Friday, March 27, 2009

Despicable creations, not fathers

A girl's father is the first man in her life, and probably the most influential. - David Jeremiah (Quoted in Fathers Who Dare to Win by Ian Grant, 1999)

I wish to draw your attention to the darker gruesome facet of this statement. A Josef Fritzl shocked the world a quarter of an year ago. To the shock and disgust of many of us, there has been a sudden spurt of cases like Fritzl's in India over the past couple of months.

Spare a thought for those girls who have been subjected to incest by men whom they look up to; men, who, ideally are supposed to protect them from the depravity in society existing due to a heavy influence of baser instincts in people's actions.

In cases where the female sex has been exploited by spineless insensitive men, decision makers in the society have prescribed nothing less than capital punishment as a deterrent for the perpetrators. In most of these cases, the perpetrators have been related to the victim's family in some manner. Such is the gravity assigned to existence of trust between the perpetrator and the victim in cases of exploitation that a supreme court ruling treats illicit relationships between a man and a woman under merely the promise of marriage as rape. In terms of the existence of trust, the father probably occupies the highest pedestal in a girl's life. Considering the precedents that we have set, and the case in question, isn't it justified to call for a form of punishment far more grave than capital punishment for the fathers in question?

India can continue to be a 'Shantipriya' country and treat these cold blooded, apathetic individuals with velvet covered batons. 'Law will take its own course', 'No criminal shall escape the long hands of the law' - seem fairly lame and laced in idealistic philosphy to say the least. My prime point of contention here is concerned with the whole psyche of society with such cases coming to the fore. I fear that these cases threaten to dislodge the whole equilibrium that exists in familial relationships in India today. Let me cite a statistic in UK to substantiate my apprehensions: A week ago, the Telegraph reported - "More than a quarter of England's primary schools have no male teacher". A source from TDA(Training and development agency, Great Britain) said "People expect male teachers to fit into one of two stereotypes: sporty and practical or effeminate and 'therefore gay'," he says." I am neither, so I'm in a sort of uneasy third place. People can be suspicious of your motives and feel they need an explanation, which they don't with female teachers."

I was as flabbergasted as you are, after reading this statement. Well, if you were to check the increase in the cases of pedophilia over the past few years in the UK, you would understand that the claims of this TDA representative are not unfounded.

The same logic applies to the cases of incest as well. Cases like those of the demonic, reprehensible fathers, threaten to alter the societal make-up and manipulate the existing equilibrium of trust.

An appeal to all the parents witnessing such degeneration in society : Counsel your children. In today's scenario, when your kids are growing up ogling at crass reality television and base naked truths shown on news channels, it is never too early to have a heart to heart chat with your kid and have him/her confide in you.

Transformation from a boy to a man is purely biological but transformation from a man to a father is something far deeper and emotional. Maturity gained during such a transformation, should be utlized in instilling a sense of right and wrong in the generation of today.


R J said...

It would not be a surprise if many such skeletons tumble out of the closet in this country.The reality in rural India is a stark contrast from what pseudo sophisticated urban indians comfort themselves with.Incest in all forms is suppressed under the gag of social taboo but is indeed a well practiced art (sic).North India (and I wouldn't call that a generalization) has a gangrenous disrespect for its girl child having been brought up on a diet of male chauvinism.Believe me, there are at least a hundred Fritzls in mofussil India dying their silent deaths.

Nikhil said...

Agree completely. Even as I type this, there are two more cases being shown on news channels. India is currently becoming precocious, not mature. Promotion of such voyeurism on Television news and calling it free journalism is the lamest cop out that the fourth estate has embraced. Get social activists on board, start campaigns and educate parents. We surely dont want a situation as you described in North in the whole of India. Consider, a mother not having the confidence to leave her daughter alone with her husband. Scary.