an example out of him BUT what about punishing the remaining culprits?

US – all of us, you and me!!

Yes, we are part of this heinous crime because we live and tolerate our created society and its unwritten dogmas; hasn’t our collective attitude let us down again?

At the root of Baby Afreen’s martyrdom is a silent cry for revolution – that of changing the mindset towards the girl child.

Sensitise and counsel those who pay huge sums of money as ‘gift’ when they marry their daughters off; punish those who tell her that enduring abuse at the hands of the in-laws is her destiny; seek out those who do not educate their daughters because they consider her a burden and incapable of ‘RoI’; educate and help those parents who won’t give their girls the basic food and medical care in hope that she perishes before time.

Hunt down and punish perpetrators of honour killings.  The list of ‘criminals’ and their crimes can go on and on.

Hanging Afreen’s father is no solution, what we need is a revolution targeted at changing people’s mindsets and doing work at the grass-root level to improve the condition of the girl-child.

In a country that prays to the Goddess form, we are today, nothing but a bunch of atheist hypocrites.  Hope better sense prevails and we can tangibly do something to change this state.

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