Sunday, July 18, 2010

SC supports pregnant students

Even though India is still amazingly conservative on topics like dating, live-in relationships and premarital sex, its Supreme Court has made some radical rulings in the past. After giving a nod to live-in relationships and declaring premarital sex as not an offence, the SC is now asking educational institutions to be more considerate to their pregnant students by relaxing attendance rules for them. What is  so great about this order is that single pregnant women are also included in this consideration. In India, it is no secret that an unwed mother is disapproved of and an illegitimate child stigmatized for life. It is therefore an exceptionally drastic step for the highest judicial body to take.

"If any woman candidate is deprived or detained in any of the semesters just on the ground that she could not attend classes being in advanced stage of pregnancy or due to delivery, such an act would not only be completely in negation of the conscience of the Constitution but also of women’s rights and gender equality this nation has long been striving for," the court observed.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Minor on Minor

6/63, Turf View, Hastings was an address I used for the longest time in my life. It's where I grew up for six wonderful years! It's where I made friends, lost friends, fell in love, got my heart broken, learnt how to drive, had my first accident, got my eyebrows done the first time-in short, nearly all my important memories are associated with that one address. A few days back, every single one of those memories was replaced by a horrifying incident that I never in my wildest dreams imagined would happen there! Some of my friends, while innocently hanging out on the rooftop of a building, came across the molested and murdered body of a five year old girl. If you think this is bad, the details that came out in the newspapers the next day will make you miss a heartbeat. Her molesters and murderers were two boys aged 14 and 12. Not only did they end a little girl's life brutally, they also went down and played football with their friends after their work was done.

What turns two boys, barely in their teens, brutal rapists and thoughtless murderers? Who and what do we blame? The parents, for their inability to teach their children the basic values of humanity? The media, for their complete failure in putting across any kind of positive message ? The society and the education system, for forcefully keeping away from children the knowledge that helps them deal with changes in their body and in their environment?

I cannot think of a more unhealthy environment for children to grow up in than the one we have today. Sure our parents did not share much with us either. Sure we secretly watched TV serials that we were told not to. Sure we huddled together secretly in a corner and chuckled over "dirty adult jokes". But not many of us grew sexually deranged. For today's kids its different (An instance can be found in this post). Their minds mature faster than their bodies. They are exposed to television, internet and other technology from their childhood. They are aware of the fact that they live in a world where power is everything. They know sex crimes are on a rise, politicians are corrupt and money gets you friends. In a world like this, it is important that they get proper and continual guidance from their guardians! Children NEED sex education classes. Children NEED to be told about puberty. They NEED to know all of this so their sexual energy is properly channelised. So they don't learn about such things from pornography! It's time to let go of the taboos of the past. You can't protect your children by hiding the truth.