We all agree to the fact that human beings cannot exist and survive in isolation and that is the reason we have the pattern of the system and in many countries, there is a close knit family fabric. When we live together, then adjustment and compromise becomes essential and important for a peaceful survival. In the year 1961 when our first Prime Minister Pt. Jawaharlal Lal Nehru raised the flag of non aligned movement in the background of the cold war between USSR and USA that was the step taken in the right direction for the peaceful co-existence. Many countries especially from the third world joined this movement. But over a period of time NAM seems to have lost its relevance. Rightly stated by somebody that the countries which were in the forefront of the NAM, are now the biggest buyers of the war weapons. The focus has shifted from policies to the unwilling followers of the mighty nations. The countries which are powerful in terms of the economy and the military, dictate the terms to the entire world. The world is divided between two kinds of nations, the ones which are rich and the others that are poor. The rich are followed by the poor and the policy and terms of the friendship and relation are decided by the rich and poor have no role to play in that. It means the countries which are powerful , treat the other countries as their subjects or subordinates. When I say country, it does not mean the geographical aspect only but the group of the human beings living in a particular region considering that as their own territory. It means this becomes the feeling and the thoughts of the people of a particular country or countries. When people of the other countries see that happening then they also try to be the master of some other people who are weak in comparison to them. This leads itself further down to the cities and then towns and villages and ultimately to the family or the group of the people at a work place including schools and the colleges. That further leads to the problems in the family, society and the world. The ones who remain oppressed for quite long, get frustrated and then resort to certain means which may not be as per the norms of the society or the world forum. This results in unrest and fight which does not help anybody.
This pattern is almost the same if I discuss it with respect to a family or the school. The children have most of the time been treated as someone who have to follow the instructions and the directions of their parents and the teachers. I think there was nothing wrong in that but unknowingly the parents and the teachers became the masters and the children, the followers of their instructions. Till the time this was within limits, the children did not rebel but as the master started crossing the line some kind of retaliation started and now the parents and teachers started feeling remorseful. Many of them realized the problem and the cause of the problem so they changed their thinking and treated the children as an individual who are as important as anybody else. Due to this the world of the adults got divided in two categories. On the one side, there are teachers and parents, teachers who support the independence of the children and the other group which felt that the children cannot think and decide independently. This caused further confusion in the mind of the children because they could not understand whom to believe and follow. It is not that only children are confused but even the parents and the teachers are also in the same dilemma. We know that this is a transitional phase and hope that the things will settle for the good in the near future. But till we reach that situation both adults and children will have to understand better than what they do as on today.
I would like to talk about the way our children behave and interact with the parents and the teachers. One teacher gave me an excellent piece of suggestion when she says that irrespective of the manner in which the children ask the question, the parents and teachers must not change the way they answer their query. The children probably have started behaving in this manner (not acceptable to the parents and the teachers) because they remained as the submissive followers of the parents and teachers directions in the past. The teachers and parents are not able to accept that because they remained in the master seat for hundreds of years. The children had been seeing them the way they asked questions and answered. I do not say that this is the situation of ‘tit for tat’ but the role reversal seems to be taking place. Though this might appear to be confusing to many of us but the same is very natural and we should treat it accordingly. The teachers must change their attitude towards the children at the earliest and treat them as independent individual identity who have the capacity and power of thinking critically and rightfully. They should be treated as equals and not as the ones who have to necessarily follow the adults. The values and the traditions are important and are the backbone of the society but the change with time is also equally important and we should try to do that and embrace the changes for the good of all. If the children are expected to respect the adults and give them all due importance, then that will happen when we as adults do the same to our children. I would like to cite a few examples to make my point clear. The teachers who expect their students to follow their instructions and question them in a very respectful manner then the teachers have to do the same to their in charges or the coordinators. I know many of the teachers who murmur and grumble a lot if they are asked to do something which they are not comfortable with. The same may be the case with many parents also. When such parents talk to their parents (grandparents of the children) they behave exactly in the manner they do not want their children to follow. So the most important thing is that the adults will have to introspect about themselves and behave in a way which they expect from their children. The respect cannot be purchased or forced but this can be earned by your behavior and actions. Here I should not be misunderstood that I want the children to be behaving in a rowdy manner but trying to bring forward a point that the children need to be shown the path by actions and not by force. The day we will put ourselves in the shoes of our children and appreciate their problems and difficulties, our attitude will completely change towards them. So, if the society has to live in harmony then each one of us should respect the existence and the importance of the other human beings.