A kid in Noida is killed, and the media is having a field day. It looks like Aarushi (the child) was murdered by her own father. NDTV is going an on an overkill approach – a panel discussion, a peep into the kid’s school project, the clothes she bought for her upcoming birthday. The ticker on TV is showing SMS opinions from the audience. A sample –
– Aarushi’s murder is a case of Indian society going the sameway as those in the west.
– We are slowly becoming a morally bankrupt society, we are forgetting our values.
– These kind of incidents will keep on rising as parents leave their children to maids for care
– Aarushi’s case is an effect of the growing trend of adapting the western attitude in our metros.
– The world has changed, but I could never imagine it has worsened to this extent.
– I hope it’s now how the Indian society shapes up in the days to come.
– This is a true picture of urban metros, but not a picture of whole India.
If the death of a child didn’t make me so sad, these messages may have baffled me even more. For some reason or the other, there’s this grand assumption that childhood in India is perfect. That it is full of doting affection from relatives. That children in India, especially those in financially comfortable homes are always happy. That only Indian parents care for their kids. That malls, brands and television have corrupted parents. When in fact, children have always been vulnerable in this country. Except that the ones in lower economic classes don’t get all that much attention.
But an upper middle class kid being killed hits home. And people scurry around looking for answers. Hoping to blame anything they think is an “outside” influence. Make statements about how the world is getting worse. Or how only urban centres are violent. (And rural areas in India are pastures of peace and dignity.) Apparently people are shocked that an Indian parent could do this. As I type this, a panel member on NDTV is insisting that working parents must put their children in hostels.
In sum, a fourteen year old kid is dead.