On Monday the electronic media reported the heart-rending story of a six-year old girl from Wellampitiya who had allegedly been beaten to death by her mother. Had we heard of this incident sometime back,we most probably would not have believed it, but today this is not so surprising though it has shocked the entire country, because we had been unfortunate enough to hear about several similar cases lately.
To mention some of them, a father in Beruwala had reportedly killed his own baby, a one-and-half-year old girl, by dashing the infant on the ground. In another unbelievable incident a mother had allegedly thrown her baby son into the sea and attempted to commit suicide last month down south. Also media reports said that a father from Matara had thrown two of his children into the crocodile infested Nilwala river in April this year. The victims were a girl aged four and her brother aged two. Fortunately the two children were rescued by the army.
Last year a mother of two from Valaichchenai had attempted to commit suicide by jumping into the Meera Odai River in the area after throwing her two daughters aged seven and three also into the river, according to another report. The children were drowned while the mother was rescued. Before that another woman had heartlessly thrown her three-year-old youngest son into the Kalu Ganga.
How can a mother beat her own daughter to death or for that matter how can we believe such a horrific incident? How cruel it is, to even think of a father slamming his one-and-half-year-old daughter on the ground?
It is pathetic to note that the society just read or view these stories in the media and forget them soon without looking into the societal and economic dimensions of them. Authorities including the politicians, do not seem to think that they are responsible in one way or the other for these incidents or that they have a responsibility to arrest the situation.
Considering the recent incidents of this nature they seem to have become a trend for which sometimes the media publicity too might have contributed to some extent. However, media should be the last to be blamed for this apparent trend, since a sane mother or father would not resort to this kind of drastic action just due to a copy-cat psyche or publicity craze which would ultimately not benefit him or her.
No one would visualise a father or a mother from an affluent family, when he or she gets the first information of this kind of a story, but it would definitely be a man or a woman of a destitute background that he or she would think of. In fact no father or mother at least from the lower strata of the middle class have so far been accused of this kind of horrific actions. Extreme poverty that normally accompanies with frustration, breakdown of family institutions and lack of education has been the main culprit of the situation.
However, expecting to end the poverty with a polity that is corrupt to the core is out of the question, despite the rhetoric of political parties showering promises on the masses during each election to take them to paradise. Hence, the civil society, the religious leaders and the media have to find a solution to this problem within the existing economic and social parameters.