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Disciplining spoilt brats

chandigarh Updated: Aug 24, 2014 10:24 IST
Khushwant Singh

If someone were to do a study on educated and wealthy youth throwing civic order out of place and not obeying traffic rules, just head for Chandigarh’s Sector 9 market or the geri route, and you will find numerous examples. Facing the brunt of it one day was my friend Mani Chadha who, while struggling to take his car out from the parking, asked me if I could write on this menace.

Just as I was taking a final call on his suggestion, the internet went viral with news about a Chandigarh kaka trying to throw off a traffic policeman, who had dared to jump on to the bonnet of his Sonata car to stop him from fleeing after committing a traffic offence.

Given the highway terrorism, road rage and the attitude of people on the road, I am convinced that fine is not the only way to deter such brats from not doing what they do. The age-old adage ‘Spare the rod and spoil the child’ is apt and some form of chhittar parade (spanking) has to be introduced in the system to discipline these brats.

The other option is that the parents introduce chhittar parade at home, and save themselves the embarrassment of their wards hitting the headlines. Parents, especially those who are in high positions or with excess money, need to stop raising their children with a sense of entitlement.

They should focus on instilling values and discipline in their children. In fact those who do not do this are doing a disservice to their children.

Personal experience
Now the question arises as to why am I in favour of controlled chhittar parade to discipline spoilt brats? My answer is that I have a personal experience to back my claim.

It was a usual week day -- horse riding, college and the ‘pilgrimage’ around the Government College for Girls (GCG) and the geri route before heading back home for lunch followed by the evening routine. It was during this geri route time that I hopped on to a friend’s (who’s now a wannabe politician) Fiat car for an extra geri before heading home. Someone other than my friend was driving the car, and he for some reason decided that the best way to impress girls was by breaking traffic rules and scaring them. Vroom he went past the GCG and then took a left from the wrong side of the divider. I have no idea whether his manoeuvre ended up impressing any girls, but what I know is that coming from the opposite side on his motorcycle was the dreaded station house officer of Sector 11, Om Prakash. Hell broke loose for us for the next few minutes. Om Prakash, along with other constables, dragged us out of the car and thrashed us nice and proper. Obviously, we were livid and explored ways, like going to the press, human rights, etc, to restore ‘our dignity, but in hindsight I think the thrashing worked well for me. I don’t think I ever indulged in kaka-type hooliganism ever after. More so, I became a law-abiding teenager. In other words, the fukra in me was nicely tamed.

Discipline a must
The right dose of chhittar at the right time can work wonders and actually help in disciplining brats. It has great effect, if not abused. It works like that 9-volt current in a barbed wire which discourages wild animals from straying into forbidden territories. Increase the current and you get the opposite results. For example, if the police had stretched this thrashing beyond a point, there would have been no learning, only disrespect for the state.

The same situation is applicable in schools. I studied at a school founded by the Irish brothers where caning was a norm. I seriously have no mental scar of being caned, and hardly any of my classmates or schoolmates have it. The reason for this is that one was punished immediately and in proportion to the offence committed, something which the Indian teacher needs to learn. A certain amount of stick worked well for us and helped maintain discipline in our lives.Those who are aghast at reading this idea, head out to Sector 9 and you’ll concur with my view. A spoilt brat can only be set right with chhittar.