Almost all of us remember being slapped by our parents, many of us might joke about it as adults too. But many of us too – including the parents – perhaps wonder if things could have been done differently.
Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani thought a message shared by her mother on modern vs old parenting style was funny. But not everyone found it as hilarious.
Instagram post by Smriti Irani. Photo: smritiiraniofficial/Instagram
Irani has since deleted this post. The Union minister joked about the parenting during her childhood, saying that one slap by her mother would set her 'chakra, karma, aura', and everything else straight. What was her dig at? - Modern parenting involving the help of professionals like child psychiatrists and psychologists; or in other words, professionally dealing with mental health.
Some netizens agreed with Smriti Irani and also shared the role played by 'Bata chappals'.
Comments on Smriti Irani's Instagram post. Photo: @ smritiiraniofficial/Instagram
And the Union minister also agreed that the slap-style parenting of the 80s and 90s kids made them more disciplined. In other words, Irani said she seconded this type of parenting.
Smriti Irani agrees with a netizen over the old parenting style. Photo: @ smritiiraniofficial/Instagram
Others did not find it as hilarious.
Let’s normalise slapping Children coz hey, Minister of Women and ‘Child’ development is boasting about it. pic.twitter.com/O1lXxomUQ2— ᴛʜᴇ ᴍᴏɴᴋ ᴡʜᴏ sᴏʟᴅ ʜɪs ғᴀᴋᴇᴇʀɪ (@puntinational) December 21, 2021
Union Minister Smriti Irani probably doesn't understand that her mother committed a crime under Section 323 read with other provisions of of JJ Act and IPC. She must not romanticize corporal punishment that is illegal, criminal in nature, hence punishable under the law.— Dr Azim Khan (@azimsherwani) December 21, 2021
Some hit out at Smriti Irani for endorsing and normalising child abuse being the Union Minister for Women and Child Development. Others fumed at her for ridiculing seeking professional help for mental health issues, by comparing professional therapy to slap-style parenting.
Then there were also others who said that perhaps Irani was not slapped tight enough by her mother for her to be making such comments. And yet others said that Irani was making such remarks in her position because she never made it to therapy.
I request Minister of Women & Child Development @smritiirani's mother to respectfully open her chakra, stabilize her karma and clean her aura with ONE single slap.... maybe TWO just in case. pic.twitter.com/XgFt8FRmLE— Gaurav Kler | ਗੌਰਵ ਕਲੇਰ (@kler_gaurav) December 21, 2021
Smriti Irani put out another Instagram post after receiving the backlash, saying that it was in jest. Of course, netizens did not buy into what they called an ‘excuse’. This post also stands deleted now.
View this post on Instagram
Several surveys and studies have shown that Indian parents find it perfectly okay to physically hit their children, in order to discipline them. A UNICEF report in 2020 listed 30 ways Indian parents ‘abused’ their children physically, verbally, and emotionally.
Other reports have demonstrated earlier how parental abuse negatively impacts a child – from their brain development to long-term consequences.
What do you think of Smriti Irani's post?