Friday, April 17, 2009

Where are we heading?? what is our goal?

I was terribly upset by two incidents reported by news channels/papers and found it difficult to come to terms with the fact that such incidents do take place in the 21st century and we have no scope for speedy justice with the judiciary being what it is.

The first incident is about the death of an 11 year old girl who was mercilessly punished by her teacher for failing to recite her english alphabets. The girl was beaten and made to stand in the sun for nearly two hours. She fainted and it was her younger sister who informed her parents who took her to the hospital in a critical condition and the girl slipped into a coma and finally died.

I strongly feel that the government should have some kind of check on granting affiliation to schools. These days schools have become business centres and while government school teachers are paid well they have no accountability and private school pay so badly that those who are recruited in them feel exploited. Their frustration is transferred to an innocent child. Very often people who teach in prestigious schools are mainly interested in giving private tuitions to students from affluent families and those in government schools have reached there by greasing palms. Both groups cannot be expected to do justice to the profession. How else do we explain the brutal punishment meted out to this particular student? The girl was 11 years old and was studying in std II. For all we know she might have had some kind of learning disability or other health problems and needed special care and attention. Well I can go on and on.

The second incidence is about a gang rape in Mumbai. An American student studying in Mumbai's TISS was gangraped by 6 boys known to her batch mate and she herself reported the incidence to the police some three days after it took place once she was in a position to do so. Three of the culprits were from a reputed school in Jamshedpur who were pursuing their higher studies in Mumbai. Jamshedpur being a small town we seem to know everyone either directly or indirectly and my heart goes out to the mothers of these boys who placed absolute trust in their sons while sending them out of town to study. I don't want to go into the reasons. It is easy to blame the girl. The act cannot be justified in any way. But a for boy barely in his early twenties to be part of the crime perhaps also means an end of a bright career even before it took off. The girl is bound to remain traumatized for a long long time. Who takes the blame and how much of it? Parents? The culprits? The victim? Is society as a whole which fails to give the right kind of sex education to our youngsters? There is a need to analyze the problem from all possible angles. This could happen to any of the youngsters who would soon take their place in society.

Shiv Khera is known for his famous statement-

"If you are not part of the solution then you are a part of the problem".

Do we want to be part of the problem or of the solution? The time has come to make a choice. We cannot escape responsibility. The next victim could be one of your own family for all you know.


Shilpa said...

I always read your blog but never commented, but this statement raised my antennae:

"But a for boy barely in his early twenties to be part of the crime perhaps also means an end of a bright career even before it took off."

Who cares about his career? really! He was responsible for spoiling the dignity of a girl. that is irreversible damage. I cannot even for one instance think of the whys and the hows of a rape. He deserves to be punished HEAVILY for this. i don't even care how good the families were or how repentant he is!

also, a 23 or so year old ought to know better than to go and rape drunk girls.

Smitha said...

The death of the 11 yr old girl was tragic... It is difficult to imagine that a teacher could assault a child so badly as to result in her death! I do hope the govt takes some measures to tackle this.. The even more frightening thing is that there might be more such cases in remote areas of the country - which might not even get reported...
The rape of the student is equally shocking.. It is sad that educated youth seem to think that they can get away with this! They certainly need to be punished to serve as an example. I had no idea that these boys were from Jamshedpur though!

Hip Grandma said...

Shilpa:Please don't get me wrong.I cannot imagine such a thing happening to my daughters or now that i am a g'mom, to my grand daughters who appear more vulnerable than before. And they are only 5 and 3 years old.I shudder to think of what may befall them.
I was worried that our youngsters, not just these boys are ruining themselves.There is no doubt that they deserve to be punished but is there any way we can get together and think of how such incidences may be prevented or minimized in future?? Don't our girls need to be safe?

smitha:I cannot think of how a teacher entrusted with grooming young minds for their future could do this to a girl known to have fits and whose poor attendance indicated that she had a medical problem.Even if the child was normal and was just being naughty making her stand in the sun was no solution.
Yes three of those boys were from Jamshedpur and I have colleagues in college whose children studied with them.jamshedpur is shocked. More so when we have no choice but to send our children out to study and have no means to monitor their activities.Breach of trust I would say.Of course they should be punished.What else can be done to prevent such incidents from happening in future.

Hip Grandma said...

Shilpa:I stand corrected.I hear that the Jamshedpur boys are not from middle class background with perents paying through their nose for their education as I naively thought.They are spoilt brats of well to do businessmen and have been bullies in their school days too.They have no careers to worry about. It may not be easy initially but after the furore over the incident subsides their parents may actually bail them out.

vishesh said... had used 'alphabets' ,it is supposed to be alphabet(till recently I too made that mistake ) ..

Yes it is bad what is happening in the world . Talking about education ,as you pointed out maybe the girl had a maybe we should educate the teachers to identify that?

And as for the girl getting raped , well I don't there is any blame attached with the girl or with the guys..we can say that they had one drink too many, maybe we should find out how that happened...where the guys new to pubs and drinking? Why were they tempted ? For after all there is a difference between normal men and these educated kids...

Now to question arises about justice...I think in this case , the girl and guys should be allowed to talk it out and then we will know what really happened..

