The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

The horrible rape of a 6-year old child at school is haunting all of us parents right now. The fact that the child was special-needs makes it all the more terrible. This strikes closer home because we not only know children who go to that same school, but also makes us wonder about and fear for the safety of our own children.

When you come down to it finally, how much can you protect your child? For the record, I do not think our boys are any safer. In fact, it’s much worse given the way we condition them to thinking crying is girly and showing emotion is not macho. So it’s more likely that any abuse they suffer is suppressed more.

When I went to pick up Lil D from school after her after-school activities, the security was tighter, the guards looked more worried, and were trying to verify multiple times that the children were going back with the right people. Lil D was a little perturbed, and eager to tell me the news that the principal had addressed them and asked them not to go out of the school by themselves, or go with strangers.

Let’s face it, our children are not really safe anywhere. Bad things could happen at school or at home, with strangers or with known people, when alone or with friends. There’s no telling really.

So what I sat Lil D down and told her was this.

Bad things can happen anywhere and everywhere. Just because car accidents happen, we don’t stop driving. We just drive more carefully and are more alert. Similarly, bad people are everywhere, but more importantly, in all of her life, she has met so many good people who were not bad. And that is what she needs to focus on. That she doesn’t have to live in fear because something might happen. Yes, she needs to be alert and take certain precautions like not coming back alone in the school bus or being careful when she is out with her friends. But there’s only so much we can do. We can’t stop living because of all the perceived threats.

She seemed reassured and then went off to play. How much she absorbed is difficult to estimate, but I do hope she retains the essence of my message.

My heart goes out to the little girl, and hats off to the courageous parents who brought this to light. Every parent stands with them today.

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4 thoughts on “The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

  1. Our kids are not safe anywhere today, maybe it is too much of media coverage and too much of Bollywood and many other woods’ effect that makes one think of such dastardly acts and attempt it with so much ease, I cant believe my Bangalore is becoming so unfriendly and unsafe.

    • Thanks Mayura, for your thoughts.

      Personally, I think the media coverage is good. It’s time these atrocities came out into the open so that we can actually tackle them head on. Until now, every child/person who suffered at the hands of a sleazy neighbour, family friend, or complete stranger suffered in silence, unable to raise their voice against the offenders. Now at least, with the focus on the crime, perspectives are changing. People are becoming more aware and realizing that keeping quiet is not going to get them anywhere. I hope our loud, vocal and vociferous protests bring about a change in the law and order situation.

      Bollywood and media — that’s a fine line because they hold up a mirror to society as much as society tries to mimic them. I guess the argument can go on without ever reaching any conclusion.

      Bangalore’s going through the pangs of growing up into a big city. But I think primarily, all over the country, the rule of law with swift justice is the need of the hour. Without that, any place is unsafe.

      Well, that was my longest reply ever, I guess, but the topic is like that only! Thanks again for your comments.

      • Yes Anitha totally agree that we should not be quiet about it, we certainly have to take it head on and deal with it but then it would be more gripping if the media screamed more about the punishment meted out to the culprits that would really make a difference and yes most movies are reflection of the societies but the poor depiction of women as mere sex objects make an adverse impact on idle minds. Like you said the topic is never ending but certainly swift loud justice and stricter sensitive laws with a little education to our little ones will surely help.

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