Kuldeep Manak’s song “So What if a Girl is Born?” gives a powerful message on stopping female infanticide and foeticide.
In fourteenth century, before the time Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Indian women were severely degraded and oppressed by their society. Given no education or freedom to make decisions, their presence in religious, political, social, cultural, and economic affairs was virtually non-existent. Woman was referred to as the root of all evil, snare, and temptress. Her function was only to perpetuate the race, do household work, and serve the male members of society. Female infanticide was common, and the practice of sati was encouraged, sometimes even forced. In Sati system, if the husband of any women dies then the women was to cremate alive with his husband’s body. Guru Amar Das Ji, the third Guru of Sikhs, raised his voice and denounced the Sati system. He made every possible attempt to eliminate the Sati system and achieve equality for women.
Guru Nanak Dev Ji condemned this man-made notion of the inferiority of women, and protested against their long subjugation. The Ultimate Truth was revealed to Guru Nanak Dev Ji through a mystic experience, in direct communion with God. Guru Nanak Dev Ji conveys this Truth through his scripture as follows:
“Man is born from a woman; within woman, man is conceived; to a woman he is engaged and married. Man is friends with woman; through woman, the future generations exist. When his woman passes away, he seeks another woman; to a woman a man is bound. So why call her bad? From her, kings are born. From a woman, woman is born; without woman there would be no one at all” (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 473).