The repulsive spate of killing children over the last few years may soon earn yet another bad name for the country -- we are turning into a misopedist (child-hater) nation. Our poets have composed memorable lines on the virtues of raising ideal children. We believe that the future of the nation remains asleep in the inner recess of children.
All this turns out to be a grand mockery when placed beside the periodic killings of children. The children are being killed for reasons in which they have no role. They are made objects of revenge and wrath, and used as pawns. Be the venue a remote village or a large city, the criminals take a tiny tot hostage, demand ransom from its parents, and, upon detecting their faintest reluctance, kill the baby. One has to grope for words to speak of these savageries. To our doom, this type of killings has lately become blasé happenings.
The brutal killing of children in different parts of the country in the last few days has once again demonstrated our apathy towards children. Our mental set, in fact, has appallingly veered towards the outburst of a latent murderous instinct. Of all the recent child killings, a few have smacked of sheer sadistic traits. These include sexually assaulting a child, and later killing it. The killings generally follow the same old script: abduct a child, detain it, convey the nature of the demand, and without giving the child's parents time to think over it kill the poor kid. In cases, the criminals air their demands after killing the hostages.
Sociologists and behavioural experts have lots of explanations for this grim turn of things in the country. At times, economists and political thinkers might weigh in. But how will they explain convincingly a close relative's complicity in the murder of an innocent teenager or the brutal killing of a baby by its own mother. The offence of the baby is he has seen his mother in intimacy with her paramour. Law-enforcement agencies have a vital role to play here. They can act immediately after receiving a formal complaint. Upon an all-out search they can hunt out the criminals, as well as rescue the hostage victims. Incidents corroborating this do occur in the country. One would like to refer to the nabbing of the criminals accused of mercilessly killing two small boys last year. They were meted out punishments according to the law of the country. But most of the time, the law-enforcers are outwitted by the criminals. Sometimes, laidback attitude of the authorities helps criminals go ahead with their hideous acts.
The bitter reality is that child repression, now straight killings, has lately been on the rise. In terms of frequency and grisliness, it is surpassing all past records. To term it alarming is understatement. In fact, it has assumed the proportions of a national scourge. In the last four years, 1085 children have been killed, with 29 in last January alone, says a survey. This fact is enough to make many feel devastated. Where are we headed for? The nation is already bewildered with scores of aberrant trends chipping away the age-old mores of the society. The orgy of child killing might become another nail in the coffin. It's high time to put in place a stringent Act on child protection.