Making simple decisions like what to wear to work, what to prepare for dinner or which movie to relax with over the weekend, repeatedly, can be exhausting and dizzying, can’t it? Wouldn’t life be much easier if all this was done magically and everyone was happy in the end?

Sigh! Life is a little more complicated than this. More so, if you are the mother of a curious 9 year old who is receptive, observant, hungry for knowledge and most of all, wants to be treated like a ‘big boy’ and be told the truth. Personally, this has been one of the harder parenting challenges I have come across.

While our children’s history books are all set to dilute the Mughal influence in the politics of our country and our lives in general, I cannot help reflecting on the time when save a couple of chapters where our entire civilization history was covered, our history books spoke extensively only about our freedom struggle.

Being a citizen of a free and democratic country is indeed a privilege handed out to me on a platter but what I wonder is whether controlling the historical content that our kids are exposed to everyday and considering the limited reading on a vast range of important topics amongst kids nowadays, sets us apart from the damaging stuff we know our neighbouring country feeds to their youngsters with a misleading intent?

The influence of dynasty politics in our country might be fading out in recent times but the colourful and checkered past of the one entitled political family is hardly a matter of surprise. Many skeletons have been out of their closet, while many possibly still remain. There is tons of literature available, yet how many of us take the time out to go through it?

Thank you for bearing with me with this long and deliberate digression as it was important to put forth the point I was trying to make. Recently, when the movie Indu Sarkar got embroiled in a controversy for trying to portray the facts about The Emergency, A and I had many discussions about the atrocities committed during that time and how we never learnt about it from anywhere as kids.

A Jr’s books sing accolades about how great our leaders were, while we know all too well how tainted the personalities of many of them were in reality. He is quite excited about an essay writing competition for Independence Day in his school today and in his practice essay is parroting the same thing his books taught him, that our freedom struggle was spearheaded by a precious few. I might just suggest a few changes there.

It is crucial to not bombard him with information his young mind isn’t prepared to process right now and that makes me keep a guarded silence. Sometimes I get angry and sometimes feel helpless though to see him struggling to make sense between what he reads in his books and the newspapers. I choose to answer his questions honestly and let him decide on his own. This is a part of personality development, yes?

I have tried to get through the basics of politics with him using examples like the feuding brothers in Bahubali, the vicious son in Gladiator and chosen excerpts from our very own Mahabharata. What troubles me is that will the shift from fiction to non-fiction be palatable for him? Doesn’t gore get gorier when it happens for real?

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36 thoughts on “Should our kids know the truth? #Parenting

  1. You have rightly pointed out the dichotomy between what is taught at our schools and what actually happened in history or is happening around the world. Our text books have historically fed us inaccurate stuff based on popular demand and vote Bank politics. The shock when a child learns of the actual incidents is great. Reducing the portion of the Mughla era in the history textbooks in school? I don’t know how it helps but I hope parents and teachers will fill the gap, when curriculum can’t, as you are rightly doing.

    1. They say that history is written by the victorious, but when it comes to books it is chosen by the current power in Centre. Even during our time there was so much filtered information that we had the hardest time trying to put the pieces together. For these kids, the job just got tougher.
      I try to bridge the gap, although I’m not sure if he is ready to understand it all yet. This is just the beginning.
      Thank you so much for your comment. Welcome here. ☺

      1. You’re mimosa welcome and I agree history is always written by those in powers, be it in the times of yore or now. You’ll never see a historical account from the losing side. Glad to make your acquaintance ???? ????

  2. It’s really a shame how Mughal history is going to be wiped off the text book.
    Instead of progressing this country seems to be showing signs of regressing.
    We and our kids are at difficult crossroad.
    Nice post Varsh.

    1. Regression is everywhere and that the scary part is that people are finding logic and comfort in it. How is that even possible? Who knows if it would all go beautifully well if Mughal’s hadn’t entered the scene anyway?
      Thank you so much, Natasha. This is a real issue I’m facing right now. Glad you understand. ☺

  3. Young generation should know the real History and its sad that Mughal History which has influenced our culture so much is going to be wiped off from history books .

    1. They sure need to know the real truth, not the fabricated one that will be imposed on their minds. I wonder what will the Mughal history be replaced with. How can it all be simply wiped off?
      Thanks for reading and commenting, Ghazala. Welcome here. ☺

  4. I actually loved your post.. i find myself in you child’s position.. what i have read in books and what i get to know now are totally different and honestly i hate the over sweet, unrealistic things textbooks teach us.. the patriotic heros of our nation are no less tainted in real..

    1. If only we teach our children the meaning and importance of politics in real life, we could possibly be assured that they can figure out a lot. I wondered too, howcome my book doesn’t say this when the reality is that.
      I’m glad you liked the point I was trying to make. Thanks for reading.

  5. I totally agree with you varsh. Our kids have the right to know the full truth about our history. Full knowledge should be given to them so that they can understand the base of our culture and from where we all come from. Nice post dear.

    1. Exactly. The least we can do is to provide them with the correct information, tell them what happened and them let them decide which side they are on. Why to make these choices for them?
      Thanks for reading, Minakshi. Glad you liked it,

  6. The real essence of history is almost at the verge of extinction. And over and above the television potrays the storys in altogether new and edited way which worsen the situation. Thanks for writing on the issue.

    1. Tell me about it. Television twists these stories in such a way that they seem more fiction than reality. There is no history involved there. I feel this is the worst kind of entertainment.
      Thanks for reading. Glad you liked it.

  7. even i sometimes wonder how much of truth is actually being taught but then those minds are really young and need to be told about the better more but still i would like to seee some changes where even bad is also told in a right way no one is perfect and ideologies differ ..the idea is to introduce to them in a better way

    1. These kids days are better equipped and more exposed to handle difficult emotions and facts than we were. We could live in denial but they probably can’t or won’t. Introducing it in the right way, there you said it!
      Thank you so much for the comment.

  8. I’m not the mother yet but can understand what you are going through. The exactly same thing happened any mom I was wondering how she used to bear with us and you are dealing it so well love reading

    1. Not just mothers, as parents we have to make sure that our kids develop complete personalities with a proper balance and understanding of everything. Just trying to get that. When your time comes, you will do this too. 🙂
      Thank you for reading.

  9. There is a lot of contradiction what i read in my school text books about history and what i came to know later via other sources. Its all politics. Politics did not spare even student’s books. How sad!!

    1. Students are most impressionable and what they learn at a tender age is tough to undo. Why should we make it a power game is beyond me. Sad, it is.
      Thanks for dropping by.

  10. I feel liked ditched. Our kids will never know what we knew from the history. But I strongly believe that our kids have the right to know everything about the history. Totally agree with you.

    1. They have the right and that job now falls upon us. Course books might differ but we can use references and other information to make our point.
      Thank you for reading.

  11. Its truly unfair to share with kids half knowledge. Actually the way history is taught in school is so incomplete.To understand about how our country evolved to what its today, our children need to know the good and bad phase of history

    1. What irks me is that the life of kings like Ashoka and Chandragupta Maurya that are truly inspiring are reduced to a paragraph. So much must’ve happened in two milleniums yet we are oblivious to most of it.
      Thanks for reading and commenting dear.

    1. Not just benefiting to parents, it is also about what is taught in schools and is accepted in general. Kids cannot be expected to defend a stance, and that is problematic. Why should be have two versions at all?
      Thanks for reading and commenting. 🙂

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