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Virat Kohli’s stand on ‘child abuse’ video finds an echo in mental health experts’ view

Psychologists are against the idea of filming the distress of three-year-old Haya during her lessons. The plight of the child, the niece of Bollywood singers Toshi and Sharib Sabri, shows what’s wrong with our system, they say.

bollywood Updated: Aug 23, 2017 17:57 IST
Naina Arora
Naina Arora
Hindustan Times
Toshi Sabri,Child Abuse,Sharib Sabri
Cricketer Virat Kohli’s social media post on how this child was being taught has triggered a furore.(Instagram/Virat.Kohli)

The so-called ‘child abuse’ video, which has gone viral after stinging comments on it by top cricketers, most notably Virat Kohli, shows a little girl who turns out to be the niece of Bollywood singers Toshi and Sharib Sabri.

Reacting to the vitriolic criticism being directed online at the child’s mother, Toshi Sabri says that a 90-second video is no basis for judging his sister’s parenting skills. He says that the toddler, a three-year-old named Haya, is rather “ziddi (stubborn)” and needs to be pushed to study. It’s in her nature to cry one minute and run off to play the next minute, he adds.

However, people who work in mental health lean towards Virat’s opinion. Clinical psychologist Pulkit Sharma says, “Our education system and parents [are] such that we want the child to perform [in school], as that fulfils our own ego.” He also feels that making the video was “sadistic”.

Sharma says, “I feel shocked that the parent shot the video. It’s sadistic. I’ve seen that parents get a thrill and an ego boost torturing their own children. I’ve seen a lot of parents who have their own unresolved issues, and [they] take the anger and frustration out on their children by being sadistic and cruel.” He adds that social media users should refrain from sharing and re-tweeting this video, because “if we watch negative things, over a period of time, people absorb their vibration”.

Dr Anil Sethi, psychologist, says, “The video shows that the whole world is after marks. A child should be enjoying the childhood, at such a tender age. The video opens up a debate as to what path the parents are walking on. Koi bhi report card bachche ke kaabliyat nahi bata sakta (No report card can show a child’s true talent). Children have become robots — at such a young age, they’re doing everything, from learning how to dance to playing tennis.”

The mother, anxious about marks, was passing on her anxiety to the child, says consulting psychiatrist Avdesh Sharma, and adds, “If we’re going to train our children in being anxious all the time, then learning won’t happen. So whatever the mother is trying to do, it’s becoming counterproductive.”

Sabri brothers make their own video, responding to Virat Kohli

Singers Toshi and Sharib Sabri, in a video posted on Instagram on August 23, reached out to people, clarifying their stance that their little niece is the most loved person in the household. He captioned the post as: “A heartfelt message for all, for the video of our niece that had gone viral recently, here is us on behalf of her mother whose apple of the eye she is and every family member who loves her. - Thank you Shaarib & Toshi #Love #MotherDaughter #LoveOurNiece.”

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First Published: Aug 23, 2017 17:57 IST