A well thought out photograph tells all. It is the essay in itself. The sayings say so. And it is true always, as this photograph tells.
Midst the controversy (that didn’t pull the outrage it should have, nationally or locally) on 10 sterilization deaths in Chhattisgarh (which got global media pull), I came across this photograph in a The Wall Street Journal’s web write-up*.
The photo tells us how wrong our priorities were when we began, as it dates back to 1950, shot in a Maharashtra village.
And it also explains why, in the 21st Century India, that claims to be a space power, a missile power, an Information Technology power and an economic power house, we still come across regular news headlines like this.
This 1950 photograph had family planning posters hanging in a doctor’s clinic in a Maharashtra village.
And the posters were in English, in a village, probably Marathi speaking (as being in Maharashtra). It was not in some town, city or metro. Also, way back in 1950, literacy rate in India was in pathetic situation. And here the subjects were women. Education for them is still a secondary priority across a large section of the Indian society. So, think of 1950!
And in those days, we began with wrong priorities, this photograph is symbolic of that. The messages were packaged in alienated words and the ground work was supported with draconian practices like ‘forced’ female sterilization camps. Yes, the camps.
Such camps and such ‘forced’ practices (though some would like to say incentivized) can be seen throughout the history of independent India.
And this Chhattisgarh camp was also a forced (incentivized) one where 10 women lost their lives owing to the expertise of the state medical practitioners who botched up the surgical process that is routinely performed at ‘camp’ levels in many parts of India.
*Why India Continues to Sterilize Its Women
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/