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By: Syed Mustafa Ahmad

Children are like free birds. They want to do whatever they like. They don’t understand restrictions. They also don’t accept restrictions. They have freedom and want to make best use of it. It is a well-known fact that a child should enjoy some years of its life that are its right. This right cannot be snatched away  from them. This kind of mindset prevailed for quite a long time till a new wave of restrictions, cut throat competition, race behind electronic gadgets, etc., hijacked the lives of children. Once they were the major part of the environment, today, the environment is searching them. Once upon a time, playing in the dusty grounds, drinking water from streams, stealing carrots and radishes from kitchen gardens, bathing with clothes on in shallow streams, playing the games of pebbles and marbles with dirty hands and clothes, etc., are buried in the past forever. Today, we have a different picture.

The picture that contrasts with the past. But the point of concern is that how we reached here. What are the causes responsible for this? Are the children of today made from different clay? Are not they children at all? Has the world changed? What is the reality behind this? What are its consequences? All these things will be discussed in this piece of writing. Let us first of all try to know about the causes responsible for this.     

The first cause responsible for now is Covid-19. Due to lockdown for more than 103 days, children are feeling suffocated. Their already curtailed liberties are more curtailed. Schools, markets, Masjids, public resorts, play grounds, etc., are closed. They are prohibited from touching anything. Masks and sanitizers have become the extra burden in their lives. The same story if the Covid-19 being discussed here and there, has made the situation vulnerable for them.      The second cause responsible for this is materialism. A parent cares for its child because in the long run, it is going to fulfil his or her cherished dream of money and false fame. No concern is shown toward the life of a child. Whether it is capable of doing this or that work. Forcefully, a child goes to school, tuition centre, Islamic institution, etc. He or she has no interest in all these things. He or she wants to use his or her marvelous brain in something tangible; rather than in the useless pursuits. A child cannot understand this paradox that are we created for money or money is created for us. In this atmosphere, a child has to suffer.      The third cause responsible for this is imitation. A child has to imitate someone in his or her life to become something.

This is a wrong way of thinking. A person, who has come to this world, has to fight his or her battle alone. In the end, nothing matters but only a person’s struggle. In the darkest of moments, a person has to carry on. He or she will see the dread of real life. In this way, he or she learns the real nature of life. In case of imitation, a person forgets his or her position and begins to fit himself or herself in someone’s shoes. It will pinch different people differently. This fallacy should be left at the earliest.      The fourth cause responsible for this is that a child is never listened to in our society. We love to thrust our rules on him without knowing the surface on which it is being thrusted. The result is Chaos and confusion. Individual differences or educational psychology has proved it that until and unless, a child is not understood physically, mentally, socially, politically, ethically, etc., there are no chances of real development. A child will be a misfit in a society. He or she will yearn for the real life in dreams and forget the reality.      The fifth and the last cause responsible for this is that there is no liberty in asking questions. If a child asks questions, he or she is rebuked for this endeavor. His or her creativity is left to ruins. He or she can’t understand why I am not allowed to ask what I necessarily want to know.     

The above discussion is about the causes. Now, we will try to know about the consequences of the above discussion. The most disastrous consequence is that human resources are lost. When the children find themselves misfit in a society, what is the need of them in society. They think themselves as a useless burden on society. The second consequence is that a child becomes a source of frustration for the parents in particular and the society in general. Parents also become worried. They lose interest in their lives. It, in the long run, harms the society. The third consequence is that other countries and societies take lead over this society. This kind of society has to lag behind in every respect. There are no personality developments in this society. Intellectualism takes the back seat in this society and slowly and steadily, the society falls into the pit of slavery, where from there is no recovery. The fourth consequence is that it mars the future of the society as well. This society will leave no particular legacy to be followed by the future generations. The future generations will find no reason to follow their ancestors but to look out for some alien world. When our own house is not set, how can we go on setting the others’ houses right. The fifth consequence of this is that the Creator of the world becomes angry with us. His way is to teach children in the best possible way.  But our society never works according to the divine principles but only theoretically.

Truth always is overlooked. And the result is that the Creator replaces this society with another one. The society that will follow the natural processes and act accordingly.      This piece of writing came in my mind when I compare the childhoods of today’s children with mine. I see a wide chasm between the two. Ours childhood was to live life while today’s childhood is about death. We never think of committing suicides while a child of the modern world always thinks of committing suicide. So, there is a wide gap between the childhoods of the past and the childhoods of the present. The need is to let the children of the modern world live their lives according to the best possible way.( Replugged).