A Statistical, Psychological & Spiritual analyses of whats wrong in Indian parenting & family system. Insights into our eminent near future: Must Must Read !!
I have sat 4 times before to write this, but could not finish even two starting lines. What I am writing is not a fiction, it is facts and my direct perception of the things that affect the whole of our population but goes largely unnoticed. The article is targeted mainly for Indian audience but is a quite a good look for all the parents around the world if they see the idea behind my writing, I have seen the discussed problems prevalent in many parts of the world.
So, Lets start this. This article is a synergy of data, statistics, psychology, freedom, spirituality and absolute truth. I will tell you story of 4 girls whom I know by heart, aged 17–24 currently but the story is not just of their current times. It is the story and reality of their past as a kid from the time of birth to school and more, their future and what I don’t wish for that future. I will tell you story of 10 parents; parents who are also businessman, doctor, engineer but first and foremost parents. It is a story of 20–30 more boys and girls whom I know and have heard of regular. It is the story of 1000s of Indian parents and their kids whom I come up across regularly in my life through some way or other. It is a story that sees the reason of all the hatred, inefficiency, anger that is present in our country currently.
First I like to start with data. I don’t want the intellectual people to discard this article with the outright comment that it is just case of some specific 100 people. I know what I speaking of and the scale at which it impacts everyone.
I downloaded the excel file for Census 2011 data and find out that 49.9% population of India is below the age 24. The reason I present this number is that this is the age limit uptil which children in India are still quite under the influence and reliability of their parents — for love, guidance, money, studies and all. Some sense of “childness” is still there. Half of our population is in this range and this is the half that in next 10–20 years will execute all the industries, projects, farms and shape out our India. How we internally shape this 49.9% is how we shape the country. Most of you will agree with me that upto age of 24, personality is quite fluctuating. Kids learn from their parents, friends, peers and every thing that affects them to nurture and shape ‘what they are’. Those of who know psychology understand the importance of first 17 years quite critically. (38% of Indian population is as such). Also, 47.7% of this 0–24 age population is of females. These are the human beings who will bear new baby humans in future and become mothers and reflect upon their own personality in their kids.
So, lets talk about the 49.9% of youth of India (600 million in number) who will be the executives of our country for next 20 years and 47.7% (300 million in number) of this population which is female who are also going to be executive + mothers in this nation. Why I stress upon mothers will be clear to you as we proceed further. I will present many more numbers further in the article.
Now the 4 girl Stories first. All names are changed. I will come to psychology, spirituality and truth after this.
1. 23 year old Aditi lives in Delhi. She is in final year of her computer science, engineering degree. Her father is an engineer, mother a home maker. In terms of finance and stability, her family is at par. Aditi was sexually abused as a kid by a cousin when she was 14. Aditi’ sister was setup in an arranged marriage 1 year back and her husband has a girl friend outside marriage. She has to live with that. Aditi was wild and lovely in her fervors. After many trials and trifles, she has a boyfriend now whom she is committed to marry. Aditi’s parents sometimes end up beating her on the agenda that Aditi is not agreeing to an arranged marriage. They have given threats of killing to her if she does not go by the ‘culture and tradition’ of their family. Police has also arrived at their house on the complaint of Aditi when things were getting out of hand and she was feeling threatened. The parents feel that their duty with their other elder girl who is stuck with a cheating husband is not their agenda now, they are free of her life.
Most surprising thing is that ‘Aditi’s mother’ , herself a female has the larger hand in this struggle towards kid. Her father instead of seeing her daughter as his extension and love her, just turns out to be a hen-pecked husband. In past few months, in all the struggle , Aditi has lost 5 kg weight , her face looks down, and her mood is as fluctuating as her environment.
Aditi has thought seriously of suicide as well. But fortunately, only close people she has in her life are not parents, Pardon the irony. She has with her boyfriend, me and one more female best friend to ensure that she feels loved and is hopeful of a bright future. She meditates on daily basis, sometimes twice a day and that keeps her sane.
