Innocence To No Sense

Martha J *

The recent release of class seven student Rana Das (13), after two months of captivity by Bodo militants, has forced the child in me to reflect on the happenings and their effect. The release on the eve of 64th Independence Day may be taken as Freedom for the child and his father, a small time trader, but this is not freedom from fear (24X7), either for the father or the child.

The father is now worried about payment of ransom amount (Rs. Seven Lakhs) he had raised to pay the abductors. My mind started remembering the beautiful saying by Gurudev Sri Rabindra Nath Tagore i.e. "Everytime a child is born, it brings with it the hope, that God is not yet disappointed with man."

I feel this statement is belied by the unwelcome happenings to children in North East part of India where God seems to be disappointed with man and here the innocence of children is burdened with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), insecure future and lack of direction for life. Childhood is a time of innocence and impracticality.

It's a time of discovery where anything seems possible and the troubles of the world have no impact on a child. Children are not only innocent, but are also innovative, investigative and imaginative. Once I was asked by my mommy, pointing to the stars in the sky as to what they were? Promptly I gave the reply that they were lamps.

On being questioned further about who lit them, I replied in most ingenious manner that it was the Airplane.

One night I woke up in the middle of the night and saw the crescent moon through the window. I at once shouted, "Look Mom! The moon is broken." Now ! The child in me has dared to Question the Almighty.

ChiLd to Almighty: Sir! Was I sent to this world for seeing the societal disorder/ be part of this disorder/ contributor to this disorder or to be a good citizen / human being?

Almighty: My Child! You were sent to the world to be a good human who cares and loves but the responsibility of present situation lies with your mentors; the parents, the teachers, the leaders who lead the society you live in.

Child: OK, Sir! Let me ask them.

Child to Parents: You are to firmly stand beside me when I cross the street and I walk into an alley. You are to be my guidance and moral voice. Your teachings will guide me throughout life. Please let me know what is your contribution to my present condition?

Parents: Our Child! Your condition is not due to your doings but due to the fear (24X7) for survival in us, that has forced us to give ransom/ follow the diktats of wrong doers in society. Please forgive us. We love you, our child.

Child to Teacher: Sir! After home I look up to you to be my guide in life. What is your contribution to my present mental make up and progress?

Teacher: My Child! The letters in the word Teacher have to read in rearranged manner as Cheater and we are trying up to live to the reputation of new word. Please bear with us and learn/ expect things from us as per our role.

Child to Leaders: Sir! You are to lead us to better life by giving us good governance and showing us the path of progress. What is your contribution to my progress?

Leader: My child! Letters in the word Leader have to be read in rearranged manner as Dealer and we are living to the reputation of new word. Ask us if any deals are to be made.

Child to Society: Madam! In the sense of association you are a body of individuals outlined by the bounds of functional interdependence. What is your contribution to retain my innocence?

Society: My child! I am not independent but made by association of fearful parents, cheaters, dealers et al. What more do you expect from me when my associates do not contribute towards better life?

Child: Madam I have understood. Let me see what is in store for me! Recent arrest of ULFA chairman and political head with his family has given another thought to my mind. I am convinced that children of the members of militant outfits are also not spared of the fear and turmoil faced by other children of the region.

Aurobindo Rajkhowa was handed over to Indian authorities by Bangladesh authorities along with his wife Kaveri (lady member of ULFA), innocent daughter Bohagi (13) and son Gadadhar (5). The child in me had an immediate connect with the Rajkhowa children, when they asked their mother; when shall we go home and what will happen to our school and studies?

Least were they knowing that they were under arrest with their fugitive parents? These children always had the belief that their father is a businessman and a gentleman which was belied by the arrest. Imagine what would be going in the minds of these innocents?

In the later part of my childhood I am confused about my future course of life. Now I have started making connects of my present innocent life with realities of the future. I have started seeing the journey of my innocence ending into confusion.

The child in me joins other children in questioning the protectors of society; will the journey of our innocence end in No Sense or In the Sense?

* Martha J contributes regularly to The writer can be contacted at marthajohn27[AT]gmail[DOT]com
This article was webcasted on September 21, 2010.

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