18 May, 2021

Foetal Attractions

Navratri revelry allows youngsters an uninhibited freedom they often end up misusing

Foetal Attractions

THIS year, Ahmedabad.com webcast the Navratri celebrations of the city live. Capturing the tempo of nine nights, the swirling skirts, the frenzied feet, the sponsorship spread, the pathbreaking effort apparently drew in 1.2 million hits from over 50 countries. But while Ahmedabad's garba had its name up in bright lights online, off it the revelry had a darker side.

The issue had already come under sharp focus just before the commencement of the Navratri celebrations. This, when Anandiben Patel, state education minister made a startling declaration. At a Gujarat State Social Welfare Board Advisory function, she expressed concern over the rise in the number of abortions two months after Navratri over the past few years.

A city that had prided itself on its strong sense of traditional values and witnessed the saffron brigade's own peculiar moral policing suddenly had its seamier underside exposed. The education minister's highlighting of the disturbing trend merely laid bare what the Amdavadis had begun suspecting for at least...

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