Saturday, December 29, 2012

Educate not to Rape



So many experts have spoken so much about the most controversial rape in India.  I read quite much.  I viewed equally much on the television.

My heart weeps for the woman whose dreams have been buried even before she started seeing them clearly.

But why did it all have to be this way?

I’m a teacher and I’d place the blame squarely on two entities: the parents and the schools.

The parents want their children to outshine everyone else.  Compete.  Defeat.  That’s the mantra given by parents to their children.  Life is about competing with other students and defeating them.  If not in academic results, at least in sports, games, acting, singing, dancing… somewhere.  If not in any of those, defeat physically.  Win somehow, anyhow.  Use hook or crook or hit below the belt.

The schools too want to publicise their performance.  On Honour Boards.  Performance matters.  And only performance matters.  Values and principles are no concern of anyone.  The teacher will be questioned if the academic result is not good.  Who cares about values and principles?

And the student goes out.  Into the society.  There he/she sees doctors asking him/her to go for umpteen check-ups which are not really needed – after paying a hefty registration fee and other charges extorted.
He/she goes to a lawyer to get it straight.  The lawyer is soon bought by the medical company, the doctor, the hospital, the corporation, the politician who is ever ready to pander to anyone’s whims and fancy provided there’s money in it, the expert who is not different from the politician in any way, the religion of the doctor to which he gives voluntary service once a week...

He/she goes to religion.  Money is all what that wants too.  Donations.  Or voluntary service.  Which religion has ever given (in contradistinction with receive in the form of donations, offerings, charity...) something to somebody meaningfully?  I’m ready to become religious if anyone can show me such a religion.

Money is all that matters. Money buys commodities.  Or it rapes them!

Can we, parents and the school, give to students values other than money?  Other than conquests?

21 comments:

  1. Matheikal,

    I understand and accept the anguish you are feeling, about a number of things and going beyond the case that we are being carpet-bombed by. I chalk it up to your disappointment with your chosen profession. I share these feelings with you, if indeed you have them.

    Going to the particular instance that is given as the background of this post, I am not at all sure the accused have had the kind of parents and teachers your are fuming against. Life itself has been both the parents and teachers of these men and perhaps a boy (as legally defined) too. They did, in my opinion, "monkey see, monkey do," in an escalated sense. Khalil Gibran says that a child is nothing but "Life's longing for itself." But the life does not direct what should be longed for "within", in addition to "for" itself. This "desire set", if that is what one could call it, society provides and within that context I accept your thesis wholeheartedly.

    Thanks.

    RE

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    1. Thank you, Raghuram, for sharing my concerns. I'm indeed concerned.

      I feel helpless, in fact, when I'd like to do something about it all.

      I know that even people who can do something are political in their approach to happenings.

      I agree with you about the background of the criminals involved in the case in discussion. However, I think parents instill values in children even if they are poor. I have seen good people emerging from very poor economic backgrounds. I have also seen criminals emerge from rich economic backgrounds.

      The issue is complex. But individuals can make a lot of difference. I'm appealing to parents and teachers to begin with. I'm ready to appeal to doctors, lawyers, politicians, anybody...

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  2. As you rightly said: Values predominantly honesty and respect for girls/women, humaneness etc should be inculcated in children right from childhood both by Parents and Teachers, so that they'd become great human beings and wouldn't be a curse on the society by perpetrating and practicing heinous violence including sexual violence against girls/women,the most discriminated lot,in our entrenched patriarchal society.

    Ms.Nirmala P.Rao
    Hyderabad

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    1. Many psychologists like Adler argued that humans are inherently social beings who are motivated by social interest, the desire to advance the welfare of others. When and how does this interest get eradicated from a child's mind? The environment - social, political, economic - plays a crucial role. The best persons who can help a child in dealing with its environment are the parents and teachers. But the entire system which is very complex has a great impact too. In short, it isn't too simple. We can and should start doing what is in our capacity...

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  3. Moral values no longer have a place in school curriculum.Even in homes achievements by whichever means--are practiced & encouraged.
    In case of sexual crimes the idea of male supremacy is a powerful instigator.

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    1. Male supremacy was an issue all the time. But why has the incidence of raping increased without any proportion? Don't you think the acquisitive culture that we have built up matters more? That culture should change.

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  4. So, so so very true.. A lot of anguish, pain, and the very state that we are in, is simply down to competition, money and the fact that we have to be the best....

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    1. Exactly, Rajesh. More awareness may lead to a change, a radical change.

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  5. I agree with you completely sir. The lack of concern for imbibing moral values into kids is degrading the level of thinking of the whole society. It surely is a matter of concern.
    But let's not merely complain. Lets try from our end to instill these values we are talking about. You are a teacher yourself and you are daily dealing with young minds daily. Let's teach these young hearts the importance of humanity in a language that they can understand. And if we are able to change at least a single soul, we can proudly believe that we have contributed to the society.

    I do not merely speak these words here. I am trying this from my end. And I really hope that you and other teachers like you join hands and take this task seriously!

