MxM Exclusive: Satyamev Jayate impacts govt. Women & Child Dev Minister Krishna Tirath promises action, commends Aamir
By Karuna Madan
Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Women and Child Development Krishna Tirath has appreciated Star Plus’s multi-channel Satyamev Jayate describing it as a commendable effort.
“Satyamev Jayate is a commendable effort by Aamir Khan and it deserves appreciation. We have taken note of the issue of female foeticide raised in the first episode,” Ms Tirath told MxMIndia in an exclusive chat.
“The ministry is very serious about the whole issue of female foeticide and infanticide, and I can promise that suitable action will be taken against the culprits who indulge in such malpractices,” the minister stated, adding: “we will rectify any lacuna in the laws to check the menace in the country. There are a number of legislations already to curb this practice. But any lacuna, if found, will be rectified.”
The Minister said that such practices can be stopped through mass awareness campaigns.
“We can stop the cases of female foeticide by educating the masses and we are taking necessary steps in that direction. The government is already working on better policies in collaboration with other public and private institutions,” she averred.
Raising concerns over declining sex ratio in the country, Ms Tirath called for greater public participation and awareness to prevent the issues related with girl child and women.
Foeticide is punishable under Section 315 of Indian Penal Code (IPC), with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, or with fine, or with both.
“The high number of incidences of female foeticide are due to the deep rooted traditional preference for a son. We are aware of this and have adopted a multi-pronged strategy which includes legislative measures, advocacy, awareness generation and programmes for socio-economic empowerment of women,” Ms Tirath said.
Under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Technique (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994, sex selective abortions have been made punishable. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is responsible for administration of this Act and its implementation is the responsibility of the State Governments/Union Territory Administrations.
MxMIndia newsdesk adds: Ms Krishna Tirath would’ve made for an ideal guest on the Star Plus show. An MP from New Delhi and a resident of Karol Bagh in the capital, Ms Tirath, 57, is a mother of three daughters, as per Lok Sabha records. She’s been in active politics for a few decades, having been member of the Delhi legislative assembly for four terms starting 1985. She’s much into sports having participated at Inter-Univ and national level volleyball and athletics. Given her personal and professional credentials, there’s more reason than one, why she should be championing what Aamir Khan did on SMJ’s Episode #1.
Editor’s Note: Although interviewing ministers is not part of MxMIndia’s regular activity, given the huge effect that Satyamev Jayate has had – especially in many sections of our intelligentsia, we thought it would be a good idea to commission a seasoned political journalist to interview the Women and Child Development minister and check if the show has had any effect at all on the government. It evidently has. Since the eventual objective of SMJ is to cleanse Indian society and stir the public and the Establishment into action, more than ratings (some of which will be out tomorrow), we believe it’s vital to check the impact on the government and the public.
Karuna Madan (@KarunaMadan) is a senior journalist based in New Delhi