ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Female Infanticide and Gender in Punjab

The British claimed to have 'discovered' the heinous practice of female infanticide and identified the high caste khatris, bedis and rajputs as primarily indulging in the practice. Caste pride/hypergamy and the exorbitant expenditure on marriage/dowry were seen to be primarily responsible for the practice. Contemporary scholarly discourse has, however, shown that the social effect of colonial methods of governance may have been to produce a milieu encouraging son preference, and dowry gradually acquired the very characteristics that the British then sought to reform.

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