Sunday, November 25, 2012

Do we want our child to rejoice death?

Since Kasab was hanged last week, i have been hearing various interviews of the victims, police officers, and other social activist. One of the common response has been 'We are satisfied that he was hanged. Although there has been a delay in the court sentence, the justice has been done'. Some of the comments on the net, on the other hand, generously took a long term view of hanging, when they said " We should not be satisfied with Kasab's hanging. We should catch the other perpetrators of crime."

Therefore, i was pleasantly surprised when i read this response of Ashish Chowdhry, an actor, who lost his sister and brother-in-law in the 26/11 terror attack. He said

" I do not see any point in rejoicing any body's death. Justice is done to small part of the problem. I am a father, i don't want to set that as an example for my children"

Such incidents, which happen less frequently in our society, are the perfect instances that we can use to help our child learn about life. Because if we try to tell our child about death and life, he will ignore us because death is not a salient context for him at his age. If we try to share a universal principle that ' criminals are produced by the society', he may not agree with us. In short, if we do not help our child learn from these socially poignant and emotionally intense situations, how do we prepare our child to face the challenges of life

It is in these situations that we can help our child understand that Kasab may have been an innocent child like him, but because he was born around wrong people, imbibed wrong teachings and was taught to hate. Kasab did not plan his future, his future was created for him by the people around him. And more importantly, if one Kasab is hanged, there are more than hundreds of Kasabs being produced every month and year. In other words, we can help our child understand the difference of terrorists and terrorism, which he otherwise is not just interested in knowing.

We can help our child understand how educated people are pulled into terrorism. We can also teach our child, that though we may not be able to fight terrorists, we can fight terrorism. We can share with him the stories of heroic people who are fighting terrorism. For instance, how Greg Mortenson is fighting terrorism by opening schools in Afghanistan. Or how an Orissa Collector managed to bring together people to fight terrorism, not terrorists.  And why it it is better to fight terrorism, instead of fighting terrorists.

Instead of letting child rejoice in a death of terrorist, it will help him if he understands how to prevent the emergence of terrorism, because his future lies in stopping terrorism. In tomorrow's society, we will not be able to stop terrorists because they will be amongst us, not around us. Our children therefore have to learn to stop terrorism. As Ashish Chowdhury said it succintly 'I will rejoice when killing in the name of God will stop". We should also rejoice at the death of terrorism, not for the death of terrorist. 

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