Monday, June 9, 2014

License to Procreating/Parenting:

In today’s world, there are a number of activities for which an individual or a group needs prior license or permission. For example, if someone wants to open a liquor shop in the neighborhood, he or she needs to have a license for that. For driving, opening some new business enterprise blah.. blah. But somehow in this myriad web of license raj, we have missed a critical issue.
In our Indian culture, generally parents have been given a status only next to GOD, and in some cases even higher than the Almighty. Because almighty is not going to manifest and change your diapers in the middle of the night or clean your dirty nosy…etc etc. But those were the days of Satyug and Shravan Kumar’s. We have also grown up hearing that “A Son can be a KAPUT but a mother will always be the mother”. Till now all is good and fair in the Ramanand-Sagar serial. But the twist comes, when the very people who are entrusted as the caregivers to the infant take liberties or go astray. Our first reaction is “Closing our ears”, and we go into the “Don’t tell, don’t react” zone. There are increasing cases of child abuse by parents and almost in 95% cases, father is responsible and the mother remains “MUM” for the fear of society, her husband or whatever.  Abuse by parents, be it sexual, physical or any kind, can leave a deep scar on the child’s psyche. Over all he may camouflage it, but internally his view of the world gets changed. There are extreme chances for kids who have been abused, that they turn into maniacs later in life. It can remain latent for a while but it’s like sitting on a live volcano. Of late movies have used this child-abuse-victim-turned- maniac sentiment in describing the background of the villain e.g Joker. In one of the installments of the Batman, Joker reveals the way he got these scars and how his father used to abuse his mother. I agree that it’s fictitious, but it’s based on the facts psychologists have been underlining for decades.

It made me think, what would be the effect on the child who faces or witnesses such violence, cruelty day in day out. How long can he stand it? Parents need to provide that protective environment for their wards. But are they capable of it?
 In a different research project , the findings of which I stumbled upon just by chance ,it was concluded after years of research into the background of serial killers or repeat offenders of gruesome crimes , that 90% of them, were at some  point of their impressionable age a victim or a witness to some abuse or violence. These impressions are very difficult to let go at that age.

My main intention in putting the arguments across was that somehow as a society we need to change the perception about parenting. We need to establish a mechanism through we can assess whether a person is capable enough to raise off-springs. The capability assessment needs to be holistic. Just a good CV should not be the criteria. A very foolproof psychoanalysis of a person might be necessary to understand whether a person is capable enough of being a guardian to a newly born baby. Every person may be having different mindset , approach  or methods of raising a kid, but we need to have a set guidelines to be able to decide  that ok ,”yes ,you can have kids” or put a red  stamp of rejection in case of some mismatch.Some people may raise the objection that rejecting people to have kids may stigmatize them, but we can have  method to release only the results not the complete analysis which should be kept private.
Even the people at the helm of child care centers, orphanages etc. should be bought into the ambit of this screening. We are coming across increasing reports of child abuse by the secondary people who come into the contact of a child, be it security guards or often drivers of school buses. So, even these people should be screened.
And parents should be taught/trained  to recognize the symptoms of child abuse. Often kids are unable to express the shock or emotions they feel after abuse, they mostly become withdrawn or uninterested.
Parents should be able to pick up on these signs and look out for reasons.
So, it is my view that like other aspects where license is required, a license to procreate or raise kids should also be there. “License” word seems a bit off putting, but it is what it is.
PS: It is high time that we also start introspecting, can I be a good parent?? If you start doing that, the purpose of my blog is achieved.

Would love to hear your views on this topic, feel free to comment

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