• Adyar Times

From the Fryingpan to the Fire

By M.Rajini

I am scared to read the newspaper these days.

Image : Vector Stock

The headlines are often abduction, kidnap, rape, child abuse, or sexual assault on children of all ages. Protecting them from several shades of misconduct has become a priority over educating them. At an age when we have to open their eyes to perceive and appreciate nature, its flora and fauna, we are in a frenzy to teach them what the birds and bees do.

How did it come to this?

As children we played in the streets donned in a small petticoat, sweat streaming down our backs as we played hide and seek with all the children in the tenement. Parents considered it safe that we kids were all in one place having fun; it was common to see a mother entering households to see where her child is and fetch her or him back home after playtime.

Is this even possible now!!!

Do you know why all children look adorable, irrespective of their colour or status? Even the runny nose ones are charming. It is because they do not have a care in the world, they trust us totally, and they are innocent. We have robbed them of all of their innocence and made them vulnerable. We are teaching them to be wary of everyone around. Imagine the embarrassment of a mother when her child asked a guest to their house if he was a ‘good touch’ uncle or ‘bad touch’ uncle.

It is convenient to blame the media, the movies, and the flood of porn content on the internet. But each individual should also introspect and see if we, in any manner, or conduct, have led to a general disrespect of women in the society and projected the species as mere objects of glamour and beauty. After all, respect cannot be demanded; it is commanded…….

I had written the above passage in March 2020, worried about what the world has come to, and how God is going to stop the scandalous conduct of a few, which has disturbed the society at large. It is indeed a miracle that God answered my prayers. There is no nauseating news item that chokes me to think of the plight of a child. Where have the perverted men and youth gangs gone!!!!! They are still lurking in the shadows for fear of death by a virus.

Schools and colleges are closed and parents are at home with the children. I would say that this is the only positive outcome of the Covid19. But ‘Stay Home Stay Safe’ is not a solution. Attitudes should change. There should be a fundamental change in educating the children, especially, boys should be taught to respect girls. Healthy boy-girl relationships should be encouraged. Chauvinism by either is shameful.

For now, such incidents are kept at bay by the media, or they do not happen. Anyway, there is another monstrous virus pandemic to fill the columns with stories and statistics. Media is having a field day feeding purgatives to the readers and viewers with a spooky BGM (background music).

Many medical emergencies are brought about by spine-chilling accounts of how COVID patients meet their end. Those with pre-existing medical conditions are driven to panic. Fear kills immunity and the pandemic curve climbs easily. This is exactly what newspapers and media are doing to us.

I am scared to read the newspaper these days.

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