An Australian politician has paid a heavy price for slapping his child in public. Independent candidate Jason Deller has withdrawn his candidacy for the Queensland state elections on Jan 31, after he was captured on film slapping his three–year–old son in a cafe. The crestfallen candidate later confessed to mediapersons that he had become frustrated with the behaviour of his son while having breakfast with his wife and family at the cafe. Apologising to his son, his wife and to onlookers present, Deller said he was withdrawing his candidacy out of respect for the community’s perception of the incident. Now in Australia, corporal punishment of children in the home is still legal, provided it is ‘reasoble’. But if parents act unreasobly, they may be booked for committing an assault. Several Australian states are now reviewing the law and may seek to ban corporal punishment by parents. As of January 2015, corporal punishment of children by parents is banned in 44 countries. It is still legal in the US, while in the UK it is legal with certain restrictions. In India, the Central government has been working on the fil draft of the Prevention of Child Offences Bill for the last five years. If it becomes law, parents and other adults can be fined or jailed for hitting children. Sections 16 and 17 of the Right to Education Act (RTE) already bans corporal punishment, both mental and physical, or expulsion of children from school. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has reminded all its affiliated schools to keep out corporal punishment at every cost. But though corporal punishment has been banned in schools across the country, shocking incidents keep happening, including in Assam and other states of the Northeast. This is something all parents, guardians and concerned citizens must think deeply about because children are human beings too, but weak and defenceless. If parents and teachers hit them, and if it does not work, then they hit harder and harder until the children break. Most studies have shown that spanking is less and less effective as children get older, making them more aggressive and hitters themselves in the long run, so that a tragic self–perpetuating loop is set up that goes on and on.
food for thought