    Again, thanks for a thought provoking post...

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    1. Glad to know that you are DOING something about it.
      I too do whatever I can.
      Let's keep trying.

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  6. Hi,

    It is quite true, that we are not handing lessons in life to our children. We just guide them (no, compel them) that they should take up a career of the parents choice, rarely is a child ever asked what they would like to do. Is it necessary that one needs to earn lots of money with no satisfaction at all? Shouldn't work be satisfying?
    Due to competition rising everyday, nobody cares for moral values or ideals now. The one who cuts the competition and gets ahead is applauded while those who work with integrity land up in trouble, always.
    Thought-provoking post, this one.

    Happy New Year to you.

    Regards

    Jay
    My Blog | My FB Page

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    1. Dear Jay Singh, you have raised two questions which are closely related and are the same as the one which I've been raising through most of my writings.

      1. Does money give more satisfaction than what one's work provides?

      2. Who cares for moral values?

      If we change the focus from money to relationships, the whole value system will change. This is exactly what all religious teachers from the Buddha onward have been trying to teach.

      Globalisation put too much emphasis on wealth accumulation. Our socio-political system has been hijacked by the wealth creators. Unfortunately, they create wealth only for themselves. By exploiting others. That's where the whole system went wrong. Otherwise globalisation would have been the best religion for today. Create wealth for all. In other words, create happiness for all.

      Now,is wealth related to happiness? No. But give justice to all. Distribute whatever is available equitably....

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    2. '//The one who cuts the competition and gets ahead is applauded while those who work with integrity land up in trouble, always.//.

      This is the problem. Applauding the one who gets ahead , and troubled honest men.

      Let us stop applauding those, and let them know, we do not appreciate their ways of life. Shall we. that will stop the competition and much heartaches after. Let us stop partaking in their lavish spreads which they give to seek our approval of their dubious ways.

      Let us stop supporting our clan, even though we know they are doing illegal stuff to climb the social ladder.

      Finally let us support those honest folks who stick their neck out, but will not bend the law for their advancement.

      Easier said than done, but not impossible.

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  7. Sir,
    Rapes/corruption do happen quite often in villages as well. In fact the level of corruption can be directly proportional to level of education. I don't think education can change some one's libido and their sexual fantasies. These issues are beyond any education system and must be tackled with strict laws. Without strict laws/implementation, morality will just go for a toss.

    Regards,
    Jahid
    Flashbacks

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    1. Jahid,
      I'm absolutely stunned to see someone mentioning libido here.

      I'm of the opinion that the libido is an integral part of the male psyche. Freud would very much agree with me. How does one control the libido? That's the question. That's where morality, religion, education, and parental guidance come in.

      With due guidance children can be taught the importance of controlling their libido.

      Morality is a social make-up. Money-controlled society cannot make up much morality!

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  8. It is unfortunate that education, healthcare and religion have become so commercialised. All of it has become business . . therefore, there is no education, health or faith in real. What we see are duplicates which sort of imitates the original. The ultimate result is that everything is done with an object to obtain maximum pleasure. Rape is just one extreme of a spectrum of disrespect to the woman. When it is taught that all things are commodities for our pleasures, the woman also has become a commodity for the pleasure of man, rather than a soul-mate. The traditional beliefs and attitudes makes things all the more complex . . . further degrading the girl child and women.

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    1. Dear JK, I concluded the blog mentioning "it rapes them" precisely to highlight the commodification of women. They have been converted into commodities. They are not seen as human beings anymore.

      Even women's organisations that argue for legalisation of prostitution fail to see this aspect of the issue. In prostitution, the basic premise is: Convert women into commodities of pleasure for those who can by them.

      Even ads which use women for similar purposes use the same viewpoint.

      I don't know if I'm making myself clear. But I understood your point and thanks for your view which has added much value here.

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  9. I agree with you about giving more importance to value education in schools, and from home. A lot of 'conditioning' comes from how men treat their wives,kids and how the women of the house stand up for themselves..

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    1. Conditioning, yes, Sangeeta. Conditioning is what's done by parents. And later by teachers but in a limited way. Isn't that the reason for Wordsworth's famous line: "The child is father of man'?

      Please remember that men are conditioned. By whom? By the mother, primarily?

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  10. Very rightly said. Value . Teach.

    Parents to take the blame first. Second is the teacher.(who will teach those teachers, who are also in need of moral and value education?)

    Educate,as much as possible. But the main hurdle is the authorities and the politicians.

    This morning I saw a media report on our AP govt. CM trying to insert energy saving education in School.

    There you have it, if they want they can add anything to the curriculum. Why not value education , and respect for other human beings?

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    1. Thanks for both your comments, Pattu. Very meaningful comments. The solution is not easy, isn't it?

      If we teach people to applaud something more valuable than wealth, power, and so on, we can create a different world. But that calls for a paradigm shift.

      Value education should not be merely bookish. It has to be through real life examples. Values are internalised rather than learnt.

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