Should Children Be Part of Political Protest? Or more precisely should children be part of any vitriolic campaigns?
Thank God!! The Delhi assembly elections are over. I must admit, painfully tough that electioneering in India has become synonymous to bitterly cacophonous, and with time it has become vitriolic bluster plumbing new depths every time. It’s almost a ritual now, but I think we have also developed imperiousness to these sullenly cynical high decibels as well.
And this time it was well expected in Delhi given to the fact that CAA, NPR and NRC protests were going to be blended in the election campaigns.
However my objective isn’t about the electioneering in India, rather I am more concern about one particular thing. During this process unfortunately children have been used as a part of these protests/campaigns which I feel is something we should seriously think about. Here are some of my personal encounters on various social media.
Few days back I saw someone shared a picture on Twitter where a toddler was seeing in a Namaste pose and the text written on the picture was “Hindu.. Jag Jao”. I immediately replied him that, that’s unfair and children shouldn’t be made part of such things. He argued that nothing is going to affect that child and that’s nothing playing with the childhood. I said, “.It’s not about the child but about how do we respect and protect childhood.” He apologized immediately and told me that he would take care of it in future.
After few days my attentions were caught by a similar kind of post against Modiji shared by a journalist, columnist and a veteran author whose columns I never miss a read. I instantly pointed out but as expected why would a celebrity author care for it!!
And then it seemed things have gone much more ahead. At Shaheen Bagh I saw the clips of children the sloganeering angrily against CAA, NPR and NRC and whatever they were taught by their elders.
At the same time, on Twitter I found a video of a girl under 10yrs, reciting a poem “Goli maro gadaron ko” (I don’t know who has written that) on a school function I guess while her teacher was standing beside her. And then in a video a journalist was asking few children (std 1 to 3) why didn’t they go for school that day to which they answered teacher told them to be at Shaheen Bagh as “Modi kutta hai and musalmano ko bhaga dega, but hum nahi jayenge”. On asking who told them so, they replied aajtak. And thank God the journalist convinces them saying nothing wound happen to them that way and they should go to school to which the children happily complied.
Recently on face book too I saw an under 10 Kashmiri girl reciting a poem “Hindustani ne ek kutta pala, jiska naam Modi hai” something like that. I think everyone whoever in any social media must have encountered such unpleasant stuffs.
My point is, is it necessary to make children part of such distasteful things. In Indian way of life across any religion or belief, more precisely in our social life we don’t even allow our children to be a part of any family disputes…let alone any public scuffles. Moreover even parents don’t fight before children and they are often advised to do so by the elders of the family as a measure to keep young and tender minds of the children which may have a serious impact. Movies which have violence above a point are not given U/A certificates…so that children shouldn’t even watch those movies. Then how can we feed our children with political, religious or community hatred and make them involved in it? Isn’t it an evidence of our sick minds?
Second, how is it justified taking them to public places or public protests like Shaheen Bagh? Often such public protests are potentially dangerous situations. Highly unpredictable in nature. There is no control over how the other people will act or react. Chances are that a peaceful protest may tits up and end up in violence. So isn’t taking children to such places is endangering their lives? Isn’t it a violation of their human right to live? Unfortunately the death of a four month old infant at Shaheen bagh, Delhi was reported due to extreme cold and what’s more sad was parents leveled it “shaheed”. Really!! Since when it became a definition of “Bravery” to take children and pushed them to the death well?
They don’t even know what the heck is done with them by their so called custodians, parents. And how can parents who should ideally protect them, their childhood, and their innocence, put them in such life threatening situations? Isn’t a part of parenting about minimizing risks and protecting children from any violence or danger?
From feeding hatred to putting their lives in danger, using them as a tool to get attention and sympathy is what has become a practice now a day’s across all political, religious and any group for that matter.
I don’t have problem with any protest, reasonable or unreasonable, I don’t have any issue if anyone or group wants to push their political or religious agenda. I don’t have issue with any bitter/sweet political campaigns…
But I have a serious reservation when children are used in such stuffs. I wish and hope that there will be a complete BAN on it by the concern authority. We must think repeatedly Should Children be Part Of Any Political Protest?
Children at this point of time are already loaded with challenges like nutrition, hunger, right to education, trafficking, begging, child labor etc. Isn’t it a sin to load them with our agenda of hatred and odium?
I appeal everyone to protest against such things which are happening in and around us. Whenever I notice such things on social media, I report it immediately. Similarly I make it a point to speak against it, right away.
Let’s SPARE children and let’s SAVE their childhood. Neither in private or public places feed them with our hatred, beliefs what-so-ever and messed up their tender minds and innocent hearts