Monday, May 2, 2011

of casteism and vegetarianism

We've introduced Sonny boy to ACK and every night, he chooses one for his viewing delight. As of now he can't read.. he just mostly goes through the picures.

Last night was Mangal Pande's turn. He'd seen Urumi during Vishu and was quite taken with Prithiviraj's exploits against Vasco da Gama.
So last night after seeing the cover picture with uniformed sepoys, he decided that Mangal Pande it would be. As usual, it fell to Amma to start the reading...

And once I started, I got confused.

The comic had casteism, racism, religious differentiation and vegetarianism.
All of which I'd rather not have Sonny boy ever introduced to.

Thankfully Sonny boy got bored of all those nuances in the story he had no understanding of, and went off to sleep.

I want him to feel proud of being an Indian, but I don't want him anti-Britishers. They did do their bit for India, and I want him to appreciate that. But for all that, the Britishers did bring India down to her knees and I want Sonny boy to know that too and appreciate what a strong people we were/are. Maybe a little later.

I hope he doesn't ever have to know about casteism. I hope that particular method of stratifying society goes obsolete in my generation itself. I hope, if he has to know about it, he learns of it like we learnt of Ice Age and Stone Age. Almost.

I don't want him to think that eating meat is below dignity. If he wants to eat even snakes and lizards, its upto him. There are people in this world who eat them and it is food like any other leaf/root/fruit. I do not want him feeling superior to, or looking down his nose at people who eat fare other than his, be it vegetarian or non vegetarian.

Every religion has its good and bad points. (Mangal Pande had Indian sepoys worried that the Britishers were going to convert them to Christianity, and thankfully, Sonny boy went off to sleep before I reached there.) I want him to respect all religions for their good values and understand that no religion is bad per se, only fanatic opinions make it so. I want him to treat people of all creeds as his friends, and to look upon humanism as the greatest religion of them all.

Sigh. Bringing up a child is a balancing act!


Kanchan said...

It is a handful. To make them aware and make them unprejudiced. Right now, I'm struggling with making my 4 year old respect non-vegetarians ! It is important to accept the differences and respect them. Not everyone is like us ! So keep at it..

R's Mom said...

Gosh its so so difficult na..this parenting :(

Monika said...

damn the parenting I tell y

Poet Mamma said...

Good one! Questions about religion, god, traditions, are tough ones to handle. I wrote a post about this and would love to know what you and other moms tackle these curveballs coming from your little ones...

Little FInger said...

Ah parenting is indeed a balancing act..I loved reading every bit of this post..