Aditi wants a settled marriage life and kids whom she insists she will not raise as her parents raised her.
2. 18 year old Ratna lives in Mumbai. She is a 12th passout and is waiting for a college admission. Ratna’s parents are doctors and can be said to be considerably rich as per Indian standards. Ratna’s father did not want a girl child. But you know when a child is born , it looks cute and it feels right to raise the child. So, they raised her. Ratna has been inappropriately touched by her father as a kid. Ratna’s father has had affairs outside marriage whom her mother knew of. If you are guessing how does I know of all this ? , to clear it out Ratna’s mother in some moments of love and honesty with her daughter, revealed these two her. And Ratna then revealed this to me. Wait trouble does not end here. Ratna has a 1 year older brother as well, who apparently does not look down at Ratna just as her sister.
Ratna is a devoted singer, she has learnt professionally for 2 years, used to practice daily previously. I have heard her and the sweetness and clarity of her sound just strikes you. She is not the every girl — I like to sing persona. She is a professional. Music, she feels has been what has carried her through out her life. So naturally, she wanted to do a bachelor degree in music. But you know doctor parents , ofcourse they want her to be a doctor. Ratna says, “I can study science like bsc, or something similar but medical is not her interest.” But no !!, Ratna’s parents want her to be a doctor only, no dentist, no scientist, no musician, a proper doctor.
Due to Ratna’s parents assuming that their daughter is a slut, she is confined to her home. Ratna has not been able to go to even a park since last 10 months. She has not since then met any close friend including me. Sometimes she gets the opportunity to go on roof, balcony or near by market to buy things for 10 minutes. She does not have a phone or Internet. Ratna has now adapted to this closure inside her home. She now feels afraid of going outside. Ratna imagines her lover to be with her inside the home and talks to him. Ratna can’t sing much in home as her brother does not like it and ensures that he puts an end to her any song mid way.
Generally when parents are off to work, kids get freedom. But Ratna has a ‘parent’ in form of her brother too. So he also ensures Ratna does not go outside. Ratna has been termed as useless, shameful creation by her family. Ratna does do household chores like cooking , cleaning and tries to fit in. To all of them, Ratna has 3–4 boyfriends who actively have had sex with her. In reality Ratna has a single committed boyfriend and she is a still a virgin. To be clear, I don’t worship virginity, am stating it as a fact.
Ratna’s parents attend parties, go to foreign countries, but Ratna was not allowed to even visit her best female friend last time before she was going to study abroad. Ratna does not sleep for many days and if she sleeps it is generally for 2–3 hours. Ratna generally has 1 meal a day as she does not feel like eating more.
Ratna also seriously thought of suicide but her lover convinced her to give up the choice else he will be aghast. Ratna feels like it all happens for good and everybody will learn and be better. Her love in times of such pain reminds me of the famous quotes from ‘Diairy of Anne Frank’ –
“I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.”
“I don’t think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains.”
I can talk more and more about her trifles, but I have given enough of an environment. Ratna also meditates, talks imaginatively to her lover, read some novels which she could get hold of and this what keeps her sane.
3. Shyna is 24 years old and lives in Delhi. Shyna’s father has thrown her out of their home. She works and stays on her own now, with some support of his brother. Shyna had to leave her college midway due to this. The reason of Shyna’s ouster was that she engaged in a modeling assignment and some relative broke this news to her father. The modeling assignment did not involve bikinis or lingerie’s, it was just modern day clothes.
4. Anandi is 24 and lives currently in USA. She is a chemical engineer and has started working in USA since last one year. You might expect she unlike the previous cases I mentioned her is free , a whole new country for her. But here it goes; she is expected to daily video chat with her parents so that they can be sure that she is in her flat. She can go to other good places to visit in nearby cities but only with some female counterparts. She also recently faced great scolding on getting some pictures clicked for a hair modeling assignment. Normal pictures, normal faces just her long hair being in attention. She was asked to part from the assignment. The greatest fear of Anandi’s parents is if she accidentally falls in love with some boy. Regular watching of serials like ‘Saavdhan India’ has made them ‘aware’ of all the bad that can happen to a girl. So yes she must be restricted according to them.
