No, this isn’t about cricket.
I abhor cricket from the depths of my soul and it would be sacrilege of me to dedicate a post to it on my blog.
(I need to do a penance for the last two lines itself 😐 . AND for the title 😦 )
I’m in a little tricky situation these days.
My children go to a day-care that is run by a lady who is Jain. She is very good with the children and I don’t have to worry about them while they are at her place. She makes pretty good lunch dishes for them and I must confess, she is responsible for making the twins enjoy their cabbages and bhindi. Being an ex-English-language faculty, she is also responsible for the twins picking up English faster than their classmates. Also, she’s the only available day-care near my place and I’m heavily dependent on her!
My only concern is regarding what she feeds into my children’s minds.
Earlier, I didn’t pay attention to the one-off comments, but with Eid-Ul-Zuha around the corner, she has upped her ante and keeps bombarding the twins with statements which are disrespectful of our religion.
“Only cruel people kill goats”.
“So many animals will die. When they go to heaven, they will complain against you”.
“Eggs are nasty things. They make normal people like me vomit”.
Obviously, the twins are mighty influenced. They are ready to give up their eggs and chicken because the day-care lady says so !
I did try to convince the two that sacrificing of a goat to feed the poor is not a crime. It is ordained in the Quran and is by no means sinful. Also, it is possibly the only ‘ritual’ in Islam. For people who cannot afford a goat, giving even grains to the poor is acceptable. The crux of the ritual is to feed poor people what they would not normally afford to eat. Also, the leather from the goats is used in leather factories for making shoes, belts, etc. What I want to say is that the sacrificial goat is not wasted.
This was a little heavy for the twins to understand, though I put it forward in the simplest manner possible.
My concern is, should I confront the day-care lady about this? Communal statements aside, she is rather good with the twins and takes care of them well. For this reason itself I’ve been keeping quiet all along. But it irks me to find her feeding negativity about our religion to my children. I don’t force vegetarians/vegans to change their choices and I don’t expect to change mine for them. Then why should my children be coaxed to do so?
There is a lot more cruelty towards animals happening around us. Hundreds of birds are killed annually during kite-festivals, of which some birds are already in the endangered species list. Plenty of animals suffer food poisoning around Holi and Diwali, not to mention other ailments due to loud sounds (We lost a much loved pet due to a rocket that landed in his food bowl). 80% of the western world survives on meat as their the only diet. Situation is worse in countries like China & Japan. More animals are killed in road accidents than by any other means. These deaths are not accounted for or repented. But a goat sacrifice during Eid-Ul-Zuha that becomes an act of cruelty, knowing that all that meat is given to the needy & poor people?
Explaining this to a hardcore vegetarian may be next to impossible and that is one reason I’m skeptical about bringing this up with the day-care lady. But then, how exactly should I ask her to stop making my kids follow her beliefs? My kids sit with her when she performs her puja, I’ve never objected to that. My kids fold their hands and go around in circles chanting “Ram, Ram”, I’ve never told them that they cant do that in our house! I’ve been as liberal with them as I’ve been brought up to be. But there are times when a line has to be drawn.
My problem is, I just don’t know how exactly to draw that line?