Quest for Fair Children

India as a nation is one of those entities that never rests and is never content with its achievements. It always strives for more, something beyond what is possible and more than what it is capable of at that time. It is this zeal to perform that has thrust the nation from its rudimentary stages since the independence to one of the most reckoning powers among other well-established countries. The growth of the nation in many aspects has been exponential and remarkable of international acclaim. And the response has been well iterated by the global powers in paying India the due respect it deserves.

India has built a strong economy despite the heavy pressures of population growth putting it at competitive distance from the US, UK and other European heavy-weights. It has established its say in global issues and consequently India today plays a major role in initiating and finalizing many matters relating to global warming and environmental fronts that trouble the whole world. India’s nuclear strength has become the connoisseur of stalwarts like US and RUSSIA. We have also achieved some of the most successful nuclear experiments and are pushing for safe use of nuclear power for the betterment of the world’s populace. We also became the fourth nation to leave a mark on the moon very recently.

Despite all these advancements, our race still seems to be suffering from a severe inferiority complex. A prime example is parenthood. Indian parents are giving in for the color differences and preferring to choose the white skin tone. There have been a huge number of cases where parents have requested doctors to customize their baby’s physical features that match those of the foreigners. Some quoted parameters were skin color being fairer, hair color being lighter, eyes being green/blue, and high levels of IQ. All these call in for foreign sperm from the sperm banks, the donors of which are mostly foreign students studying in India in exchange programs.

The “firangi” people who come here for a short time find it a lucrative way to make money and parents seeking such qualities in their children find easy respite in such institutions. A large fraction of the applicants are South Indian families and NRIs. Parents feel proud of how different their child looks from the average Indian lot of children. People have begun attaching a social status to the physical stats of their children, as if fetching merit to the parents for such offsprings.

Why is it that the Indian skin color is condescended upon? Not only have others been mocking us for our skin tone since a long time, we have also started believing in the discourse that having a darker skin tone makes one inferior. Naturally then, parents cannot show off their dark children, can they? It is amazing how children can be treated like prized possessions!

If our people continue to outsource sperm, it would not be long before we lose our cultural identity. The basic problem is the hatred with one’s inherited features and obsession for something that cannot be had. If we are dark, then we can’t force our genes to turn us white. If the current trend of artificial-mutation and crossing goes on, we might end up on the losing side.

Parents seems to be so drunk by their quest for external beauty that they are willing to have babies from a stranger’s sperms. If parents cannot fight the social pressure and are willing to forsake having their own genes passed on for “beauty’s sake”, then I wonder what the future really holds for us.

Arindham Chakroborty

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