While Ekalavya of Mahabharata, blindly obeyed his so called Guru, Dronacharya, by sacrificing his thumb to fulfill the unjustified and wrongful demand of his Guru on the ground that since he was not a Kshatriya, he was not entitled to Master Archery though out of his own sheer interest, practice and skills and talent for archery he had acquired mastery over archery by merely keeping the idol of Dronacharya in front of him treating Dronacharya as his guru. But for this, Ekalavya would’ve become greater than Arjuna in Archery. Whereas, Arjuna fought Kurukshetra war opposite his own guru, Dronacharya in Archery treating the latter as an ordinary mortal.
Similarly, if we blindly follow the above dictum that children should obey parents/teachers/other elders in society who do all kinds of wretched things like thieving, Drug Trafficking and Prostitution, children or students of these professionals would become merely thieves, drug traffickers and pimps and prostitutes only instead of adopting rightful means to make money through their own rightful talent and skills unlike their elders be their parents or teachers. Similarly parents in traditional families teach their daughters to blindly follow and suffer whatever their in laws say or do instead of defying their in-laws greedy diktats for dowry or subjecting themselves to their in laws violence for the latter’s greedy demands of dowry or other unjustified demands driving such hapless daughter in laws to commit suicides as they are made to feel they have nobody to turn to for solace and succor. If only, they come out off their in laws clutches by refusing to succumb to their greedy demands and try to financially become independent, there would be no need for them to desperately commit suicides. Parents or Society elders should teach their children/daughters how to assert and stand up for their rights in the face of trying circumstances, instead of blindly obeying elders if the latter’s behavior or conduct is wrongful and unjustified.
Take the case of the recent media stories of the illegal Village Khap Panchayats(Village Elder’s Caste Panchayats), which have declared many inter caste marriages as illegal and pronounced death penalty for such young couples on the ground of simply belonging to the same gotra although The Supreme Court of India has banned such illegal Khap Panchayats. Such extra constitutional authorities are not letting such young couple live their lives on their own just terms and sentencing them to death.
Children/youngsters blindly following elders, be their parents or teachers etc, would lead to loss to the former’s individuality, strength of personality, character , courage, conviction and other leadership qualities if the former’s values or conduct are wrongful. Hence, let the children develop their own strong leadership qualities and I’d advice elders to be friendly with children and only guide them to tread the right path in life so that they’d become strong individuals and be useful to the society by contributing to the society’s lot through their talents and skills and ultimately for the betterment of one and all.
Ms .Nirmala P.Rao
Legal Expert and Political Analyst