Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Righta? Thappa?

The 'righta' part of the title reminded me of the game 'paandi' where in the second(and final?) round, one has to jump on squares with eyes closed, calling out "righta, righta" to check if you have stamped on the lines or not! Does anybody play this anymore? Anyway this post is not about 'paandi'!

Several years ago, during an usual Deebavali visit to my Aunt's, I was surprised to learn that my cousin had decided not to light crackers, a silent protest against the use of child labour by the fireworks industry. I don't know how well these protests affected the industry but certainly at that point I felt so proud of my cousin! As always when something seems right, there comes a counter-arguement. In this case, the issue of the children who are supposedly freed from the fireworks industry forced to go into other jobs to support themselves and their family. So every Deebavali I used to debate, to burst or not to burst crackers?

Same in the case of beggars. On one side, I know that our charity might make them lazy and on the other hand when Parthiban or some other rowdy hero in a movie says, "if only you had fed me then, I wouldn't have become like this"! Now, to give or not to give alms?

When doctors here advice me to check/limit the sugar/salt/fat content in my baby's diet and when in India, the elders think I am going overboard putting a kid on diet!! To be strict or not to be strict about diets?

By my upbringing, I know I shouldn't talk back to elders. But when elders take wrong sides, to point out or not?

Dylaamo, dylaamo...... Dylaa dylaa dylaamo.....

23 comments:

I said...

Individual choices always triumph over social responsiblity. I don't buy fireworks simply coz I don't want to.

These pseudo-social-minded ppl in India that think they're doing something good by their embargo, are just like the American leftist do-gooders who crusade against Wal-Mart in the name of "poor working conditions of Bangladeshi workers". What they do results in something that's contrary to their stared objective. So it just ends up as being anti-business activism.

The 'no fire works' movement started in Delhi, while Sivakasi is in Thamizh Nadu. It's another organized attempt by the vadanatars to belittle Thamizhians.

raj said...

I, thats a rather simplistic view.
and me too, I dont know about your other dilemmas but in case you have half-a-thought about the suffering children in Sivakasi, then I would suggest you heed it. Maybe, the children will go to some other job - but none can be as dangerous and a crippling job as this. Dont we feel shocked and scared when children of our family get even as much as a scratch? This is 1000 times a bigger risk. I know they will go to some other work - but atleast that wont be as dangerous as this.

I, enna solradhu. Mu.Ka maadhiri pesareenga. Tamizhnattu Kuzhandainga kashta padudhu - andha kashtathula india muzhukka cracker vedichu enjoy pannaranga. Especially north indians - avanga ellam deepavalikuu wait panna maattanga - kandadhukkum pattasu vedippanga especially weddings. Avangalula silar pattasukku edhira kural kodutha, it is actually concern for tamizh kuzhandaigal. You are twisting the issue by making it look as if they want to demean us - FYI, a majority of NI's wont care a hoot and actually buy crackers in heaps.This minority which boycotts crackers is actually a noble clan - you are totally mu.ka-fying the issue by turning it into tamil-vs-vadanattan issue.

Raju said...

The Deepavali crackers issue is like treating a wrong organ.. we need strong laws against child labor. I heard there is something coming up at the centre (Delhi).. Unless such laws are implemented strictly, it would continue to remain a controversial issue.

About beggars, I would give alms only to handicapped and 'badly-in-need' kinda persons.. Atleast I wont be sad after that thinking why I didnt give.

Baby diet - I personally feel that south indian kids dont look as 'strong' as Northies.. The childhood strength is, IMHO, very important for strong bones and brisk activity. It is like a strong foundation for a good physical appearance in the future. If our traditional Indian diet has failed to do so, then one has to adopt a mix of Indian and westernized diet. Understanding what a 'food' means to the body (literally) is very important.

Trickiest of all you mentioned is 'arguing against elders', esp. when they are not ur parents..

Munimma said...

Too many issues here. How to prevent child labor? To me, the solution lies more in preventing poverty, so the kids are not forced into labor, helping them with education and essentials, enforcing stricter laws with regards to fireworks factories. (easier said than done). People would do better helping a child directly, rather than boycotting fireworks for that reason.

