Tectonic changes are taking place in middle class society that do not come under survey. The emotional gap between parents and their children is widening at an alarming rate. What was once questionable behaviour has now become unchallengeable
Alot of hue and cry has been caused in recent times over the assault, one against a 17- year old girl in Guwahati, Assam, who had been to a pub and stayed there till ” late at night”, but was assaulted by over a dozen men in an open street when she left. The case number two concerns a large group of ” moral police” attacking a birthday party held in a suburb of Mangalore at which were present some eight young men and five young women- the latter being college students. The alt39 hooligansalt39 reportedly molested the women with a TV camera crew videographing the event. It is not clear when the allegedly 17- year old girl went to the pub and how long she was there and what she drank. Neither is it clear whether she had been to the pub alone or in some ones company. Furthermore, one has no clear idea whether she was sitting by herself in silence or was conversing with the very people who later attacked her.
Was there any argument between them that led to a drunken assault? We do not know. Is it part of our culture for 17- year old girls ( or, for that matter, 30 year old ladies) to go to the pubs and stay there for long hours, obviously drinking? Surely the 17- year old girl was not drinking only coco- cola? The question is valid because it raises certain important issues of social behaviour. The Mangalore case is just as controversial. The birthday party was held not at the home of the alt39 birthday girlalt39 but at a so- called alt39 Home- Stayalt39, where bedded rooms are rented out at anything between Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 per day and where liquor ( in this case beer) seems available for consumption.
How much of that was consumed between 3 p. m. and 6.30 p. m. is not known.
Questions are being asked: Couldnalt39t parents of the alt39 birthday boy and girlalt39 have celebrated the event in their own homes? Is it common among middle class families to let their daughters indulge in beer? Couldnalt39t the party have been held in a reputed hotel where security is assured? Should it have been held in a ” Home Stay”, far away from Mangalore heartland and beyond the purview of parents or police? These questions can be dismissed as irrelevant but they assume new meaning in the context of recent developments. Is it part of middle class culture for young women to visit pubs till late at night or in disreputable places, far away from parental scrutiny on the grounds that they have right to alt39 privacyalt39? Are parents aware of these developments and knowingly turn a blind eye towards them? The new generation evidently is uncontrollable? Tectonic changes are taking place in middle class society that do not come under survey. The emotional gap between parents and their children is widening at an alarming rate. What was once questionable behaviour has now become unchallengeable.
The new generation of the female sex asks: ” If young men can visit pubs, why shouldnalt39t women do so?” The point is made: ” We are equal to men; we can dress as we like, drink what we like, spend time where we like and cohort with whomsoever we like; our parents have no right to question us”. Parents acquiesce. According to a leading Mumbai daily, ” casual sex” between young men and women is now beginning to be acceptable and no eye- brows raised. Divorce rates are rising to unbelievable heights, but little notice is taken of it. With both husband and wife working, children get very little attention. In urban areas where children have no space to play, they are provided with lap- tops or i- pads to compensate for parental indifference, with disastrous consequences. Technology makes up for lack of parent- children interaction. That, for parents seems to come as a relief. The isolation between elders and youngsters get pronounc