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Seven Things Indian Parents Can Do to Keep Secular Democracy Alive

6 32 0
11.01.2020

A lot of urban Indian parents I know are worried about the India their children are growing up in. They are concerned about the condition of society, the state of the economy, the rising levels of pollution and the declining quality of life. In short, they are worried about the future that awaits their kids. (Rural Indian parents have problems of a different magnitude altogether.)

A minuscule minority of Indian parents has the means to send their children to study and settle abroad. The rest know their kids have to grow up in India. The crises facing them are huge, including the promised imposition of the National Population Register and the National Register of Citizens from which Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has told us, “There is no escape.” (Those words.)

And as the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) comes into effect, anyone with even a modicum of intelligence can tell that see that very idea of a secular, democratic and progressive India is under attack.

Also read: Have the Bullies of Yesterday Become the Bigots of Today?

At a time like this, what does a conscientious parent do? It is tempting to feel paralysed when your own government seems to have turned on you, but there is a lot a parent can do to keep the idea of a secular and democratic India alive.

1. Honour the constitution. Keep a copy of the constitution of India on your living room coffee table where it can be easily picked up and flipped through. Discuss it with your kids. Talk about how special it is to have a ‘national book’ with clearly defined rights and responsibilities for all the citizens of India. (Illustrated books like We, the Children of India, by the late Chief Justice Leila Seth, for example, explain the spirit and importance of the Preamble in a fun, interesting, and child-friendly way.)

Let’s be honest, not too many of us can remember the last time we read through the constitution, if at all. It is well worth our while to familiarise ourselves with it. It’s also not a bad idea to keep a few extra........

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