Aditi, Ratna, Shyna, Anandi all have cried in front of me in meeting or call , owing to unnecessary troubles created by their misunderstanding parents.
‘They all are ambitious girls, explorative in their outlook for life, seeking to travel, make new friends, love and live. I mentioned these 4 cases as they are or were quite close to me and I know them all.’
There are many more cases which I know of , I have described them in small points below. Then we will proceed to what to do with this and how much this affects us all.
1. 26 year old Indian boy who is tormented by the thoughts of his father being cynical of her mother and him. His father is faced by the problem of too much circulative thinking for certain small issues which regularly leads to trouble in home. The boy fears that he himself does not become like his father in long.
2. A 18 year old girl in rich household not free to choose her profession & city due to compulsive ‘love’ and restrictions of her parents.
3. 23 year old girl who has to provide the start and end screenshots of each of her uber trip to his father.
4. 1 boy & 6 girls whom I know first hand, who had been sexually abused in their kid days by relatives or family friends.
5. My female friend leaving job due to family fights.
6. Numerous cases with my female friends of being groped in public places.
7. Numerous quora answers I read regarding difficulties and abuses faced by many girls in India. Even boys are not spared in some cases.
8. I asked one of my female friends how much % of girls she knew has faced minor or major sexual abuses. Her answer was 80%. She is again from a well educated and good financial background.
Most of girls I know are wild in common worldly sense, they are honest, brave and have the courage and ambition to explore the inside and out of world. I am not much of an extrovert guy. I would have known 20–30 girls seriously and I am able to mention 7–8 cases here directly mentioned to me. 2 of them have thought of suicide seriously. And overall if I ask my friends what other cases know, then it becomes 100 such sad cases, which I can list here with names. I belong to and roam in a well educated and earning society in a metro city. So you can imagine what overall condition will be like in country.
“If kids can think of suicide today, we must get that we have not been the right parents. What is bigger ?- A fresh life Or Your conventions, fake ideologies and all the drama.”
Why is this the case ? — The psychology and spirituality
If I can know of so many cases, then surely the number is quite large overall. There are low economic sections of societies who do not have access to education; there are states like UP, Bihar where the condition runs further deep. Thus with so many cases happening around me and my friend circles indicates that almost every second house hold faces such problems:. Problem of child being constrained, sexually abused, forced to choose career & partners etc etc. I have not even discussed about problems of child trafficking, prostitution, rapes, illiteracy, poverty. Just the family atmosphere for a normal family kid is so polluted, what to talk of other scenarios.
We must come to this agreement that — “ We don’t know how to raise kids”. Just giving birth to kids is not parenting. Kids are not our assets. Nature has produced kids through us. We are just a ‘medium’. We don’t have the right to dictate their life. Every new generation has a better sense of intelligence and understanding then previous. Parents, all you must understand that all you have done is come to this earth some years earlier. There is no difference in heart and mind. You are just older and have the privilege to die sooner
We as parents have ourselves not known many moments of pleasure. Our work, love, sex, relation all is constrained and we are living a life as we are carrying huge burden. Every child comes fresh, fresh of any prejudices, impressions and sadness. Have you seen a baby kid, with what wonder he looks at world. Kids can get fascinated with things as small as buttons, pins and laugh and get blissed out playing with them. Do kids know how to live a happier life or we the parents ?
“The thing where my heart cries out is , mother though being female don’t learn any lessons from their own struggles. Instead of guarding their daughters from all this and encouraging them to brave and free, they stick to the same old constrained conventions.”
