[This follows Bad Parenting- Insensitivity and Indecency]
Where do we get our prejudices? How do we form our biases against certain kinds of people? How does discrimination perpetuate through generations?
The answer lies in bad parenting.
The parents indoctrinate their kids with habits, ideals, values and most importantly prejudices. I argue in Indian values are actually habits I and Indian values are actually habits II that Indians equate habits with values. What this means is that Indians give precedence to dietary habits, like not eating meat or not drinking alcohol over other values such as honesty or integrity, or not taking bribes.
When my kid was around two and half, she was shunned by the group of kids in the apartment. The kids refused to play with her and boycotted her. One of the older kids told everyone else to stop playing with my kid because she ‘eats chicken’. My kid was too young to understand what’s going on. She kept crying each time they rejected her. She went back into the group not knowing why they refuse to play with her. They would ask her to go away, and when she didn’t, the kids just moved to a different location to continue playing.
It was a traumatic experience for a two year old to be refused and boycotted. And this happened in an apartment complex in the cosmopolitan Bangalore where most parents are working in IT industry. [How the parents get to know which kids in the apartment are meat eaters is in itself a very interesting story – to be told later.]
Now, my kid has grown up, and is five and half. She recently told us she didn’t want to go to school anymore. The reason being that few kids kept calling her ‘dirty girl’ because she eats egg. This happened despite the fact that we do not put egg or meat in her lunch box to avoid her alienation.
So, where do these kids get these high morals, these virtuous ethics, and these esteemed values, of calling a non-vegetarian kid a ‘dirty girl’? Where do they get the moral strength, the courage and conviction to boycott a non-vegetarian who eats ‘chicken’?
The answer is very simple: from their parents.
The parents, in their overzealous efforts to keep their kids vegetarian, so that they don’t get seduced by non-vegetarianism, so that they don’t get influenced by their non-vegetarian friends, tend to teach their kids a variant called militant vegetarianism – where all veg foods are considered good, all meat products are bad, and all those people who eat veg are good, and all those people who eat meat are bad.
Naturally, the innocent kids, believe their parents as is their wont, and come out of their homes to simply carry out the teachings they learnt at home. These kids boycott a girl who eats egg, and call her a ‘dirty girl’.
I continue to maintain that most of the ills in our country are directly attributable to bad parenting. Whether it is about Hindus detesting Muslims, upper castes looking down upon lower castes, men ill-treating women, the root cause is in bad parenting.
The parents bequeath and bestow their kids with all their prejudices and biases.
And the yuppie vegetarian Indians are creating a new breed of bullies to perpetuate the discrimination of non-vegetarians. These Indians ride the high horse of morality because Indian caste system treats vegetarianism as pure while meat eating as impure. Armed with these Indian casteist philosophies these yuppie Indians indoctrinate their kids to become the next generation of discriminating Indians, and wonder why we continue to have so many ills in this country.
Related Articles: ‘Meat eaters are bad people’, Rejection of Rationality V: Vegetarianism, Are Humans vegetarians or meat-eaters?, What’s the problem with Indians?, Indian values are actually habits I, Indian values are actually habits II, Bad Parenting- Insensitivity and Indecency