Monday, March 17, 2008

Thoughts on a horrible incident

As I was almost done with my morning ritual of blog-surfing, I happened to read one about the recent murder of a British tourist in Goa. I do not actively keep up with happenings in and around India so this came as news to me and upon further googling it turns out that over the last 6-7 months, such rapes and murders are becoming more commonplace in Goa, which is one of the most sought after tourist destinations in India.
Most of the details including the arrest of two people, can be found online. What I gathered, in a nutshell, is that 15 yr old Scarlett's family which consisted of her mother and 8 other siblings were on a 6 month holiday in India with her mother's boyfriend. At some point during this trip, Scarlett stayed behind in Goa while her mother and the rest of the family took off to a neighbouring state. Her mother left her with a tour-guide and his aunt who would be 'responsible' for Scarlett. The girl was supposed to meet up with her family the day after she was found raped and murdered on a beach in Goa.
I can get my head around most of the facts of this case. Not in that it was right or expected but in that it happened. What I cannot get my head around is this article. My initial reaction to reading the details was open-mouthed shock at how a mother can leave her 15 year old daughter with a strange man in Goa, a place filled with alcohol, drugs (oh come on!) and parties!
Stranger still is how the lady in the article seems to think that it is alright and how such behaviour might be alien to 'conventional, upright' citizens. She goes on to say that children should be trusted at some point and they should be allowed to take safe risks - this I agree with. The question is at what point and under which circumstances can you trust your child.
You could trust them to ride the bus to school or not to spend their lunch money on buying dirty magazines. You could trust them to stay at home while you are out and not indulge in socially disturbing activities. After all what is a safe risk? To me it is a risk wherein if things go horribly wrong, the outcome will not harm you or anyone else. Endangering one's life is not a safe risk!
To be the devil's advocate - a 15 year old had no business to be out drinking till 4 am and taking all manner of drugs available. Yet, at 15 you think you are invincible.
So I would like to throw this question out into the blogosphere - what do you make of all this?

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