Friday 17 May 2024

Let Us Keep Our Children

 – Dr. M. Lakshmi Kumari (Yuva Bharati, 50th Year Special Commemorative Volume, May 1994)

The above cry was that of a bewildered mother raised in a reputed magazine of U.S.A. recently.

One of the worst tragedies that is happening to the West presently is that their children are no more children. They are fast losing their childhood. They are, before they realize what they are, finding themselves standing at the threshold, peeping into a world which is strange, bewildering, yet wickedly fascinating. Once their minds get set in that scenario all childhood fun and fancies, curiosities, innocence, playfulness, spontaneous expressiveness and along with it their mirth and laughter which lighten and brighten a home all of these also disappear. In its wake, rush in pretensions of adulthood, unjustified jealousies, falsifications, thirst and hunger for the forbidden and above all fragmented ideas and notions of life and its mysteries. The result- a ripeness without maturity like the artificially injected ripeness of our off-season fruits.

With thoughts turning into wrong channels, the body language gets misspelt. Hormones get their message much ahead of time. Physical demands overtake mental assessment and sure and certain, the brute in man, which the merciful hands of natural evolution keep in its special cage gets released untimely, without and before getting tamed. Children roam about in society with adult demands mutilating social norms and etiquettes. Bereft of the innocence and mirth of unsullied childhood on which is built up a healthy adulthood, the entire human life collapses like a pack of cards. Naturally, when in the place of her child a mother sees an 'adult' advancing towards her, what else can she do than cry out in agony not to take away the childhood of their children because along with it the motherhood, the fatherhood, the brotherhood - the entire family is shattered. "Let us keep our children," sums up the poignant grief and helplessness in a mother's heart faced with the rapid deterioration of the society in the West.

Are the children to be blamed or the elders or the leaders or our wanton submission to the super technologies totally neglecting the spiritual basis of life?

We in India are also on the brink of this catastrophe with our blind imitation of the Western ideals uprooting the values and norms of our time tested socio- family life. We have to face yet another tragedy, of poverty, of compulsions which send our children to work, to beg, to thieve. Again their childhood is lost forever, they enter into the adult world of deception, corruption and fight for survival.

It is time we paused to think why such things are happening. One of the reasons which easily comes to our mind is that we are introducing before the child the complexities of the adult world through the so-called exposure to a variety of media. TV, cinema, etc., which have definitely their role in polluting the world of a child's imagination. Narrow, congested environments in which millions of people live, whether it be urban rich or rural poor, leave the child with no option but of superfast growth to catch up with the adult life and practices. Over pre-occupation with material pursuits give no time for parents to nurture and develop the treasure chest of joy that the Almighty presents them with as a gift of chaste family life. The 'bundle of joy' as the children are called when they first appear soon develop into 'bundles of kill joy' when parents have to cope with time, space and energy in looking after them. With both parents struggling to earn their livelihood or to enhance their riches and luxuries, the child starts feeling acutely the pain of loneliness, emptiness and frustration. When these become explicit, he appears to be a rebel. When suppressed inside, it leads to psychological defects. It is important to save the child from both these calamities.

By our wrong lifestyles also we are adding to the emptiness around our children. We have nothing to bequeath to our children as we are already drawing heavily from the future. We are going to leave behind a planet not only mutilated and degraded beyond redemption but also scanty in natural resources. To catch up with this tragedy children necessarily have to grow up, 'not 'wasting time' in childhood. Tiny-tots wield guns, drive cars, get into pilots' seats in the plane, engage in law suits against parents and break open the closed doors of adult life. Before the parents realize, the children have turned into adults and the home life settles into silent intolerance or mistrust often bordering on hatred and violence.

An episode from the Mahabharata comes to mind which has some bearing in this context. After the war, the blind king Dritharasthra is consoling his much bereaved queen. He says, "Devi there is no way out of this tragedy for which you are also responsible. Can you recall the words I spoke on our first wedding night when I entered into our bed chamber and saw you sitting mute and blind? I had hoped to see the world through your eyes but you decided to blindfold yourself without caring for me. No doubt, you earned for yourself the great distinction of being a pathivrata. When our first child Duryodhana was brought to us, I put him on your lap and begged you to remove your blindfold and look at our first-born and drench him with mother's love pouring through your eyes. But you cared not. Preserving your unique pathivratya was more important for you than the well-being of your child. Your children were brought up without tasting the rare elixir of a mother's love and no wonder, they grew up rebellious, selfish, non-caring, as embodiments of adharma. On the other side, queen Kunti magnanimously gave way for Madri to accompany king Pandu to heaven, nurtured her own and Madri's children with rare maternal love and care. They grew up to become embodiments of Dharma, and today they stand victorious."

Our present-day world is getting filled with blind men and blindfolded women who have no time to take out of their selfish pursuits to care and nurture their children. Children losing their childhood could be the first warning signal that humanity is about to lose its 'humanhood'.

कथा : विवेकानन्द केन्द्र { Katha : Vivekananda Kendra }
Vivekananda Rock Memorial & Vivekananda Kendra :
Read n Get Articles, Magazines, Books @

Let's work on "Swamiji's Vision - Eknathji's Mission"

Follow Vivekananda Kendra on   blog   twitter   g+   facebook   rss   delicious   youtube   Donate Online

मुक्तसंग्ङोऽनहंवादी धृत्युत्साहसमन्वित:।
सिद्ध‌‌यसिद्धयोर्निर्विकार: कर्ता सात्त्विक उच्यते ॥१८.२६॥

Freed from attachment, non-egoistic, endowed with courage and enthusiasm and unperturbed by success or failure, the worker is known as a pure (Sattvika) one. Four outstanding and essential qualities of a worker. - Bhagwad Gita : XVIII-26

No comments:

Post a Comment