All the mothers who are restricting their child , I am going to say some thing profane. Don’t react. Read this and close your eyes to introspect, if it is true. Don’t fear, just see inside and if it is true , please try to change it.
“Mothers, you try to restrict and torture your daughters because you feel that you have also experienced so and it is how it happens. You don’t feel happy seeing them free. You think that — aha, I suffered so much, how she can enjoy. She should also feel the pain, stick to home, do as I say, marry as I say, live as I say, die as I say. If I am not happy , how she can be”
Why this mothers, why this. You might be surprised hearing what I just said, but if you sit relaxed and look deep within your self, it is true very true. If you have faced troubles all your girl and women days, why not save your daughter from it. You must give her a life, which you couldn’t give yourself. Raise her as yourself.
I am a bit different in approach to feminism. I am not saying you that all girls will become corporate leaders, doctors etc, it is not necessary. They might do so and if they choose don’t interfere. But a large role of women is how they hold together a house, family and kids. If you poison a girl in childhood, how will she become a loving mother herself? It affects her psychology largely.
“Value has to given to a woman who does her household work with devotion, raises kids, spreads love in family and surrounding. She is no smaller then a billionaire entrepreneur. “
Don’t force her to do that but value what she adds to a child’s life. There is creativity in women’s life, how she keeps the design of a room, cooks for her children, sings in her ecstasy.
Give your child freedom, let him decide for himself/herself and you can be guide explaining pros and cons for each choice. Be a supporter and savior, not a killer. A crime is being committed towards all the children in India and this 50% crippled population will subsequently create more sick generations. You need to change now.
How do I change as a parent? I try to be free and loving , but cant leave my conventions and moody feelings.
Meditate , Dance, Sing, Go all out in madness, play.
You all parents must understand that you are doing this out of your conditioning, conditioning to not be free yourself & others, conditioning to have your kids as your properties, conditioning to win over your kids as you cant win over yourself and in world. Here are the steps to transcend this in brief.
We all have lot of energies if not constructively used ,they create extra emotions, thoughts and subsequently actions. Energy must get dissipated or rise higher through various modes mentioned below.
1. Meditation — I can write many books about meditation, the science, how to do , what to do for various type of personalities and what benefits will it have for you. The main idea is that you have taken your thoughts and emotions too seriously and built your identity in them, as if you are your thoughts and emotions. Meditation makes you aware of a distance between you and your thoughts + emotions.
One basic meditation technique is to watch your breath. Sit quietly, lower your eyes a little or close them. Follow your breath, how it goes in and out. You don’t need to breathe any certain way: just watching is fine. Don’t miss the gaps between an inhalation and exhalation. When you have breathed out, then there is a small gap before inhalation starts, be aware of it. When you breathe in, then there is a small gap before exhalation starts, be aware of it.
Many active and passive meditations can be found in good sites across the world. I will seriously recommend you all parents to learn some meditation from active short courses by great teachers like Inner Engineering by Sadhguru’s Isha foundation.
2. Dance and Sing Alone & Together — Get 30 minutes for yourself daily. Stay alone in a room. Dance to any songs you like, you don’t need to do proper steps. Do it as you feel, be mad, dance freely, no one is watching you. Sing whatever comes to your mind, sing aloud, don’t hold yourself. For those 30 mins, just be yourself and your madness. Allow your inner burdens and blocks to be free in dance and singing.
In sometime, dance with your family, kids , partner. You all know each other for long, then why be shy, dance in whatever madness you can do so. A family that dances and sings together stays together.
3. Gibberish meditation –
Sit or Stand, and start speaking out your thoughts word to word. Like — “ Oh, this thing happened to me, It should have not happened. I feel sad, Why he did this to me. I spent all my money , time on it. “, Then convert the same tone, inner feelings to gibberish. Oh, aah, lalalas. Dadada , salavasanansassa, ami tami rami na , kalio , oh do lehan mujhe etc. The idea is to vent out your frustrations and anger in no particular language, but your own. If some abuse arises in your mind, shout out abuses too. But, here also, try to convert conventional abuses into gibberish after a while.
