I wish i was a child again
Posted by Agnivo Niyogi
“Give me Some sunshine, give me some rain, give me another chance to grow up once again”
These lines became the anthem of the youth in India after a certain film touched hearts of the audience. But is that the reason i am writing my blog today? No. I wish i was a child again. Because being a child in India is the most advantageous job in the world. “The child” is soon going to replace the deity in the temple of worship. (S)he is the most pampered object in the nation right now (other than the fat pockets of the babus).
Disciplining a child has always involved a certain degree of physical punishment. We were kids too, and have been through that phase. A slap on the cheek or that occasional cane never dithered us from our daily activities. And parents chiding remarks filled our life from dawn to dusk. Having grown up in a BIG joint family, the spectrum of guardians was never limited to parents for me. In contrast, it was much expected from our Uncles and Aunties to bring us to book in case we committed any crime (which would range from stealing guavas, to breaking window panes etc). Even neighbours had the liberty to discipline us in their own ways. But social structure has changed now. Nuclear families are the order of the day. Lack of quality time spent with the child has made parents much more protective about their wards. Compensating their lack of availability by giving in to every demand the child makes, they are just ruining the kids’ future. The world for the child has become extremely small and revolves only around him/herself now. Moreover, the government is mulling a law to ban caning of children by parents too. So it is invariably expected that the emperor of their own sweet paradise, when attacked by aliens (read teachers, neighbours or even parents) they refuse to bow down to the invasion. And when they are unable to protect their subjects, they choose to end their lives rather than acknowledging defeat.
All those of us are now in college, or established in some company, can we put our hands on our hearts and say teachers never caned us? We were never made to kneel down, run around the field for not doing our homework? Did we have a problem with that? Being punished was like an honour in school. The more you irked the teacher, the bigger your fan base became. Even parents did not bother much about what’s going on between me and my teacher in school. Neither was there a cameraman with a journalist making rounds outside the gates waiting to pounce upon the first kid they could lay their hands on for a byte on their teachers. Teachers, for me were like my parents. They had every right to hit me if i was involved in any mischief. Today parents are so blinded by their love for their kid, they refuse to accept that their child could be wrong too.
But then there are some teachers who epitomise the on screen Mogambo or Shakaal.Vindictive as they are, they do not want reasons to autograph the child’s cheek with their palm-print. But these men are much less in number. Like one rotten fish spoils the pond, they are earning teachers a bad name.
Suicide is never a solution. It is just accepting defeat in the war of life. Children are not mature enough to make such harsh decisions. But the environment they are living in right now, has made them pseudo-mature. They are caught between a world of the adults and the innocent world of childhood and are finding it difficult to choose which one is the one for them. The unavailability of their parents (and for that matter any guardian) as well as diminished powers of the teachers are prompting them to go astray.
So, to cane or not to cane is THE question, i would vote for the former. But the teachers must exercise caution before yielding the cane.