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June 10, 2007
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June 10, 2007

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Home > 2007 Issues > June 10, 2007


Arjun's profane obsession

In the west, the day the children enter school, the teacher tells them about body fondling and unwanted caressing. She teaches the children to report to her and not to the mother if they have a complaint. The caution about the mother is because in a majority of cases, child sex abuse comes from the male contacts of single mothers. But sadly, educating the child about such abuses has not brought down the cases of child sex abuse in the west.

The children there grow up with the information and knowledge of man-woman relationship. But teenage pregnancy is one of the most serious problems and abortion rights a perpetual election issue. This only goes to show that knowing and being protected are not related.

If the HRD Ministry had been the personal property of Arjun Singh, he would not be misusing and abusing it the way he is doing now. An infirm minister, who according to reports hardly ever attends a full day in office, has decided that the children of India would learn about sex by using each other as live models. The syllabus on sex education to be introduced from June 2007 includes such chapters where blindfolded boys and girls are asked to feel and discover each other. There is yet another chapter where the naked pictures of the male and female are to be marked by the students. And all this in the name of fighting AIDS.

If this logic of teaching sex to fight AIDS is to be extended, then all Indians would have to be trained in the use of guns because more lives are lost in India because of terrorists and Naxalites than any other cause.

Introducing a subject like sex education in school curriculum cannot be done at the whim of a minister or his bureaucrats. The issue has to be discussed with the teachers at all levels and all types of schools. Merely talking to the Principal of a public school in Delhi over the TV is not enough. The teachers at primary schools, who ultimately would have to do the job, have to be consulted. Also the opinion of religious leaders and community heads needs to be considered.

Parents would have to be involved in large numbers. The Parents Teachers Association should discuss the need for the introduction of such a subject. In a society where parents do not discuss these matters with children, it cannot be forced upon the teacher. Also, it is preposterous to assume that all the students will receive it with the same emotional strength. There would be many girls and boys who are extremely sensitive about the matter. This could cause mental agony and lead to disastrous consequences in the growing minds. Like ragging, this can turn out to be a monster for students.

And, has the government done any study at all to find out if sex education would lead to lessening the incidents of AIDS? There have been several campaigns in the red light areas in the country on health awareness. Has it paid off? What has been the effect of the crores of rupees, which have been spent on AIDS awareness campaigns? We have a separate body on this called NACO (National AIDS Control Organisation). But it cannot even provide the exact statistics of the HIV infections and full-blown AIDS cases. Only recently a scandal was unearthed where NGOs in the name of fighting AIDS had received millions from the Government of India as well as outside donors. Most of these NGOs existed only on paper or at best a tin name board. The World Health Organisation, which was fed on the number of AIDS cases in India by these NGOs with vested interest to secure more aid scaled down its projections on India. It apologized for calling India the country with largest present and potential AIDS cases, surpassing Africa. Interestingly, Asia and Africa are the two continents where there is maximum evangelical activities to harvest souls. Could there be a connection?

How does sex education save children from AIDS? Unprotected sex is not the only cause. The multiple use of syringes is also a major cause. Even in Delhi, the throwing of bio-waste continues from which needles are picked up for recycling. Also, by educating the children on sex, the government is pushing them towards early sex rather than saving them from early and unsafe exposure. The only way to stop sexual transmission of AIDS is to use the condom and the government is not equipped to force the use of it on anyone, leave alone the children and teenagers.

Arjun Singh has been running roughshod over the nation in education. He has been generously gifting away seats in educational institutions to minorities snatching it from people who had been constitutionally protected. He has weakened educational institutions by issuing ill-advised directions. Now he is turning his eyes on school children. In this he is abetted by the MNCs and the west-controlled agencies to introduce a subject in school that will attack the sensitivity of our culture and education.

The parents, teachers and all the school authorities should stand up as one man and thwart this misadventure by Singh forcing him to rescind.

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