Friday, June 24, 2016

Rise of the "Individual"

These days, whenever I meet parents of age group  3 to 12, I hear the same complaints as MINE! My child watches too much TV, won't listen to me! My little boy insists to eat out every time we go out! My daughter constantly wants new toy every week. My little boy doesn't go down and play at all! My son cries whenever his school teacher gives star to his friend and nothing to him! . These repetitive words I hear all the time and I repeat them as well. Why are we facing this problem? I wonder. Thought about it for some time and I feel the problem starts with US.
All the above situations the child faces are quite normal. We all have gone thru them at one time or the other. We as children have wished for toys secretly, wanted to travel in aeroplanes, wanted to have lavish birthday parties "just" like our friend. Have cried for not getting first rank. So what is the difference now? The only difference I see is that the way we as parents react to these situations was completely different from how our parents reacted.   
Our parents downplayed most of the situations with a "Bah"   or  by simply refusing our outrageous wishes. We want gulab jamun? Mom will say there is no flour,sorry. That is it. If some friend is always making us "den" in hide and seek , Papa will only half listen to our problem. We needed to figure out how to make sure we equal chances in a game.Essentially, after their initial(feeble) reaction, we were left to ourselves to overcome these "uncomfortable feelings"  . To face the difficult situation on our own. To let us fight our own "battles"  . Mama , Papa stepped in , only in case of a "war". And magically with every "uncomfortable problem"  we grew up a bit. We learnt to take baby steps and made our heart stronger and stronger with every problem. Readied ourselves to the "Big Bad World".  We grew up to be a Individual  thru our childhood experiences.
But what is happening now?  Your baby girl  is unable to get a chance on the swing? Mamma will run and fight it out with other kids(yea , other kids) and get a place for your child on the swing. The child feels enormous pride , of able to get the swing from others. But also "learns" another thing that " I will not go thru these uncomfortable situations and even if there are such, I need not solve them. Somebody else will" .  Child does not get star in the class  and comes home upset. What we do ? We tell him , how special he is , that what if Mam has not given a star, we will give them one ourselves.  We want to quickly douse off that  difficult feeling the child is facing and bring a smile to his face. Before the child even understands , we ensure that he forgets the whole thing quickly. He never learns that he needs to do something to "earn" a star.

Basically what we are doing now is , we are constantly ensuring our child  that he is special, he is unique , that he will get anything he wants , he is the best , his achievements  are the best. We are not helping the child to grow UP to be an individual instead we are helping a child to grow up to be a egoistic, socially unfriendly  person living in a protective shell with the shell as hard as a walnut's.
The irony is only this , by giving importance to the individual  , we are killing the child's individuality.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Caught In the middle

India is now going through a huge revolution of sorts. Everybody is talking about freedom of speech, freedom of religion , caste inequality. What does this mean for a layman (or layperson for gender equality  revolutionaries) like me?   As of now NOTHING.

I see a huge hullabaloo  everywhere , in media , in campuses . All I want to ask each every person , do you even what it is to live like a normal middle class Indian? Their aspirations are very small. They want to study well in college , get a decent job , get married , have kids, travel all around the world , buy a house , get a good car , take care of parents , ensure their family is safe, keep themselves healthy. I simply am not able to connect with anybody on any topic which is going around right now.

Who is "student" who has become OUR voice? I am sorry , but in this world where everybody is an individual , he has no right to pull US around him and talk as if he is representing us. At the same time I do not want any minister from the govt make controversial comments all over and then create another big headache for US public. For God's sake you were voted with majority to do some good work , not give speeches in every street.

Now that we have come to speeches, we must all remember that only actions can speak louder than words. Moving speeches are like 3 hour Karan Johar movies , which can give us a emotional high but not move us from our couches, although I know that speeches have created history in the past all over the world. We must remember that speeches should be preceded or followed by action. An concrete action , till then speeches are just words and nothing else.

And coming to the media, I feel they are the main reason for screwing our lives. I know , we will be told that remote is in our hands and we can switch off  the TV if we want. But when we hear that police is taking action because of so-called  TV channel's evidence, we must be really worried. This media monster will eat us up and then they force us to speak their language. We must stop this immediately. We must do something about this.  Media instigates fights, provokes people , spreads rumours, tries to sow a seed of hatred and finally wash their hands off us to go on to the next juicy piece of news. We have seen this many times.

I know that there should be opposition parties to keep check of the govt's activities . But if I were the opposition party  I would attack govt on policies and bills being passed not on what Aamir Khan's views are on intolerance.  Why give him special mention in the parliament?

Everyday women die  for dowry harassment, mental and physical abuse. Nobody will talk about that. It is because we are USED to that piece of news. News channel will not even report them.

News channels fight among themselves on Twitter, TV , newspaper. They are not setting good example for peace or unity. Why should we FOLLOW them? They are worst role models for our children .The next worst role models are politicians.

And WE are Caught In The Middle.