15 June, 2021

The Child's Other Tongues: 'Us' And 'Them' Imprinted In The Softest Wet Clay

No child is born a bigot. Hate is learned, and there is no doubt it can be unlearned.

The Child's Other Tongues: 'Us' And 'Them' Imprinted In The Softest Wet Clay

The caste and communal conflict div­iding Indian society today is doing a great harm to the country. Unfortunately, it’s the younger generation that gets aff­ected the most. Systematic efforts to pollute young minds are visible. Children are mercilessly getting indoctrinated into hatred. The seed of poison is planted without much notice. The consequences are UNI­maginably dangerous.

The child’s mind is most impressionable, like wet clay waiting to be moulded into shapes—good, bad or ugly. The child is the prime, and softest, target. In my professional upper middle class setting, my seven-year-old son returns from a plush Delhi school and asks me, “Papa, are we Musalmaans?” Bewildered at first, I questioned him, “Why do you ask?” He replied, “A boy in my class was telling other children.” This was 30 years ago. It has become worse now.

This ‘we and they’, instilled in young minds, not only fills them with anger and hatred for the ‘other’, but also a fear for the other which is...

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