Continue for considerable long this, anguishly speaking in rubbish. You will notice, though you are not speaking the word which were the thoughts of your reason of angers, speaking gibberish results in the same feeling as previous, and also relieves you a lot. This is a glimpse to see that how much your thoughts are unreal, some random words spoken and felt can give the same and even better effect than your so called sophisticated thought out words.
People are now quite heavy with concepts, science, philosophies, beliefs, and conventions. A little childishness is necessary; a person should be light as much as possible. This simple, fun to do meditation is the path to lightness.
4. Play — Get some soft balls in house, which you can throw and kick, in when ever you feel like. If possible, play any sport like badminton, cricket, and football. I am also appealing to women that please inoculate some physical activities in your life. I understand you already do lot of cleaning and management work which is physical, I will say to include some small physical activities like dance, playing may be just for 30 minutes a day.
“We are headed for a society , I should say we are living in a society that is working, sophisticated, mannered, cultural, loving from outside but the core threads of the internal family, individual happiness and satisfaction is largely missing. Why do all the society, work , culture drama when we inside don’t know how to be joyful and make children around us joyful. Animals seem to be better passing their lives, we have made a mess of it. Step back, leave all the work , ideologies and just honestly introspect how do I make myself and people around me happy”
A little bit about me now — As I have talked to all the parents and appealed them to have a look inside themselves, it is good that I write about my parents and how was my childhood. My parents have been most loving, caring and at the same time not pampering. They have given me freedom, allowed me to experience nature, plants, animals, explore and make friends with people, travel and at the same time daily caring about me and helping me wherever they can. Even my relatives, the neighbour people during my kid days have loved me lot. I have made friends with all sorts and age of people. Nourished with so much love, I have full grown to my potential and people around me can feel that. Am balanced, entrepreneurial, poetic, loving, friendly , honest, meditative and much more. This is what love and freedom can do to a kid. Many of people mentioned in this article have helped me in my life experience and I have helped them in someway to ease out the troubles. Since I have no family issues, no finance/friend/love/work issues, I can think and feel clearly for myself, others and also proceed on my path of spirituality. This is why people could open up to me and I was able to write all of this. I am not a healer, psychiatrist or anything like that.
What society we are making of currently stops the inner progress at the first step, making a kid feel insufficient thus bombarding the whole inner evolutionary process.
If every human being goes through all the life stages normally, spirituality will be an automatic flower from his inner being. He does not need any religion, guru or anything; spirituality is like the final need. This is what I am now -
“I feel like a mother to all.”
I am saying again but I have to that, meditation is the easiest and surest way to changing all this without any fuss.
I will stay anonymous for this article, I want all the people reading it to share it. All news sites, newspapers, magazines please do share it. I am not getting any advantage, nor this is some personal grief which I have. Don’t just pass it of your eyes as you do pass the poor kids begging on the road. This is happening inside all of our families. It is about 60 crore of Indian youth & kids, It is about the eminent future we are creating. In some future I will come in public to teach meditation and address this and more similar issues. I want the change to happen internally amongst all parents and their children. I am thankful to all the parents who have given their children the combination of love & freedom to express themselves.
If this article changes even one parent, then I will my efforts in writing this have been successful. Please all do share it. I am including a mail id, which I am not sure I will respond to, but surely read to see what is the response of this article. firstname.lastname@example.org I wanted to write a short version of it for news papers but I feel after writing this, it will not have the same impact. So, I appeal to Indian newspapers to have a short version of this writeup on some main pages and also include a different low-end printed booklet including the exact long reading. It can feel like asking too much. But if you check with your own total team and figure out what I have written has affected how much percentage of your team, you will surely be happy to include full text. Just as a person, if you ask your team how many of you would have wanted this to be read by your parents somehow, you will get the answer why it should be published fully.
Many thanks for reading this till end :)