Points to Ponder
A FIRST POINT: A friend of mine came to see me and he said that nowadays parents do not care what their children are doing. For the sake of this article, I shall call the friend Anand. Granted that government has provided free education and free transport but it is the duty of the parents to see to it that the children attend the school where they are registered. On probing further, Anand told me that he has some neighbours, very nice people, he said, and both the mother and father work very hard to provide a good living for the family.
However, are they doing the right thing by their children? The eldest girl attends a good secondary school. She leaves home on time. The other day, my friend was walking behind the girl who was dressed in her school uniform and both went to the bus stop. There is a public toilet near the bus stop and suddenly the girl went in the toilet. Anand thought very strange that the girl had left home about five minutes ago and she could have used her toilet before leaving home.
Three minutes later, Anand got the surprise of his life. The girl came out from the toilet and she was not wearing her school uniform. She was dressed in a lovely looking dress. And she did not come at the bus stop. A young man was waiting for her and they went to some place which is away from school.
Anand did not mention this matter to the parents of the supposed school girl. Does the family know that the eldest daughter is conducting herself in such a disgusting manner? That she leaves home for school properly dressed but she ends up nobody knows where?
The parents work hard but should that be all? In so far as we are concerned, the first duty of parents is to see to it that the children are well cared for. It is better for the parents to give the bare necessities to their children and keep an eye on their proper behaviour, on their proper schooling, on their manners, on their following the religious precepts, on the friends that they have, and on the fact that the parents have regular conversations with the children rather than being satisfied with providing them only material comforts. Parents must spend quality time with their children and only then the children will feel that that they have well caring parents.
How many parents are behaving like true and proper parents? If you will ask me, I will say about one per cent and, even here, I may be exaggerating. The parents are running after money or their pleasure. They always want to outdo the friends and neighbours. How many parents teach proper behaviour to their children? How many of them are keenly interested in their proper schooling? Are they interested for the children to understand their religion? What measures do they take for that? How many times are the children taken to places where religious discourses are held? How many times are the children taken to places of worship where they can learn their religion? Religion must be taught to children by parents initially and then by the religious organisations. Are they doing their duty? One runs after money and the other after some nebulous fame.
It seems that the parents are interested only in securing a seat in a supposedly good school for their children and their duty is done. The teachers are interested only in teaching what their timetable dictates. Many teachers are interested more importantly in giving private tuition while the good conduct of the pupils appears to be no concern of theirs. All these visible shortcomings are contributing to let the future of our children go to the dogs. Who cares?
Abortion — the woman’s opinion
A SECOND POINT: Abortion is not a subject on which everybody can agree. Tot homines quot sententiae, goes the saying. The philosophical issue, the moral issue, the religious issue, the layman’s opinion, the intellectual’s opinion, society’s opinion and above all, the opinion of the person who is directly concerned, that is the woman concerned and, to a lesser extent, the man concerned, have all to be considered.
The opinion that matters most is the woman’s opinion. If she is pregnant and wants to get rid of the foetus, the question is why. Any other person cannot be in the place of the woman, let this be clear. But should she be allowed to get rid of the unborn baby simply because she does not want it? That is the question. The obvious answer is a definite no. Therefore it stands to reason that there must be cases where the women concerned should be given permission to get rid of unborn children and this should be done under the supervision of only duly qualified medical doctors.
We all know that backyard abortion is a real problem in the country. We do not know how many such cases we have on a daily basis. We can be informed how many women attend the hospitals when an abortion goes wrong. Multiply this figure by 100 and you will get an approximate number of backyard abortions. At the same time you have the cases of the well-to-do women who can afford the best doctors for their abortion and quite a number of them go overseas and have their abortion done on the sly.
We would like to know how much money is spent on patients of backyard abortions which turn out to be life threatening to the women concerned. It is well known that some women die as a consequence of miscarried abortions. Other women contract infections and become infertile.
Who can say at what moment the atma or the consciousness or the soul enters the body of the unborn baby? It is only then that a viable human being is really created. Therefore in an ideal situation, before the atma or the consciousness or the soul enters the body, there cannot be a crime or a sin when a woman decides to get rid of an unwanted child. But government is right to allow abortion in certain specific cases. However, there must be clear, proper and specific guidelines, which cannot be subject to different interpretations, of when an abortion can be allowed. Legal sanctions must be spelt out and anyone, be he or she a doctor, a nursing officer or other persons of doubtful character acting beyond the confines of the law, must receive an exemplary punishment acting as a deterrent against any abuse.
The men of religion talk a lot; they are a couple of hundreds whereas the others are the rest. The men of religion may be right or they may be wrong. It is their duty to convince the others with cogent arguments but so far we have not heard any such argument. Questions like who am I? What is atma or consciousness or the soul? From where am I coming and where am I heading? These are some of the questions that must first be answered, because these days people do not accept blind faith; they want to question the very basis of every faith would like somebody like Dr Neerunjun Gopee, our regular contributor, to give us his opinion on the few questions I have raised above. He is a medical doctor and writes about religion. He is the right man to tell us when does the foetus become a viable human being above all.
Equality between men and women
A THIRD POINT: I regularly come across debates relating to the question of equality between men and women, be it in politics or in any other spheres. God has created men for a specific purpose and women for some different purpose. Men and women, at least a sizeable number of them, think otherwise, which means that these men and women think that they know better than God. I am thinking more especially of our politicians.
We do have in our society men who act as women and they play the role of women and, on the other hand, we also have some women who act as men and they play the role of men. They simply forget the role that God has created for them.
I would like to put a question and it is a very simple one. All the persons around me state and agree that in a ship, there is only one captain, though he takes all decisions after consulting all the persons he should consult. In a family also, the same situation should prevail. The head of the family has, at the end of the day, to take the final decision. Does everybody agree with this idea? Those who do not agree should say so.
* Published in print edition on 25 May 2012