Vande Mataram

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Felons are a result of bad parenting

Of late we've been hearing the media hullabaloo over the Delhi gang rape and other such incidents in the society. We've been wondering what has gone wrong with some of our folks? Why there is a sudden spike in such violence? Why do we have an increase in this untenable behaviour?  Are we doing anything for that apart from commenting on Facebook and participating in candle light processions? Many people blame the society and the trend of the lifestyle for this and ask for a change. That is perfect. But I have a question for those folks. The panic is justifiable, since we have sisters, cousins, daughters and friends in the women folk whom we wish to be safe in the world and cannot tolerate the agony of them getting violated.

Are we really acting against this violence by rooting out the root cause of this menace? The answer is an unfortunate NO. Why? To eliminate the root cause, we need to identify the root cause in the first place. We blame it generally on the society and the trend of lifestyle and sit with a sigh as if our duty is done. Taking a querying look at the society will lead us to the root cause. What is the root cause for a human to be good? The standards we adopt while conducting ourselves among others in the society. So do we adopt it always? While not under the eyes of others? Those kind of rare breed of men, women and children are a minority in the society going by the numbers (politically correct!!).

While most of the people who conduct themselves in a civil way while among others, blatantly transgress the basic norms of civil conduct while being alone or while not being watched. The thought process takes a diversion towards perversion while not being watched. They end up doing something unacceptable under the social norm and inflict a serious damage to the social fabric that fosters human coexistence. Why do they do so? Will they do it to their loved ones? Never. Even a nymphomaniac will behave with his sisters and daughters in a respectable way. Then why not towards others?

The basic norms of civil conduct in other words known as discipline or morality is lacking among most of our people. Reason for this is lack of good education in the true sense of the word. In today's world, we manufacture good doctors, good engineers, good clerks, good accountants, good managers and so on. But good humans are rare to find and are mostly found when and where modern education is out of the reach or not in its full reach. We lack good educators, while we have hundreds of thousands of teachers who actually train people as subject matter experts rather than educate their students.

It is common sight in schools where leading questions are put to children with regards to their ambition in life. "Do you want to become a doctor or engineer or lawyer etc? What if a child wants to become a wildlife biologist? Such careers are not even brought to the knowledge of our young people. Reason given by the parents and teachers are that doctors or engineers or accountants are money making professions and they want the kids to be well settled in life, in terms of  money. If we come to know about a story  of a dedicated teacher who works hard with lesser salary and says his career is to educate the youth of our villages, we applaud, share the story in Facebook and go back to money making.

Are we at the least telling such stories to our children? Never. Because we'll get difficult questions and we don't want to be looking stupid in front of the kids. If they still come up with queries on ethics and related issues, we simply divert their attention to their school subjects. a+b whole square is not going to save our sisters and daughters from unpleasant situations and our brothers and sons from being felons. It is the morality that matters in such situations. It is the moral values that we instil in the minds of our children that shape their future and that of the society we live in.  How many of us would have tried to speak about good values and morality with our kids?

The giant problem of our society today has root cause in lack of morality. The role models are not in limelight. So to speak, the real people won't be basking in glory, but would be doing their work. How many of the grown up adults know J.Gopalakrishnan? But we know Burkha Dutt, Vir Sanghvi and the likes. If we don't know about the good people how are we to tell our next generation about them and mould them in such a way. We are against the bad things, and raise voice in one way or the other. But the problem with us is we don't know much about what is right and to pass on the knowledge understandably to the next generation. We outsource moral education to schools which follow a strict curriculum in which moral education has no place due to its lack of monetary value.

Many of us do not even think about the damage we're doing to the agriculture through the real estate. One of my friends told me the smart move is to sell the land a farmer has for some million bucks to a real estate promoter, buy a flat in Chennai and lead a wealthy life. Where will get your food from? We can import food products at a lower cost was his reply. I'm still searching for the economics professor in his MBA to give a tight slap. This highlighted the problem of our education system. Which encourages thinking on an abstract subject and suggest untenable solutions. Had he known the implications of outsourcing the basic necessities, he would never have thought of outsourcing food production.

The problem is not with his MBA degree from modern education system but the thought process. His thought process was fully engulfed by his education of cost and revenue, profitability and asset value. He doesn't know the right way of thinking about the national economy or the intricacies involved in economic decisions, so are some of our key decision makers.

A personal example, not to boast though, is the discussion between my father and me during 1991. I was in 9th standard in school I trust. When the economy was liberalised and the Rupee devalued I asked, "Dad! If we borrow from America now, we'll have lot of money. See... 1 Dollar is more than 25 Rupees." My dad replied," Yes, that is a fact. But when you repay your loan you have to pay in dollars so you have to shell out 25 Rupees to pay for one dollar. On top of it you have to pay interest too. Is that okay?" "No! We don't have to do this. But what is the way out?", I asked. He said, "This is a good time to increase our exports. In that way we would have earned the dollars and spend 25 times more in Rupee value, since it is our earning and no need to pay back anybody." Later I learned that this way of economics is self sustained and this is what we've been doing for centuries before leaving our way of living and aping the British in an half baked manner.

So, the need of the hour is to revive the lost moral education and enlighten the young minds with the courage to live by values and not by the as read in college manner. We can start at home with simple stories and imparting value system in our kids. This was what our grandparents did to us while our parents were busy with earning and home keeping. Drilling further down, it is the nuclear family system that alienates the children from relationships, while parents are busy with work and happy as long as the children don't disturb them with queries. Where would the children go with their queries? They started to assume based on the cartoon characters and movies they watch.

This left the kids with no mentoring and thus we end up having all the trouble in the world. So, the solution is to have a joint family, which means adjusting with the in-laws, which is of no trouble comparing to the adjustments we make for clients/bosses at work. Or to spend value time with the kids to shape their thoughts and make them good citizens. It is not too late as long as we wake up to the fact ASAP.

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