India is the land of billions. Mystic, majestic, and yet developing. Despite years of repression and exploitation, this country has leapt from the ashes like a phoenix in a mere span of 67 years. A growth instilled by the countless sacrifices of the noble souls which assisted in the upliftment of the downtrodden, only to see the protector of rights turn blind to the violation of a child’s individual right and growth.
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At a time when the world is transcending ideologies, developing technologies of space travel, there exist peculiar mind-sets who under their regressive attitudes and political bending(s) are adamant to make an easy scapegoat of an innocent student in the name of culture, divinity, identity and …discipline.
As it happened a few days back, a trivial issue got escalated to become the prime time news of an entire nation. Such was the debate that a student of the 12th standard was expelled from a school for merely hugging his female friend on performing in a competition. No, the girl and her family didn’t complain, the boy’s parents didn’t complain, neither did the neighbours or the public in view. Then what caused this ruckus?
Apparently, in an act of innocence and influence (in the times of social media), the boy uploaded the pictures from the competition on his Facebook wall. The Principal of his school took offence and complained, the school took the onus of that and down they went to penalize the children for offending the “Sanskriti (heritage and culture)” and the modesty of the divine land.
Yes, you heard it RIGHT! Just like the regular Valentine’s Day vigilante, the School administration decided to protect their noble academy by sacrificing the boy to set an example for the rest of the students.
Although both the parties viz. the girl, the boy and their parents apologized, the school remained adamant on the suspension of the boy, forcing him to move to the state child right’s body for his reinstatement. However, despite the child right body’s intervention the school invoked higher judicial institutions and successfully obtained a stay from the judge sitting in the Higher Court on the pretext that the school’s reputation had suffered irreparable harm from the act of the boy, and apparently, its Sanskriti culture was compromised.
Yes, the boy’s personal rights and right to education were irreversibly violated, breached, blatantly destroyed by every social and legislative institution of the country. Yet the Academy of education (irony dies a thousand deaths) deemed it fit to punish the children because a mere hug in public can lead to immoral things which are either anti-Hindu, un-Islamic or is against the wishes of every religious institution whatsoever. For only Cows in this state have the right to consummate or develop affections for the opposite gender.
Surprisingly, the School and the court have exposed themselves as inadequate and misguided guardians of childhood, and ironically are adamant to destroy the same. Yes, the Indian society as of late has developed a peevishly moralistic streak, but the school and the court have plumbed to a new low by insisting and bringing into effect the immoral binds of the same. Who are they to consider things immoral? Who are they to play with the future of a child?
In a country with a never exhausting rich history, where the foundation of sex education, erm Kamasutra was invented and experimented upon, the same has become a taboo even to discuss or talk about. Schools avoid discussing or imparting the same in their curriculum, and even if the Government decides to impart the same, none of it is ever taught.
I can reflect these social connotations (s) from my own personal experiences. It wasn’t until I entered college that I learned about menstruation cycle and periods. Imagine the ignorance of a boy who has spent his entire life surrounded by his sisters and mother, and yet didn’t know what periods were and how natural of a process it was. Howsoever, an open mind and informative friends helped me understand these social protocols. But the same can’t be said for the other people of our society.
Yes, sex education is a component of the skills that schools are expected to impart to empower the children on their journey towards adulthood. An important concept in recent times which has become a deliberate issue of discussion for the majority. People need guidance to negotiate the interim without any obstruction or hindrance in the form of gender, culture or religion. The training begins at childhood, for unlearning something after a particular age acts like the elephant in the room. However, what would we expect of the schools which put the onset of reputation and cultural shame before the children and their future? A society which only speaks of affection in the rhetorics like “log kya kahenge?” (what will people say?) And paramount(s) of a godly sense “Bhagwan bura man jaenge” (God will take offence). Where can people address their grievances when the parliament/ legislation, the court and the society in the whole cannot transcend it either?
It is not a surprise and not the first time that a judge has been affected by the religious representations and an imbibed sense of social justice. A retired judge from the High Court of Rajasthan once pronounced that a peacock and a peahen were so pure that they only consummate by drinking their tears. (you read that right).
Unable to transcend the hurdles of social connotation and taboo-ridden value system, these institutions viz. the educational and judicial have attained serious compromising positions. It’s a common Indian philosophy that “panchayat me bhagwan baithata hai” (God resides in a judge), but nowhere they retort that god left these forsaken land ages ago. It’s a marvel that these perplexing social values are ingrained in our minds with such baffling perplexities that it has resulted in a paradox. Yes, it is coming out of the same country which produced the most famous sex manual- the Kama-Sutra – a racy crash course in the applied sciences of human anatomy which teaches social and conjugal relations to prepare youngsters to take the challenge of adulthood. Something that our schools and justice providing mechanism fail to apply.
I guess we as living beings need not reproduce through our reproductive organs but rather consummate by drinking our tears of joy. Probably only then will the sanctity of these self-proclaimed social institutions be upheld.
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