I tiptoed to where Tahir was seated, his eyes looking down at his I-pad, and surprised him by placing my phone on his screen. ‘Can you guess what this little guy is saying?’ I asked, pointing at the small boy whose face was showing in the video that was playing in my phone. ‘Yes, I can.’ He answered. ‘He must be one of those toddler-geniuses who have crammed several verses of the holy Qur’an, or a large chunk of the rulings on worship, or he has memorised something significant but secular, like the boy who reels out the names of all countries of the world and their capitals off head. I’ve seen many such videos where proud parents or teachers ask kids to recite what they memorised so they can upload it on the internet for the world to watch and admire.’ He replied
‘Well, sorry to disappoint you but this young man is not reciting any of the things you said.’ I countered.
‘In that case maybe he is just singing a nursery rhyme, why don’t you just put on the volume?’ He demanded.
‘That’s because I want you to guess what he’s doing without hearing him directly, you’ll be surprised to find out what it is.’ I answered,
‘Well I give up. I’ve listed all the possibilities I know based on my past experiences with such toddler home videos. So just increase the volume now so I can tell what the boy is doing and get back to my calculations. As you can see, I was busy with my iPad when you descended on me.’ Tahir complained.
‘OK hubby dear, this is it’ I said putting on the volume on my phone. Immediately an adult female’s voice was asking the boy his name. To which the cute child replied by announcing his name. He apparently shares a name with a gubernatorial candidate of a particular state. Then the adult voice asked him which politician he liked and he replied that he preferred his namesake. Then again she asked why he doesn’t like the other guy, apparently an incumbent governor and the little boy simply said “Because he’s a thief”; “ And what did he steal?” The adult female asked and the toddler said “He stole dollars.” At this point the video ends.
‘How unfortunate’ Tahir said as soon as the video ended. ‘Is this what she thinks is worth recording and sharing to the world? When sensible people are making home videos of their children in order to show off their extraordinary intelligence, she did one just to show how loyal she is to a politician. What a foolish woman.’ He concluded, handing my phone back to me.
‘My sentiments exactly Tahir. I can’t imagine what could make one indoctrinate his child on a political idea at this very young age. Her foolishness is all the more glaring because people gain nothing by their die hard support of these selfish politicians. I mean when do politicians have time to remember what sacrifices you made for them, once they are in office? But the damage has been done as far her son is concerned, she has placed him on a path that he neither knows nor comprehend but which will last a long time in his mind, if not all of his life.’ I lamented.
‘Yes, but for me the worst part is what values people like her will impart to kids that are exposed to politics at this early stage. I mean you just told a child someone was a thief and you admit that he is your leader, the man governing your locality. So what does that tell an Innocent child? It tells him that being a thief is good because a thief can become a governor or senator or even something higher than that. And that society will respect him inspite of that.’ He complained.
‘Truly, by whatever yardstick you view this video, there is nothing positive about it. A child has been introduced to a world he has no business in and one with the potential to corrupt him. Such parents are well advised to stop pushing their kids into infant politicking because it isn’t good for them. It says a lot about us that while others are making their children cram things that are religious or educational to impress the world, some of us are just teaching the innocent souls how to abuse people that are old enough to be their grandparents. What a pity.’
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