Sunday, November 30, 2008

Childhood sans innocence

Last Saturday, I happened to be a judge at a creative writing competition for children from 9 – 13 years. The children were asked to imagine and write a story based on a picture showing sea, fishes and a few sea animals like octopus in it. Children came up with innovative thoughts and weaved stories. I was much distressed to read that most of the children had used the words commandos, RDX, hijack, kidnap, bullets, security, terrorist and built the stories around these lines; some of them had portrayed octopus as the terrorist who had come in a ship to kill fishes.
Where is the innocence of children gone? Can they think life beyond bomb blasts, terrorists ? It is sad that their vocabulary is laced with such words which we had not even heard of in our childhood. Where are the fairytale thoughts in which the good always overpowers evil? It is not only sad but scary too … what kind of upbringing and culture are we giving to our children where bomb blasts are the part of life and terrorists are not fictional characters.

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