‘Ideal Progeny’ for Rs. 50,000 – Latest scam in fertility industry

Many parents would like their children to possess qualities they admire the most. Praying for daughters as strong as Goddess Durga, or as noble as Lord Rama is common and hardly surprising. What would however be surprising is if the parent were to go through elaborate yogic pujas to ‘conceive’ a child as determined or as divine as Swami Vivekananda. Imagine the ethical horror of preparing yourself before even conception to preclude loving children with genetic, physical or mental imperfections.

There is a fine line between keeping fit to ensure a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby, and preparing to go through an entire 12 year exercise to cherry pick physical and mental attributes of your child.

It takes a parent to know that parenting is the journey of learning to love the other. To love consistently, consciously and with an abandon that would be frightening, it weren’t so real and commonplace. And it isn’t some lofty dreamy notion, it is tangible and comes from a place so honest and hardworking, that it slays us to the core. To reduce this visceral emotion, to reasons like, “I love my daughter because she is .....” fill in whatever adjective you like, would dilute (in extreme) the very act.

But this is exactly what is happening at Ved Garbha, Garbhasanskar — Ayurvedic Antenatal Care Infertility and Panchkarma Centre’ in Jamnagar. In an extensive interview given to a national newspaper, the centre details the entire “process, from pre-conception to post-delivery, for an ‘Uttam Santati’ — or “ideal progeny” who is “strong, happy, healthy, courageous, a genius and good-looking” at an affordable cost of Rs 50,000 per child!

Yes, this is happening and you are reading this right!

Here are 7 patently anti-humanistic statements made by their director and co-founder, Dr Karishma Mohandas Narvani.

1. “Ideal progeny” who is “strong, happy, healthy, courageous, a genius and good-looking”

A sentence like that is degrading basic human values. It is the facebook-ized version of a child’s life that is so loaded with foreign holidays, sexy soirees and celebrity link-ups, that reality pales under the filters. When they say ‘child is the father of man’ it is a statement to prove that it is children who reach us patience, love and value of time. Not to create perfect people, but to learn to love imperfections as the sweetest things in life.

2. “Fair here means the child will have a glow, a soft, radiant glow making the complexion clearer.”

The centre insists mothers wear white "when the baby’s skin is developing". Indians have this maddening desire for fairer children with a radiant glow. Can we please develop vaccines to eradicate this line of thought? India is a land of brown and dark brown skin tone. It is good for us. We are healthier because of it. Our mythologies talk about dark children being beautiful. Why then do parents spend their hard earned money in killing the real us?

3. “Sex is for reproduction and not pleasure”

Oh yes, by all means deny it. Truth is Hinduism in its multi-faceted understanding of life has always understood the importance of sex in relationships. Our thousand year old temples have friezes of copulation that our modern law is yet to accept. It is time we understood that sex builds relationships, improves closeness, and provides a physical dimension to the love a heart feels. Reproduction is merely a by-product of it.

4. “Disco drugs and non-veg”

We can do an about turn on anything remotely scientific and logical, but nothing in the realm of ‘gau-mutra’ can change a young mind into trying “disco, drugs and non-veg.” Sorry, it just won’t happen!

5. “Working on hardware and software will give desired babies”

Any centre that calls a yet-to-be-conceived child a mixture of hardware and software is a bit off its rockers, frankly. Of course genetic science has advanced enough to rule out genetically malformed babies, but to extend it to cherry pick software like “looking like Vivekananda” or hardware like “good in sports” is to do away with the genetic process altogether. Why not mix a few choice DNA strands, toss them up and have a nation full of David Beckhams?

6. “The time for sex is decided based on the “alignment of planets”

Yes, by all means try it! If you can imagine anything so unscientific, you’d also believe that writing exams when the ‘planets are aligned’ would ensure a centum without the hardwork. Science can go for a long walk, and infertility experts can twiddle their thumbs as the ‘garbh vigyan’ pronounces the exact time to mate for infallible, ‘immaculate’ conception.

7. “Hitler spoke about something similar, why is it considered wrong?”

We saved the best for the last! Wipe away the entire Holocaust in one fell swoop by taking Hitler’s side asking what’s wrong with the Aryan Supremacy theory? This one thought, caused one of the biggest bloodbaths of the previous century.

Let’s hope that many parents open their eyes to understand that parenting should come from a positive space of loving fiercely and giving freely, in order for the world to have a future worth living for.

Here is the link to this dated practice, if you’d like to read up: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/an-immaculate-conception-a-day-in-the-life-of-garbh-vigyan-sanskar-clinic-4687745/