You must have heard the story about Chanakya, where he was walking and stepped over a thorn. The way he reacted to the incident was different from the way many of us would have reacted. He got a some Mattha (a drink made from curd) and poured the entire drink on the roots of the shrub from which the thorn originated. He did so in order to fix a problem by getting to the root of it. I don’t want to go in the discussion as to if it really happened or if it is a myth or if Chanakya did this or not. I am more interested in the “what” of the above story.
We know the story and even believe in it but still choose a different approach every time we encounter a thorn. We step over the thorn, we remove it from our feet and throw it back on the street or some times on the sideways or maybe in a dustbin or any where we deem appropriate. But we rarely try to get to the root of the problem and fix it from there.
Recently in India, there occurred two separate events which have nothing in common, truly mutually exclusive. One of the events happend in the real world whereas the other happened in the virtual world. However, they have the very same root of the problem. Unfortunately, some people are still throwing the thorns in the bins instead of killing the root.
I am talking about these:
- The “Boys Locker Room” and the “Girls Locker Room” on Instagram, and
- Kilometre long queues in front of the liquor shops, especially when there is a threat to life in the form of Coronovirus.
These two events would not have made such a big issue if the participants were from the lower strata of the society i.e. the people who are uneducated, illiterate, deprived etc. On the contrary the participants in the both the issues were from well to do families. You could look at the queues and you would right away know that a lot of people standing in the queues come from rich families.
It is not like we didn’t know that people drink. Students/professionals drink way too much then they should, this is not new. Is it? For many party simply means drinks. Maharashtra’s three months revenue by liquor costs as much as the Statue of Unity costed. So why the hue and cry at the queues this time?
Same goes with the other event. People talk about opposite gender or rather in today’s world about the gender they are interested in, be it the opposite or the same. Bollywood has openly claimed as sex being the best seller all the time, they had been inventing ways to override the censor board guidelines. You can have a look at the Hindi web-series and make a list of how many of them rely on stories and acting rather than on sex scenes / adult content for their success. There are countless number of English TV series that are way way better than Game of Thrones but they are not as popular as GOT is in India. Why? because GOT is nothing short of a porn. And you can literally find everything (everything as in sex scenes, rapes, gang-rapes, and what not). So why does a bunch of students talking the very same stuff on an internet platform raise an eyebrow?
Before you jump to the conclusion, I am neither insinuating to ban all the these stuff nor insinuating to making all these stuff legal.
I am trying to bring a very simple fact to light that is the root cause of all these issues.
Every person irrespective of his caste, religion, gender, ethnicity, nationality etc. has one thing and only one thing that is exactly the same without any exception: the time. After being born, every single human being has 24 hours in a day.
What you are today is the summary of how you have been spending 24 hours of your day, each day ever since you started breathing.
Raising a child in the right way is the world’s most difficult task because he learns not only what is taught to him but also what he sees, observes around him.
If a child is made to use his 24 hours in constructive/positive activities be it reading, writing, sports, art, music anything for the first twelve or thirteen years of his/her life, he would continue doing the same when he/she moves out of the house to lead his life on his own.
Unfortunately, all the factors that were helping a child keep a check on his hours have been removed.
The children today don’t fail much in schools because either the exams are optional or they are made easy so as to avoid the wreath of parents (Right to Education Act, 2009). And if by any chance you belong to the reserved category (reservation policy), the child gets admission to a good university in Indian without good scores or much efforts. But the child still has 24 hours, how he spends his hours need more scrutiny today than ever before. Do you think he would stand in a queue for liquor if he had to accomplish something very difficult? He won’t be able to afford his hours being wasted in a chat room or a liquor queue or anything else.
Moreover, both the parents are working and the maids/aaya/nanny/baby sitters are raising the child. Both the parents not being available for the child would have still worked if the concept of joint family was respected, grandparents would have at least raised the child like they raised the child’s parents. But now people need nuclear families as they can’t withstand joint families. Nuclear families would have still worked if the child was at least made to believe in the religious stories; made to watch, listen, read and understand epics like Ramayana, Mahabharata and Gita. But that’s also kind of outdated, we want to look modern, progressive, liberal and proud atheist. Where is the support system for a child growing alone? Who is curating the way he/she thinks? What or Who does he look upto?
In the outside world, the act of following someone is thought of just clicking the follow button. When a child follows somebody, he allows himself to be manipulated by his ideal-icon. When a child follows Akshay Kumar he tries to learn marshal arts, eat healthy and perhaps wake up early but when a child follows Shahrukh Khan he tries chain smoking. It is no wonder that the children today see nothing wrong with eve teasing, because “bade bade shahro me choti-choti cheeze hoti rahti hain” (minor incidents do happen in big cities not a big deal). Amir Khan made millions for himself and millions of his followers made a fool of themselves. Why? Because they all think that there is a problem with the country and they don’t have anything to fix within themselves. Be it intolerance or number of kids or anything else.
So, in short if a child turns out to be a good human being, it is pure luck. If a child finds sensible friends or a genuine role model he ends up learning good habits from them or else he continues learning from the maid who he sees every day or any fake role model, who he just started following.
What is an FIR against the teens in the locker room case going to do? Do you think fear is a motivator big enough to stop people from doing bad things? If fear was a deterrent, there would have been no rapes once the first rapist was hanged. There would have been no murders once the murderers started getting rigorous imprisonment for life. Jihadis blow themselves up with the prior knowledge that they are going to die. Can there be a fear bigger than death? If not Instagram, they will find another way, if they are thinking in this direction no matter what you do, they will find a way.
Purpose, not fear is the biggest motivator. If a child has a purpose in his life, he would be busy trying to achieve it, irrespective of you watching him or not.
The irony of this society is that women had been investing their full time raising kids in the right way, making a lot of sacrifice; but men could not even respect that. Men’s ego did not let him express gratitude, say a simple “thank you” to the women for the hard work she put in creating, nurturing and raising a sensible life. Instead of being grateful, men suppressed the women, took her for granted, and said things like “what do you do? I do all the stuff“. You would have heard statements like these. Haven’t you? Now, its even; women and men do the same stuff i.e. work, and kids, they raise themselves. Why should women do the heavy lifting when they are not respected and are humiliated at every point in their lives? I guess just wishing mother’s day on one odd day does not help. Every mother should have received the due credit and the respect she deserved from the day she became a mother. It is definitely somebodies fault that the India society started thinking that raising a child was easier as compared to earning money. In my opinion raising a child in the right way is way way more difficult.
It does not matter how you engage the child in a fruitful activity on a daily basis, but if it is not done, be happy picking up the thorns one after another and think where did we go wrong.
If you are not smoking or drinking even when no body is watching you, if you are sticking to one partner for your sexual desires even when you have the liberty to wander, in short if you are thinking straight, you should thank your parents that they spent their time with you when you were growing up and shaped your thought process nicely. If you anyhow get an idea that you did it all by yourself, look at the queue in front of liquor shops or the students in the boys/girls locker room and ask yourself what made you different from them. You might rethink the idea of you being “self-made”.
Thank you for your time and patience!!! Please do share it with your loved ones. There are much bigger things to pursue in life, if only a child knows where to look. We might not change the society, but we can definitely save a few children from standing in the wrong queues. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to write to me or simply comment below.
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[Disclaimer: This article is written specifically for the author’s close friends and the people who trust the author, have been following author’s work and asked for the author’s opinion about the reasons behind the moral degradation of Indian Society. The author has no intention to question or convince any person to follow or not follow any particular lifestyle.]