Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Blame Game

For the last week the papers have been all about Adnan Patrawala, the 16 yr old boy who was kidnapped and murdered. Murdered by some of Adnan's friends ranging in age from 17 to 28 yrs of age.

For a week now, Mumbai has been told and retold the story of Adnan. It is fast becoming one of those tales that grab the interest and emotion of the people in the city. One of those stories that has everyone gripped, that has everyone giving an opinion, that has everyone playing the blame game.
It started with blaming a popular social networking site on which Adnan had met his alleged murderers. Then there was some woman called Angel who was also on this networking site. Then it was the group of friends whom he spent a lot of time with, and who have been arrested on account of murder. Now the police has been blamed for leaking the news of the kidnapping to the media, and the media has been blamed for flashing this news all over the place, which apparently caused the kidnappers to panic and strangle Adnan.

In all of this, i have only one query.
What is the role of the parents in this whole tragedy?
From the regular reports in the newspaper, (a) it seems that a 16 year old Adnan had use of a very expensive car, (b) that he was allowed to stay out late at night and (c) that his parents had no idea of what people he met online.
As someone who has studied developmental psychology, the above 3 don't seem right to me.

A 16 yr old does not have the skills to handle the sort of independence that is given now a days. They still require supervision. They still need guidance. They still need limits. Adnan had the sort of freedom that can get dangerous for a young teenager. He had access to big cars, big money and no limits. He was easy target. His parents never questioned him staying out post midnight. His parents never questioned who his friends were and how he knew them. His friends had counted on that. They took a chance. Unfortunately for them and for Adnan, they succeeded.

I'm not insensitive to the loss of the Patrawala family. My condolences are with them.
But i hope this incident is an eye opener for those parents who allow their children whatever they want. It is all right to trust your children. But how do u trust others?
The only one to trust is yourself. The blame game never gets anyone anywhere.