I had a discussion the other day with mum about how Mizoram is neglecting the need for parks and places for the youth to unwind and release the rush of teenage-adrenaline, the lack of which has driven them to drugs, alcohol and lethargy. The few fields are strictly monitored and policed by the Local Authorites, the Children’s Park is banned for children (Ironic!) and the ever-populating city is congested and polluted. The hills and empty spaces we used to explore as kids are replaced by buildings and roadways, which are quickly filled with parked-vehicles, if not moving ones.
I suggested building a Skate Park somewhere outside the vicinity of Aizawl city. It is my dream to build one somewhere, because the Government would never invest in one. Financially, it would not make much of a profit, but it would just be a one-time investment as maintenance won’t be a big problem (As long as no spurious materials are used for the construction. I figured I would ensure that, being the contractor and all!) The best part would be that it will cater to everyone and anyone, no boundaries, no rules. Anyone with a pair of skates (Or rollerblades, as they call ’em nowadays!) can knock him/herself out on these mounds, get a good exercise, learn a few tricks and socialise with like-minded others. My dream!
Well, we live in the real world and nothing comes out as expected, not even the cake you just baked following every little step from the cookbook with a precise measurement of each ingredient, it never looks as beautiful as the one in the picture (Unless, of course, if you’re cooking Maggi which pretty much looks and tastes the same as always). Just when you think you had everything planned out, neglecting the little voice inside your head that warns you to expect the unexpected, it explodes right back in your face.
Mum said that it was a good idea, but it had one small little catch. If the park was indeed a success, and kids and adults from all over throng the place for amusement, there would always be someone or somebody criticizing it, finding a reason to condemn it. It happened with the pool parlours, which until then, was such a relief for the youths needing a place to unwind and relax. It happened with the bursting of crackers in New years (Which is simply just a futile attempt to ban anyways. I watched as Aizawl city erupted in sparks of radiance at the strike of midnight on 31st Dec ’08 ). And also the early morning jogs, which was banned because some people used it for taking a “Chance”. Recently with the local “Grape wine” industry booming, and small shops springing up in almost every corner of the city, not that I haven’t discovered the best use of it, I’m kinda amused that it hasn’t been banned as yet.
My point is this: Are we going to ban anything and everything under the sun because it can be used for an evil purpose? Are we so underdeveloped and uncivilised that we cannot control ourselves or others from doing the same? How are we or who is to decide what’s to be banned and whats not? If it makes others happy, why can’t we join in the fun instead of trying to find faults with it? Banning has never been the solution and will continue to never be. Proper education and information is as good a tool, if not better, as imposing a ban. Everyone, even children, hates to be told what or what not to do, but wants to hear why not to do it, the consequences and the outcome.
We have banned enough at the cost of our culture, our traditions and our values, just so that we may be politically and religiously correct. Isn’t it about time we banned all the bans and LET IT BE!?