Wednesday, December 12, 2007

School shootout in India too: now what next?

Ever since yesterday's shooting of a 14-year-old boy in a Gurgaon school I have been speaking to a number of people, children included. After all that, I am more worried than relieved.

This morning, a friend of mine gave me a shocking bit of news. She told me how, last evening, a few boys in the 16-18 age group in her neighbourhood almost justified yesterday's incident. "Probably the boys may have been provoked so much," is what they told my friend. She was so shocked she didn't know how to react.

It's very clear children aren't able to comprehend the gravity of the incident. "What crime a child could have done that needs to be punished by shooting him dead" is not a question a teenager can understand. Leave children, today we are supposed to be progressing to a stage when the crime of even an adult is not worth being punished with death. Reformation, not punishment, is the key. Or, so I thought.

If a teenager has to plan a murder 24 hours in advance, steal his father's gun for the purpose, smuggle it to school, discuss the plan with his friend, shoot his classmate, then pass on the gun to his friend to carry on the crime.... well, this is the limit to which our society can descend. Or, is there something worse that's awaiting all of us?

I don't think the boys can be blamed. Their parents in particular, and we elders in general, must share a good part of the blame. Every human being is born innocent until he is corrupted by the society of elders. There is no use blaming western influences, violent computer games and English movies: after all, villains -- virtual or real -- are not a modern-day phenomenon. If "the evil" is able to increasingly influence our children, then it only indicates how less potent "the good" has become. We have been celebrating festivals commemorating the victory of "the good" over "the evil". But in our day-to-day lives, who is winning?

Today, we have news that the parents of the killers have gone into hiding, and left their children alone in a juvenile home with no visitors at all. How tragic that that these teenagers have parents who have left them in such a plight. Should these children, may be cold-blooded murderers in the eyes of the law, should be punished? Hopefully, the law-enforcement agencies, in whose care they are, will provide counsellors and therapists to these children; so that, may be not immediately, but gradually they can be reformed, and they can grow up into responsible adults.


  1. i really do not know what to comment on after reading this . but the deterioration of our society is indeeed pathetic and scary! whom to blame? as you said not just the movies and western influence , but also the lack of time and self esteem which are synonymns for todays adult world. may be man's mind set should change, his priorities should change ...his heart should flower!

  2. If "the evil" is able to increasingly influence our children, then it only indicates how less potent "the good" has become.

    This is exactly the same thought which came to my mind when I heard people asking for banning channels, movies etc. You put it into clear words

  3. It's true the way in which we think is changing for the bad. That was a cold-blooded murder--just that, something out of the movies. I sat with the CNN channel all evening. It's true that the children of Metropolitian cities are more than innocent. Especially in the north like Delhi, there are unhealthy school cultures, and too much of peer preassure and lack of proper guidence and councilling. The unfortunate thing is that the boy didn;t even feel remorse after killing him! The hight of cruelty!

  4. when law enforcement officers become corrupt & inefficient, people lose their faith in them. when that happens, those who can take law into their hands, like the rich & famous,buy guns. Some even buy rifles and AK47's...when they do that, the family inherits a weapon. Nobody is trained or instructed on when & how to use one or on the act of restraint. When parents disregard the law, children will, and if the child commits a crime, the parent will try & get him out of the situation..I blame the parents in this case..They should not have spared the rod & spoiled these kids..I guess.