Anonymous said...

"Is society as a whole which fails to give the right kind of sex education to our youngsters?"

but sex education never says not to rape someone. it just teaches to be careful.

it is sad what happened to the girl but she should have known better. drinking with boys and being in the same room is like an open invitation. i am not saying that it should have happened but if she had been more careful it might not have happened.

and for the young student and her teacher. the act was what if the girl is a slow learner, teachers are there to teach with pateince. that was really tragic.

Hip Grandma said...

vishesh:thanks for correcting me.I'll remember next time.

I am worried about more such incidences happening and the urgent need to train teachers to adopt the right attitude.

As for the gangrape it is not due to a drink too many alone.It is more because of the perverted need to show one's might and the sadistic pleasure of seeing the plight of the helpless girl in question.How else would one explain the rape of baby girls aged 4 and 5.The culprits were not always drunk.It is shameful but at least the victims are coming out with their protest.earlier people dared not talk of it for fear of being labelled as being of loose character.DNA tests are a boon and it is easier to prove rape cases.Here again may be proper channelizing of youth energy could help.

oorjas:Sex education is not just being made aware of the biological aspects of one's body. The possibilities of unpleasant sexual encounters, not necessarily rape alone, and the trauma that follows etc can be explained through discussions,short films, street plays etc.Boys and girls should be taught mutual respect and trained to support each other if and when unpleasant situations arise. Very often no one wants to get involved.This should change.I am myself guilty of never having discussed all this with my children and sending them out to unknown places to study and work expecting them to manage on their own.It is sheer chance that one becomes a victim and it was just luck that takes care of the safety of our children particularly girls.

Anonymous said...

and this proves that people like me who call themselves educated have no clue of what exactly sex education consists of.

i think there is the problem one doesn't know the actual syllabus of that and are allowed to either support or reject the idea without actually knowing about it.

why is it not included in the curriculum.

i would like to know what all is actually incuded in sex education. it might really be helpful to a lot of people.

Shilpa said...

Hip Grandma, I might have sounded a little discourteous and I am sorry for that. I understand your point thoroughly, just that this topic really riles me up. Peace?

Hip Grandma said...

oorjas:I think we all suffer from a misplaced belief that accidents always happen to other people.Even the parents of one of the accused rapist claims that his son was in mumbai to study and he was being framed into the contraversy.We never want to believe that in the years that one's child has stayed away from home he could have got exposure of the wrong kind and needed to be counseled. 'Sex education is not needed for our children.They are a good lot'. Tell them that babies are bought from the local hospital and the innocent child would actually believe you. The more we run away from reality all the more accidents are bound to occur.

shilpa:Not at all my child.It is natural to get riled up at your age.I was the same till I learnt some valuable lessons in life.I happened to look at the problem from a middle class perspective where parents place all their hopes on their children and these brats dash all their hopes in a minute.It was upsetting to read that at least one parent claimed that his son was being framed. He could be right.But it was the same parent who lost an older son to a road accident - the kind that results from rash driving. The boy was 18/19 years old studying in +two and tried to overtake a speeding mini bus while returning from school lost control and got crushed under it.He was returning from school.I am not sure if he was driving the two wheeler or was a pillion rider.I don't want to sound unsympathetic but the spoilt brats of rich parents get a kick out of everything they do and when parents fail to check them, pay a very heavy price. I see the same happening to this boy too.The court will decide if he was innocent or guilty. But even if he was a silent spectator to the incident he cannot escape responsibility.

Smitha said...

HHG, You've been tagged -
Would love to see your take and do leave me a coment once you're done - Thanks!

Prats said...

Most of us ( me included) always think, that there is a solution...but we never do anything to solve it. We leave it to the others is shameful I know.
I really hope one day we all get the courage to drive such horrid acts out of our lives....i'm sure there is a way.

Sraboney (Bones) said...

I like your blog - my first time here...Jamshedpur - my husband is from there - Loyola...

About rape - sex education is important but I'm not sure that alone will solve the problem of rape...Rape is about power and control and less about sex...These boys obviously had predicided that they would rape the girl - drinks cannot be blamed because there are umpteen men who drink and even get drunk and don't rape...

Hip Grandma said...

prats:true that we never think beyond accepting that this is a problem and there is a slution but we don;t reach out to people and actually help solve the problem,Has education not been put to proper use? or is education and so called refinement the cause for our apathy?

sraboney:say hello to your husband from me and welcome here.
yes, power goes straight into one's head and once goaded into assumung that you are lord nothing else matters.Drinks may act as a catalyst in some cases though.

Just Like That said...

Totally scary about the 11 yr old girl. That teacher needs to be shot dead, but what also worries me is how nobody else in school (adults) noticed this? Which means that these kind of things have become a norm..? Brrr... scary!

Hip Grandma said...

JLT: yes it is scary to think that such people are in charge of moulding young minds.These teachers in govt. schools cannot be dismissed easily and they take advantage of the situation.

Priyanka said...

Very sad incidents. I don't know what to say. My blood boils when I think about who is to blame and how and why of these situations.

Hip Grandma said...

priyanka:thinking of such incidents does put one's mood off but pretending that they don't happen, will also not help.