During the Maritime Air Squadron anniversary last week, the Commissioner of Police shared a model, whose components, namely the family, civil society and the police force according to him, should be in place for a better society. He believes that these three institutions should work hand in hand to fight social scourges that are plaguing our country these days. His harshest criticism however is towards families, which he says lack role models for younger people, hence the proliferation of drugs and other crimes.
The Commissioner is not the only person to criticize the lack of role models within families. On the same day, during the PNQ, when the “Mentor” Minister was asked a question about the increase of patients coming for drug treatment in hospital despite the police catching a record-breaking amount of drugs, he retorted by saying to ask parents who have no control over their kids. Now call me an inveterate cynic, but these are the least qualified people to lecture others on the duties of those who are supposed to be in authority.
The Commissioner and others are very quick to get on their high horses and view parents from there; let’s give them a reality check. In the majority of households today, both parents work, not out of leisure but out of necessity. Those who are paid with hefty salaries, with fringe benefits such as chauffeur driven cars or cars paid by the state, may not know, but the average cost of raising a family these days is not lower than Rs30,000. That is even more than the salaries that one parent may be getting per month. With the burden of costly basic necessities and the duty to provide proper education for children, the parents are left with no choice but to make the best of their capacity: work; this in itself is a model of responsibility.
Parents are often criticized for giving in to their children’s whims, thus turning them into selfish brats. This is a gross insult to the thousands of parents who are working their butts off to give just that little bit of luxury to their kids, maybe the only one thing that they can afford to please their child. Parents are also often criticized that they allow children too much of screen time and therefore kids turn into anti-social beings. When the police cannot guarantee safety on our roads, when the schools do not provide any other outlet except academic cramming, when playing outside makes kids targets to all kinds of parasites lurking around parents are left with no choice but to give kids some kind of downtime through screen time.
Finding a scapegoat is an easy way out for people who are in positions of authority, to absolve themselves from their failings. Those who criticize had better take care of their own glass houses where inexplicable amount of stuff that they are supposed to guard evaporates into thin air, or who have the audacity to give the power given to them by civil society to their son. Those who are giving grand lectures on the lack of role models had better start by taking a long hard look at themselves and resolve to start leading by example, lest they are tagged with the reputation of drom vid…