The thinking generation

An 11-year-old can also take a political stance and spar with his father, as was evident from the animated conversation between my nephew and his father. It was a family get-together to celebrate my nephew's remarkably good performance in school and also my parents' marriage anniversary. The mood was festive. After exchanging pleasantries, my father asked my brother-in-law about his visit to the Land of the Dragon. He replied, "Things could not have gone better."

My brother-in-law who had just returned from an official trip to China, could not help but  eulogise  the Chinese way of functioning and the fact that it was proving to be a front-runner in business and industry, leaving India behind. Perhaps it was the glory being thrust on China by his father that irked my nephew, who could not take it anymore.

Leaving aside the mobile game  was engrossed in playing, he intervened. The table conversation sparked to life. In utter disdain, he demanded how China could be bestowed such prestige when it was massacring people in Tibet? He asked bluntly, why UN forces could not be called in Tibet. There was a ring of sincerity in his voice. Children like to see everything in black and white, and cannot understand greys. They only think in terms of good or bad. Thinking aloud, he wondered from what angle China was better. He retorted that the Chinese goods were cheap, but of poor quality as the toys his father bought him from China all broke in a few days.

The discussion digressed to the recent American elections. He said that people in India can vote for the same prime minister many  times. He could not understand why the US President could only have two terms in office. His precocious logic could not comprehend who could possibly have any objection. It was the prerogative of the people to accept or reject.

Children have a novel way of looking at things because they are not tainted by worldly cares, motives and influences. They cannot be forced to accept things. They have to be logically convinced. As adults, we understand that there are some laid down rules and regulations. Children question the legitimacy of these restrictions. They are keen to know why. The spirit of inquiry should be nurtured and not nipped in the bud.

With father-son duo debating vociferously, it was left to my sister to intervene and draw their attention back to the food. We all dug into the food. We returned home satisfied with the good time we had. Looking forward to more such mini-parliament sessions and a battle of wits between two contrasting ideologies and perceptions.

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