Fireworks, to me, is more of a pollution problem, esp. in large quantities. Remember those smog filled deepavali mornings!

As to child nutrition, a well-balanced diet is the best. When it comes to my kids, I have no problem telling people to mind their own business ;-)

Most Indian diets are usually well-balanced. The problems arise when all you want to eat is white polished rice or heaps of rotis. Avoiding processed/bleached foods is good and the earlier we start that habit, the better.

I said...

India is a quasi-anarchy. Laws can be legislated but implementing them have always been impossible.

If a socially conscious person X decides to not buy fireworks as a protest against child labor, he/she is harming the very children he/she is pretending to help. So why is X anymore noble than I am? As heart-wrenching it is, it's not obvious what - if anything- can be done to fix it. India is a repressed muti-dimensional multi-layer screw-up. Pseudo-activism is pointless.

My original point: individual choices always over-rule social, moral or corporate responsibility.

Syam said...

//Dylaamo, dylaamo...... Dylaa dylaa dylaamo.....//

indha post ku ithu sooooooooper :-)

mitr_bayarea said...

Aparna-

Lots of good questions and thoughts here....as for arguing with elders, personally, I would just explain or defend my point against theirs and tell them they have a wrong notion, but, I guess, the sensible thing to do would be to not hurt their feelings, but gently say that you don't agree with their thoughts and it is your child and you want to make the final decision based on what feels right for you :)

Jinguchakka said...

I agree in that all issues have equally convincing but opposite arguments.
My feelings are:
1. Burst crackers for all you want. If there is no fireworks industry the children would be simply deployed elsewhere, but in no case they would go to a school.

2. Give alms to the handicapped and the aged. It's society's responsibility. If any family is unfortunate to have a handicapped they support them, right? And don't we support the elderly? The poor cannot support and hence they beg.

3. As long as the baby doesn't look fat, I guess you can give whatever you want. As long as you don't justify obesity in kids as looking healthy, that is.

SKM said...

dilemma...dilemma...dhairiyama neegadhamma decide pannanum.
Choice is yours.--SKM

Has to be me said...

Righto thappo...all depends on each individuals perspective! Take the plunge on whatever u think is right!

Anonymous said...

I'm reading your blog for the first time. I don't have anything to say about the post, just wanted to ask about your blog's title.
Is it supposed be wrong or is it just a mistake? Because Ennangal in Tamil does not start with a Ya. So it's supposed to be Ennangal. I don't know if anyone else pointed it to you before. If so, then it's intentional. In which case ignore what I said.

Me too said...

I, you are living upto your name(I) and me to my name(me too - "gumballa govinda")!

Raj, welcome and thanks for your comments. "Dont we feel shocked and scared when children of our family get even as much as a scratch? This is 1000 times a bigger risk." - makes me shudder!

raju, before laws are put to effect, the people should also make arrangements for the affected.
Regarding diet, it is the tussle between the tongue Vs the body health!!

munimma, preventing poverty is the right step but a long term step. Boycotting fireworks kind of quick fixes may not solve the problem but brings awareness to some atleast. And souls unlike me who not just talk the talk but walk the walk too might actually do something about it.

syam, danks!

mitr, nice! but easier said than done!

jc, the children may not go to school, but atleast they will be safer than in the fireworks factory.
My kid comes under 'soni' category and hence the dilemma!

skm, dheiriyathai ille naan choice- le vittuduren!!

htbm, thanks. Let's see if I can boldly follow it!

anon, the 'Y' was not intentional. Will rectify it soon!

I said...

over pugazhchi and all..

Me said...

...did u know that kids in US also play paandi...not the regular one but aeroplane

Deepa said...

Parental instincts always make you do things thats right for the kid. So don't worry about being politiclaly correct in front of elders when it comes to your kid. Sounds like unsolicited advice? yes it is.;-)

Me too said...

i, over-a? seri, adangaren!

me, yes, I've seen! I wondered about it in India.

deepa, apdeengareenga?!! ogay, then!!

ttm said...

here it is.

Me too said...

ttm, better news here !

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