Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Its ok to beat children in our culture.....

Today while getting out of my house to come to work, i noticed a middle aged man around 50 or so beating a boy of around 10 or 12 yrs so hardly that the boy was shouting so hard. I looked around and found plenty of people busy in their own work who didnt even notice the voice of the child. A gardener was cutting some plants and was lost in this own world on how to increase his earnings so that he could lease a house next time because he cant pay this rent anymore. Just near to him there were a couple of laborers digging the ground to the cable tv wires could be triggered to homes and the cable tv man was standing just above their heads make sure that they finish the work soon so that families can start getting the cable tv and pay their advances and dues. On the other corner, there were a couple of quiet elderly men with long while beards discussing an issue with each other as if it was a decision about the next president of Afghanistan and they too never noticed or maybe didnt want to notice the voice of the poor boy being beaten so harshly. Just in a kilometer distance, saw a woman hanging clothes on the metal fence near her terrace and while looking at her face , i understood that she felt the pain of that little boy but didnt say anything. In Afghanistan women are expected to not apear in public or engage in discussions in public, some argue that its not Islamic that a woman's voice is heard by men because men will be tempted and attracted by her. Well...whose problem is that?
So coming back to the boy's misery, i couldnt see it being silent anymore so i went near to the man and asked that please dont beat this little boy so harshly , if he has done something wrong, he can talk to him in peace and i am sure he wont do it again. He looked at me furiously and asked " what is he to you"? Speechless for a second but immediately said that " Kaka jaan...i cant see a child being beaten so hard and saying nothing"...i took some breath as i was about to cry seeing the little boy in pain...and continued " We are all muslims and we believe that we should be kind to children and advice them with love and affection...this little boy cant bear such a harsh treatment"...he shouted..." get lost! who are u to tell me what is right and wrong.First you correct your own behavior and then teach me, why do u get out of home in this morning while islam doesnt like a woman going outside alone and look at your chador, u dont have enough hejab...and you are teaching me how to be a good muslim and behave with my own son"....he was so loud that almost everyone in that area heard what he said to me and i perferred to keep quiet rather than arguing with that man because i felt the pain in his voice as well...i dont know why men are expected in this society to pretend that they are strong and have no emotions...if i continued to argue with him for another second..i bet that he would have started crying.
So i abondoned and came towards my car that suddenly heard the three elderly men who were so busy in their hot topic discussion telling me that " it is important to beat children so that we can keep them in our control and make them diciplined...its part of our culture that children should listen and obey elders and if they dont , we should punish them and set them examples for the rest of the soceity" ....hearing all this, i got on the car and on the whole way thought about the last sentences of these elderly men. Is it part of our culture to be brutal to small kids?

1 comment:

  1. I have been reading about some of your brave actions and feel humbled. As a Western woman who lives with very little real fear of violence, I wonder if I would have been one of the people who just got on with their life and pretended nothing was happening. Maybe fear would have made me like that. But you are a great inspiration to women (and men if they listen) everywhere. Congratulations on your recent award - you deserve it so much.
    Johanna

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