In an impassioned essay quoting ten acclaimed literary creations that has adoption as the storytelling theme, The Guardian said, “A profound human experience- and also a brilliant plot device- adoption has inspired endless stories from Shakespeare to the contemporary”.
Those are in literature. But outside, in the real world adoption is yet to resonate among human beings as an epoch and ground breaking act of love, caring, compassion and pathos. If a pack of wolves could adopt a ‘man child’ in Rudyard Kipling’s ‘The Jungle Book’, why not man?
A few years ago, a Dutch acquaintance narrated why he and his wife decided not to beget children. They were married after the Second World War and during the acme of the Cold war era. Nuclear Armageddon was imminent and many like the gentleman and his bride decided not to bring forth children into a world that was hurtling down inexorably into cataclysmic termination. In retrospect that may seem to be a highly cynical decision, but it is all the more pertinent today and sapient. Today it’s the man-made existential threat that hulk like the more definite threat of environmental and ecological melt down but also the utter chaos & anarchy in social, economic and political environment. Well the sleight of the hand of human kind is reflecting in all the dire prophecies.
I was driving past a city school this morning and the traffic was moving as fast as the fastest tortoise ever could. It was rush hour for the school and there was long winding queue of school kids waiting to go in through the half open school gate. May be some five hundred of them! Little, young, cheerful looking lads and girls all in their adolescence. I wondered about the less than a decade from now, when these kids pass out at different stages in their education, what prospects does the world hold out to them?
In a world already burdened and plowed down by over population and consequent unsustainable living, already vitiating the natural environment and heralding ominous climate change pushing human race farther into perilousness; in a world where political and social environment offer nothing but despair; where macabre of religion and xenophobia eclipse acts what we often proudly attribute to human sensibilities, what can these kids and hundreds and thousands of them expect from the World? Nothing but stolidity and desertion. The Gods are silent too even if they did exist.
In India we may touch the 1.5 billion mark in population as fast as in a decade and little more. Which means well within the fertility age of our progenies. An exhortation to the fecund generation to restrain from begetting would be termed as selfish and pessimistic alarm. But it is not, certainly! In fact it will be an act of cruelty, selfishness and crime if human race continues to be driven by the irresistible social and cultural urge, exhortation or custom to procreate. This world as it is hurtling along offer no solace or hope for mankind. More because humankind is in an irreversible kamikaze gear and obstinately so.
This is where adoption can be a nobler and wise deed than the act of copulating for procreation. Almost two thirds of infants in India are malnourished. “World Bank data indicates that India has one of the world’s highest demographics of children suffering from malnutrition – said to be double that of Sub-Saharan Africa with dire consequences. India’s Global Hunger Index India ranking of 67 the 80 nations with the worst hunger situation places us even below North Korea or Sudan. 44% of children under the age of 5 are underweight, while 72% of infants have anemia!”
To argue emotionally that biological bonding cannot be replicated or substituted with acts of philanthropy is quite naïve. Aren’t there enough instances and stories happening around us to the contrary, where an artificial bonding proves to be far more potent and enduring than the trappings of cognateness?
Leaving all that aside, one hard look at the world around us will make one rethink of ever begetting and there are plenty of lives waiting to be rescued from what otherwise would be a sure dystopian life.