To Unanswered Questions of Childhood

Posted by Shreya Mrigen
January 10, 2017

From our very childhood, we are given lessons on moral values and ethics by our parents, elders and in our schools, by our teachers and the books we read. In addition to that, we read lessons of history to know what lies in the past. Civics also contributed to us knowing what our duties for the country are as it’s citizens. But one thing that got left behind in this process, was the present world and its realities.

Under the guise of saving children from the harsh truths of life, both educational institutions and parental guidance failed to answer many questions that children have to face as adults later in life. The tabooed talk relating to sex is hardly ever a topic of discussion in any Indian home even after gaining a mature age.

But what our society has failed to understand that not talking about things won’t stop them from happening. For instance, children from a very young age being not acquainted with the inappropriateness of someone’s touch is the most prominent reason for child sexual abuse to go unnoticed so many times.

In the duration of twelve years of schooling too, they don’t learn about crime relating to sexual assaults from any reliable source, but for the media. Hence, when young women become victims of crimes like rape or any kind of sexual abuse, they don’t know how to handle the situation since they have been so “well-protected” by the society. It’s necessary that we realise that keeping our mouth shut in front of small children or making there mouth shut when they ask questions that society claims to be “inappropriate”, won’t work to help anyone but the criminals.

We were told stories of great fighters, of wars that ended with peace treaties, of religions and how we all are equal in every respect. But never did we hear of terrorism, or of borders that still separate us. Never did those books bear the reason for dissent between people on grounds that were told to be irrelevant. Those words had the power to change the future by reciting the cause of dispute between religions and teach the mentality of those people that caused it.

The everyday wrongs that were done under the name of religion around the world, could be brought to our understanding at a very early age. The tender years which shape an individual could be moulded by openly describing the state of world and stating what was wrong. Instead, to keep us “safe”, it was decided that we close our books with happy endings.

But, when life turned up it became difficult for us to accept it, for we lived in an angel’s land where everything was supposed to be perfect.

Why, in our books, we didn’t read anything about all this? Why values were preached to make a perfect world, but nothing was ever written to fight back when that wasn’t the case? Why history taught us of heroes of wars, but no lesson to spot culprits of today’s world? Why ethics were taught by means of prayers, but never a word on how to treat a woman? Why nationalism was instilled with glories of past without a glimpse of showing how to save it now? Why it was said that everyone had freedom when evidently many of us do not? Most importantly, why the reality of our lives was based on a myth when the bubble had to burst and we had to see the world as it is now?