Children's Day is not about Jawaharlal Nehru or kids. It's all about celebrating adult fantasies

Sanghamitra Baruah
Sanghamitra BaruahNov 14, 2018 | 17:10

Children's Day is not about Jawaharlal Nehru or kids. It's all about celebrating adult fantasies

'Let us sacrifice our today so that our children can have a better tomorrow' is the most blatant lie that we have been telling ourselves.

Being a loving, responsible parent doesn't mean making sacrifices. But when we say 'sacrifice', it exposes our regret. To admit our own mistakes, however, is something that the selfish adult in us would not allow us to do, right? So we turned the tables instead.


We renamed our regret as 'sacrifice' and festooned our guilt with fancy terms like 'the joys of parenthood'. We started romanticising childhood and innocence.

We started celebrating Children's Day.

Who is sacrificing their time for the other? The children or the adult? (Credit: Reuters)

Let's admit it. If childhood and its joys are overrated, adulthood is all about pretensions — in a world created by adults, for adults only. It's not our children who apparently need education, food support, right to life and dignity. The state spends — or at least claims to be spending — humungous amounts on children but it still fails to protect them.


Because we need to focus on supporting adults. Once we do that, children and their future and all that jazz will fall in place.

It's true we can't stop procreating and end the human race, but we can at least stop pretending to be doing all this for our children.

We are not.

We have children not because a world without them will be devoid of innocence, or because they add that much-hyped 'perspective' to our lives. We have children simply because we can. We have children even if we can't, but still want to have. With rising parental aspirations and opportunities like expensive IVF treatments, relaxed adoption policies and twisted surrogacy laws, we have managed to overcome every hurdle, including our falling fertility rates.


Of playthings and playmates. (Credit: Reuters/representational)

We have children because we want to relive our childhood — a childhood that was mostly dictated by adults and their dreams imposed on us in the name of 'sacrificing their today for us'. Nobody is sacrificing, we are simply exacting a revenge for all those adult-imposed miseries upon us. Today's children will grow into tomorrow's parents or wannabe parents to do the same to their children.

We claim to love our children not because we love the little things but because they are ours — our own creation. We feel like God for those God-like powers of creating something. As humans we need to shower our love on someone, something. When that something looks devoid of purpose, we try to make it look purposeful, cost-effective and value for money by having children. And not to forget that even while doing all this, the prime motivator is to create and bring up someone who can look after our needs in our twilight years.

Children are our savings plan, our best investment bets, our insurance policy. Do we tell money that by saving it, by lavishing our care and affection to it, we are doing a favour to it? No, we don't, because money is too smart to buy such lies from us.


If adults are selfish, children too aren't selfless. They just have the licence, given by us, to be oblivious to the world around them and its hardships. But let's not forget that too is decided by us. Some children can afford to have a childhood and not take on adult responsibilities because we decide that for them. Children are the worst playthings adults created to feel good about themselves. 

Not having children is not about population control either. Of course, a totally child-free world would eventually lead to human extinction. But aren't we living in a world that's already doomed?

No 'Happy Children's Day' for this child. Why? (Credit: Reuters)

That more and more people are questioning the point of having children is a reflection of the guilt inside us. It's so sad how despite having such great powers of procreation, we have failed to make this entire process ideal for us. Despite such 'self-sacrifice', parents keep lamenting about unaffordable childcare or how unsafe our children are.

Who made this world unsafe for children?

There is an inherent peace in the acceptance of life without children — it means being less selfish, means not imposing our choices, our lifestyle, our ideologies, our miseries, our idea of sacrifice on others. 

We love children because they light up our world, our mundane days and give us the hope that they will look after us.

In all this, they are the giving party, not us.

So, if anyone is sacrificing their today for someone's better tomorrow, it's our children.

Happy adult fantasy day.


Last updated: November 14, 2018 | 17:10
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