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The Perils Of Being A Modern Dhritarashtra 

| Updated: July 26, 2023 5:20 pm

Dear parents,

This is an open letter that you must read if you do not want to raise kids like Tathya Patel, Manu Sharma, Vismay Shah or Param Sharma.

Tathya is in the news for ramming his car into a crowd, killing nine and injuring 13. Vismay, who could now be called Tathya’s junior, was sentenced in a hit-and-run case. Manu killed Jessica for not serving a drink after the bar ran out of alcohol decades ago. Param, who is of Indian origin, is behind bars for stealing an iPhone. His father was on the list of Forbes’ Richest 100 Americans.

In short, this open letter is for rich parents and parents of all strata of life who should be wary of their kids having friends who smack of opulence.

Believe me, rich friends serve no purpose other than random visits to coffee joints, enjoying holidays in five-star resorts and flashing designer gifts. The burden to keep up with them is suffocating and stressful.

We have been seeing, listening, and reading about Tathya, an Ahmedabad youngster, who rammed his Jaguar into a busy crowd. He was on a long drive with his friends past midnight. The young boy loved his fast life, fast cars, and fast friends.

Tathya is definitely at fault; he deserves the stringent punishment provided for in such cases.

He must not be allowed leniency just because his father is a powerful and influential man. Tathya doesn’t deserve mercy just because we’re inundated with images of his father posing alongside everyone possible in the BJP, from the Chief Minister to the Governor.

Of course, it worries us as to what over a hundred people were doing on the bridge at that goddamn hour. It was 1 AM, it had been raining incessantly, and water choked the city’s arteries.

But, like many entitled youngsters with no sense of responsibility, Tathya and his friends were out on a long drive.

Apparently, an accident had already happened there — a Thar car and a dumper collided — and two cops were trying to register a complaint. As it happens on Indian roads, those involved with the incident and curious bystanders pointlessly gathered on the ISKCON Bridge.

Enter Tathya, with his Jaguar over-speeding at 142.5 km per hour. He was accompanied by five friends, including three girls, all most certainly exhibiting an insouciant disregard for a bit of caution. The blaring music — so relatable with glitzy cars, isn’t it? — must have made them deaf of judgment. It was all setting up for a disaster.

Expectedly, Tathya’s friends, on a high a while back, fled the scene after the accident while he was dragged out and beaten up. Tathya called up his mother Neelam, who informed his father about the accident.

His father, a brash man with loud mannerisms and a shady past — he was accused in a gang-rape case — tried to “use” and “misuse” his connections. He whisked away his son to a nearby hospital called CIMS.

Tathya and his father are in prison. The process of buying witnesses and poor victims, who will probably be offered much more than what their kith and kin can ever dream of earning, should start a bit late but it will for sure.

Also Read: Ahmedabad ISKCON Accident Exposes A Coterie Of Law Breakers

Wealth can and must bring in class. Sadly, that’s not always the case. Money makes the world go around. Money is not mean. It is not vulgar if obtained by the right means. What is unsettling for societies is the way rich parents in Gujarat raise their kids. I am sure this is the case elsewhere too, but with Gujarat becoming too vibrant, there is too much of quick access to wealth. This easy money is sadly reflected in how children are being raised. Diamond merchants, land developers, stockbrokers and liaison-ing agents are flooded with unaccounted money. Unfortunately, young children in such families become the first victims of easy money.

It’s only making people in the state crasser and morally bankrupt. Class, culture, and a proper upbringing are amiss.

The minds of undeserving kids are adulterated with flashy cars and power without responsibility. But hey parents, when you raise children without the right values, you are just burdening the world with harebrained, imbecile, and unaccountable kookies.

Money gives you the power to raise responsible and thoughtful children who can make a positive difference to the world. Let your money be a guiding light, not blind them. Parents are children’s first role models. Tathya’s father is a loud, uncouth man who is at ease at hurling abuses. Lesson number one: be what you want your child to be.

Also Read: Builder Son Tathya Patel Arrested After Ramming His Jaguar Into Crowd, Kills 9 And Injures 13 In Ahmedabad

The next important issue is entitlement. It’s cancer. You may be rich but that does not mean you indulge in excesses. Yes, it’s hypocrisy to say that you must not give your child the best of what you can afford. But when you raise children with the right values, you give them only what they deserve and not beyond what is necessary. They must understand the importance of earning their bread. Or earning in general terms, starting from money, respect, credibility a place in society.

Maybe, today your child has grown into a 30-year-old, lucky to be your heir and probably cognitively smart enough to cloak his or her sense of entitlement and immaturity. They may even disguise their dopiness. Perhaps, they aren’t employable as a security guard or receptionist — both smart jobs by the way — but they’ll constantly humour you and behave as a 13-year-old going on 14.

If your child enjoys this entitlement or does not demonstrate age-appropriate behaviour, it’s your fault. You have given that fake confidence to your child that it is fine to be 30 but behave like a 13-year-old. It is cool to not earn but still yearn for the latest in Louis Vuitton collections. That it is okay to buy that pair of Louboutins when you still have not earned your first blue-lined Hawaii slippers from Bata. (what a lovely shop indeed). To bask in the borrowed halo of your rich daddy’s fading glow is entitlement. Are others jealous of you? No, they are laughing at you. The Veruca Salts — the greedy brat and one of the four main antagonists of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory — galore in Gujarat.

Sacrificial and unquestioning love isn’t the only parenting virtue. Make young people responsible. Responsible citizens and responsible adults.

Being rich is not wrong. Money is not the culprit; abuse of wealth is. It’s the vulgarity associated with wealth that’s contributing to unhealthy societies and shaping directionless young adults.

So, is it just the kids of the rich and the famous who are at fault? No. Out of the 19,000-plus road accident notifications that dial 108 gets, most involve two-wheelers. Each time, you let your young adult son or daughter drive a bike without a helmet or sheepishly sit behind them quietly when they violate rules, you are the culprit. They are victims of your love and hypocrisy.

We believe a lot in sanskar. In religion. In spirituality. Sanskar is upbringing, that set of values with which you raise children. It determines whether your child ends up in jail or an ivy league college.

There is a vulgar Gujarati word called ‘setting’. If your child is not good at studies, you speak to the school and get a ‘setting’ done. If your children are not good team leaders, you pay obscene amounts to middlemen to cover up their professional inadequacies. A hollow foundation is all that they get.

Real education begins at home. It means you start teaching your children that your money is not to buy out systems through settings.

You cannot go around buying Mercedes for your kids when your child needs anger-management classes. You cannot launch India’s best designer shop for your daughter, who copied someone else’s design and had to be sacked from an institute. 

You cannot start the best home décor shop for your handsome son if he loves boxing more than interior decoration. Just like charity begins at home, kindness, values and Sanskar too start at home.

So, raise kids well. The beauty is that there is no manual to do it. Just remember:

  • Don’t give them everything they want.
  • Let them work as normal employees for at least seven years before you hand them your business empire. 
  • Love your adult kids unconditionally. You cannot buy love with money. When you let your adult children spend unaccountable money, you are inviting depression for them. They know they haven’t earned what you gave them. There is no pride, just insecurity. This is the reason rich kids take to hookahs, drugs, and alcohol.
  • Let your kids fail. They will learn to be kind, humble, patient, and grounded.

Don’t be the modern-age Dhritarashtra whose blind love for his children ended up destroying them.

Also read: All Over In Just 0.5 Seconds; Tathya Didn’t Even Apply Brakes After Accident: Report

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