Saturday, September 01, 2007


I remember being taught “matha, pitha, guru, deivam” or “mother, father, teacher, god” way back in school during my earliest Tamil classes.

The order of priority may vary and I’m sure is an intensely personal issue, but the fact that parents and teacher are elevated above the Almighty shows the roles and responsibilities they have.

However we have seen incidents that were probably going on for so long but now have been brought to the public eye by our innumerable media houses, incidents like beating, abuse, molestation, rape and other unspeakable abuses the children endure under the hands of teachers. Too often we see teachers committing crimes that deserve the strictest possible form of punishment and often getting away with it easily.

Yesterday we saw a teacher in a girl’s school trapped in a sting operation by a Hindi news channel. Her crime (yes, it was a woman), drugging her students and making pornographic movies with them, later on using these movies to threaten them into prostitution.

I was so revolted by the news and for a while I did not know how to react. My heart goes out to all those kids who have to endure all these abuses during the best part of their lives; they will surely be scarred for life.

But as I condemn such teachers, I wonder what are the parents doing? It is all very good to go around torching jeeps and stoning buses and making a general nuisance of themselves just to show their fury at the teacher, who incidentally has just been suspended and is in police custody.

So many questions cloud my mind:

  • Why are the parents reacting and not being proactive to ensure that such crimes never occur? They may not know that a pervert teaches their kids but surely there will be some tell tale signs.

  • Are not the parents the first line of defense for any child? Don’t children confide their fears and worries with their parents anymore?

  • How can parents of these victims be so oblivious to such things till they see it on the news?

  • When a baby cries, I have seen with amazement that the mother knows whether it is for milk or a change of nappy without a single word being spoken. Yet when these children go to school and endure so many scars, can not the parents see the un-cried tears in the eyes?

  • Is there a break down in the parent child communication?

  • Do parents have time actually for their children?

I remember even while in college my mother used to take active interest in what happened at class, often irritating “grown up” me. But this was something that she used to do from my kindergarten. Though the quantity and quality of the information decreased over the years it still was an open channel of communication for which today I’m intensely grateful for. I know without doubt that if I would have had one bad day in school over the years, my mother would have known, either by my words or by my actions. Even today she has not lost her skills but chooses to stay in the back ground till she is asked.

Thank you mum.


Zee said...

very sad how teachers were so highly respected and aren't worthy of it anymore...

Gayatri said...

its a screwed up world we live in.. :|

The Mahathma said...

it was incorrigible

Bullshee said...

makes me wonder whether havin kids is such a good go through all that worry..... :(

PurpleHeart said...

The news was painful ! And the worst thing was there was no FIR filed against her. A mere suspension and they were done with it .Is this all they get for being inhuman ?

ToOothlEss WOndeR! said...

a child grows his own personal sapce after he/she is 13 or so.. and the last person you would want there would be one of your parents.
adolosence puts (best) friends in that place, but i dont know if someone would even confide in their best friend if something like that happened.

yes, trust and undestanding between the parent and child can help, but i think that's too far fetched an idea. there's something called generation gap that makes you speak a different language.

JollyRoger said...

@ Toothles: The bottom line is like you said, IT CAN HELP. Its a pity that its not being used.

You not wanting your parents to be around is what is called the generation gap. Don't discount your parents they are not as naive as you think them to be.

Bungi said...

This is very true. Child abuse is one of the things that is hardly spoken about. But people are beginning to wake up.

That aside, one other crime that teachers commit and get away with is neglecting their duties. They are paid but hardly do any work. This is treason against the country for not preparing the future citizens.

Trinity said...

@purple heart
that teacher herself would have gone thro a difficult childhood... even if you think she was greedy, she would nt have done this unless she had a scarred background.

Gem said...

I am surprised that happened in a school and done by a teacher.I wonder how he/she became a teacher.
I believe students who are trapped into this kind of racket are ones who lack attention from family especially parents love.Therefore kids who havent recieved that would surely seek another way . And these kids are easy prey for them.And those parents will never know wats happening to their kids ..
We can stop child abuse starting from our own family,giving love and care to our kids.And the environment we create where they can trust us.
The abuser is mostly not the stranger rather people who behave very friendly ..can be a neighbour, a relative,or a friend or a van driver A [b]teacher!![/b]

The Mahathma said...

i heard it was a fake sting operation with some stupid journalist victimising a teacher for money by having hired some people to enact the whole thing! i dont know if it is true

Priya said...

It's actually scary to let the kids out of the home these days.. no one knows when what'll strike or which sicko will set his/her eyes on them! :-( small thing about the 'maatha pitha guru deivam' part: its not the order of priority like its popularly misunderstood..the real meaning in that is we're born from our mother (matha) - from her we know who our father is (pitha) - our father shows us our teacher (guru) and finally, through our guru we realize God (deivam). It does not mean mother and father are placed higher than God.

JollyRoger said...

@ Priya: Thanks for clearing the misunderstanding, it was news to me.