Friday, December 14, 2012

My life was screwed even before I was born

" My life was screwed even before I was born" .... The daughter of a police officer told this to him in a   crime fiction book by a  Nordic writer. This sentence simply blew my mind as it is so true for so many people in this world.

There are millions of people who can say this truthfully and without exgageration. These millions would include:

Those born as females in male-dominent societies which repress women, those born into societies which suffer from high crime rates, unchecked sexual abuse of children, corrupt governments, poverty, those born  into religions which have little respect for women such as in  Afganisthan, Pakistan, several Arab countries, Bangaladesh, several African countries.

Those born in India into a lower caste family especially in rural areas and small towns of India, especially those born in places such as UP, Bihar, Haryana, Jharkand,MadhyaPradesh. And imagine the incredible three-fold amount of bad luck  one faces if  born as a (1) low-caste (2) female in these (3)wretched states of India!!

Those born with disabilites in these backward nations and societies especially in societies where disabled people are shunned as bringing bad luck to others.  Being born with disabilities in families or societies not only without resources but without even empathy for the disabled.

Those born to mothers who drink heavily during pregnancy or smoke or in some way   damage the fetus growing inside. I work with adults with FASD and I know how damaged these individuals can be.

All the ordinary citizens,  for whom even hoping for a peaceful, simple life is an impossible dream....that is the citizens of North Korea & Burma........I cannot think of any other country where most of the  citizens are extraordinarily unhappy....I suppose I could list Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia here but I believe that these people are not as miserable as those under North Korean rule.

While critics cite examples of those who overcame odds and did well in life, there are circumstances which are so heavily stacked against some people, that it is impossible for these people to achieve either happiness or other things .  The critics do not realize how disempowering certain situations are and children who grew in such situations cannot feel empowered when they do manage to escape out of those situations. People and children are not like rubber, to spring back easily, once the stress is removed. They can be permanently damaged by the situations they were in, in the past.

Why am I writing such depressive stuff?

I feel like a person who is watching with horror, a preventable accident happening before my eyes...The accident could be prevented at a hundred different spots by making hundreds of tiny changes but the driver is driving on without realizing the hundred mistakes he's making...the things are building up towards a big crash which I can see but cannot prevent. And then the crash happens and the driver cannot figure out why. I can see the mistakes of the driver but cannot stop him.... and the driver cannot see his mistakes; if he could see  would he perhaps change???

 Screwed before birth is what I feel about the children (whom I know)growing in families in India, where the parents have abysmal skills in bringing up their children......And I am witnessing these parents damaging their kids on a daily basis. Millions of children being damaged by a brutal education system and brutal teachers in India is another tragedy happening everyday. I can see but I cant stop them. I cannot correct them. I cannot change them. It makes me sick to see the children change from spontaneous happy spirited bundles of joy to repressed, silent, uncommunicative, uninteresting teenagers. I feel so helpless and frustrated by the change happening before my eyes and I cant do anything to stop it. I am filled with such an amount of  impotent rage, frustration and grief that I feel I am going ot burst or kill someone or kill myself.

Some painful transitions children face in India include

Transition from home to school. In rural areas it is especially painful as the children are exposed to brutal teacherrs who beat them mercilessly. They cannot complain to the parents as parents feel beating is the only way the child will improve in studies.
Beating has subsided in cities to some extent but not much.

Transition from learning the subjects in an indian language to English at some point in time is another painful transition.

What happened recently in Karnataka is leading to a major transition is the lives of lakhs of hapless school going children


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