Lessons from Pune: Parenting, Values, and Responsibility

The tragic events surrounding the Pune accident extend beyond individual actions to highlight societal issues. The case serves as a stark reminder of the collective responsibility we hold toward ensuring the safety and well-being of our communities. Firstly, it underscores the crucial role of institutions such as law enforcement agencies and regulatory bodies in upholding […]

The tragic events surrounding the Pune accident extend beyond individual actions to highlight societal issues. The case serves as a stark reminder of the collective responsibility we hold toward ensuring the safety and well-being of our communities. Firstly, it underscores the crucial role of institutions such as law enforcement agencies and regulatory bodies in upholding the rule of law and safeguarding public safety. The revelations of negligence within the police force highlight the need for accountability and reform within these institutions to prevent similar incidents. Moreover, the involvement of multiple parties, including bar owners and managers, raises questions about the ethics of businesses and their compliance with legal regulations. It prompts reflection on the role of commercial establishments in promoting responsible behaviour and adhering to laws about alcohol service and underage drinking.

New developments continue to emerge in the Pune Porsche accident case. Media reports on Sunday revealed that the accused’s grandfather, Surendra Agarwal, had gifted him the Porsche for his birthday. Surendra was arrested on Saturday for attempting to shield his grandson and falsely implicate the driver. The court has remanded him to three days in custody. Aman Wadhwa, a friend of Surendra, told India Today that Surendra had shared a photo of the Porsche in a WhatsApp group two months prior, stating it was a birthday gift for his grandson. Following Surendra’s arrest, Commissioner Kumar revealed that Surendra had pressured the driver to take the blame. The driver’s statement confirmed that the minor’s mother also urged him to accept responsibility.

Additionally, five individuals associated with two pubs have been identified and accused of serving alcohol to minors. They include Cozy Restaurant owner Prahlad Bhutada, his manager Sachin Katkar, Black Club Hotel manager Sandeep Sangale, and his staff Jayesh Bonkar and Nitesh Shewani.

The FIR notes that the minor did not possess a driving license, yet his father permitted him to drive the luxury car and attend the party despite knowing he consumed alcohol. On May 24, a special court placed all six accused, including the minor’s father, in judicial custody until June 7. Commissioner Kumar mentioned that efforts were made to tamper with evidence to show that the minor was not driving the car. The FIR against the accused’s father, bar owners, and managers now includes Section 420 for cheating. Kumar stated, “We have CCTV footage of the minor drinking alcohol in the pub, so we will not rely solely on the blood sample report”. An internal inquiry also found negligence by some police officers, who will face action for destroying evidence.

The tragedy in Pune prompts us to examine deeper societal attitudes towards wealth, privilege, and parenting. The excessive indulgence and lack of accountability displayed in this case reflect broader trends of materialism and entitlement that pervade contemporary culture. As a society, we must confront these issues collectively, recognizing that the actions of individuals have far-reaching consequences for the well-being of others. It is incumbent upon us to foster a culture of responsibility, empathy, and accountability, where the pursuit of wealth and status does not supersede considerations of ethical conduct and social responsibility. In conclusion, the Pune accident serves as a sobering reminder of the need for systemic change and collective action to address underlying issues of privilege, negligence, and societal values. By acknowledging our shared responsibility and working towards positive change, we can strive to create a safer, more equitable society for all.
If we look back to the 1980s, we can see how much we struggled to get Rs. 1 as pocket money. During that time, having a bicycle was a big achievement. That period was good because we knew the value of the bicycle and the hard-earned money of our parents. Giving birthday parties to friends in hotels and restaurants was very rare.

In an insightful interview, Sudha Murthy, renowned author and chairperson of Infosys Foundation, shared a compelling story about her son Rohan’s upbringing that highlighted her values on financial discipline. When young Rohan asked for money to throw a birthday party, Sudha refused, emphasizing the importance of understanding the value of money and celebrating meaningfully rather than extravagantly. She encouraged him to find creative, modest ways to celebrate, teaching him resourcefulness and appreciation for simpler pleasures. This approach instilled values of humility, hard work, and financial independence in Rohan, shaping his character and contributing to his success. Sudha Murthy’s parenting wisdom reflects her deep understanding of essential life values, which she imparts through her work and writing.

However, how many of us provide such an upbringing to our children? Recently, many cases highlighted were children from rich families involved in wrongful activities and crimes. Whether it’s a symbol of status, no one will bother you unless you create problems for society. But many such things are creating issues that can be harmful to someone’s life and limb. One common example is that many parents allow their minor children to drive two-wheelers and four-wheelers. Who will be responsible if these kids meet with an accident? We all know that triple riding is against the rule, yet we still see small school-going children, sometimes even in their uniforms, riding two-wheelers and without helmets. As parents, we know that minors are not allowed to drive. Then why are we allowing our children to do so? Why can’t we ask our children to use bicycles which is good for their health and for the environment also? Fewer vehicles mean less pollution.

In earlier days, there was a set time for returning home. But nowadays, parents do not even bother about their children’s whereabouts and activities. This Pune case is an eye-opener for every parent. It’s common for every household that a grandfather’s love towards their grandchildren is both pious and spoiling. But is giving such a costly car and a credit card to party with friends necessary to show their love? It’s surprising to know that the boy spent Rs. 48,000 in just 3 hours at a bar. There are many people whose entire family runs on this much salary. What kind of love is this? If this is love, then sorry to say that we are destroying our young generations.

We should take the example of the daughters of former US President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama. Despite being the daughters of one of the most powerful people in the world, they lived normal, down-to-earth lives. Their eldest daughter, Sasha Obama, once chose to give up the comfort of the White House and took up a job at a seafood joint in Massachusetts during her summer break. Now comes my question: can we expect our children to clean the dining table after completing their food? This is the difference in upbringing we are giving to our children.

It is the responsibility of every parent to provide all necessary support to their children but also to install value education and proper upbringing. This is not the only issue; apart from this, there are other issues also which every parent must understand. It’s the family first who installs good values in their children. In this high-tech society, we have kept our children under the supervision of social media. We are avoiding our children in the name of a busy schedule, and because of this, a gap is being created among the family members, where family members are not even aware of each other’s day-to-day lives. That is the reason nowadays young generations are at risk of wrongful activities. Parents should take care and check where their children are, what they are doing, with whom they are mixing, and who their friends are. It’s not because they want to spy on them; it’s because they have a right and duty to know about their daily lives. They should be taught about valuing life and money, as both things are important.

Dr. Pyali Chatterjee is HOD, Faculty of Law, ICFAI University, Raipur, Chhattisgarh.


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