In God’s ‘own country’, Kerala, an eight-year-old boy in Kozhikode took police by surprise with a strange complaint— seeking ‘arrest’ of five girls, including his elder sister, for bullying and not playing with him during the COVID-19 lockdown.
“They are making fun of me because I am a boy. They are not allowing me to play ludo, shuttle, Police and Thief game with them”, Umar Nidar complained to the police.
The sweet, innocent boy approached the cops after his father asked him in a lighter vein to lodge a police complaint when the little told him about the behaviour of his sister and others. The children are related to the family and neighbours, police disclosed. The little boy was apparently annoyed at not being able to join his friends and play due to the lockdown.
The Civil Police officers U P Umesh and KT Niraz of Kasba Police station visited his house and resolved the ‘issue’ and advised the girls to take the boy along when they are playing. The complaint, scripted by the third standard student in English, was handed over to the above mentioned two police officials when they had visited the boy’s neighbourhood. They had come to inquire into another complaint on May 10.
“I have a complaint”, thundered Nidar as he handed over his complaint to the cops— Umesh and Niraz. As it was already late evening then, the policemen lovingly assured the boy that they would visit his house the next day to find a solution to his problem, Niraz said. The dutiful cops kept their words and promptly turned up at his house the next day.
“I told them (the girls) several times to take me along in their games, but they refused”, the little boy fumed. After listening to his genuine woes, the policemen called the other children and advised them to include Nidar also while playing, Niraz disclosed. The boy’s sister, who seemed to be pleasantly surprised said that they never thought her little brother would really hand over a complaint to the police.
The little warrior Umar stood his ground in fighting what he thought was gender bias and he was being singled out for being a ‘boy.’ So, Kozhikode is not just famous for the biryani! Kerala is not only the first literate state in India but it seems it is the most aware state as far as the gender issues and rights are concerned. Not only children are aware of their rights, but they redress the issues through legal means!
This amusing incident points out the churning and change happening in Indian society as we are moving towards gender equality. Gender equality has to be both ways. Nobody’s rights should be usurped – whether women or men. It is only then we can aspire for an egalitarian society!
After all, the United Nations is trying to achieve gender equality by 2030. Our beloved India takes a ‘small’ visionary step towards gender equality and the little Umar shows the way!