While the world is celebrating the annual day of love – Valentine’s day, by expressing their affection and love to their partners, in Gujarat’s Surat over 10,000 students from various private schools were made to pledge that they will not marry anyone without the consent of their parents.
The man behind the initiative is Gujarat based, Kamlesh Masalawala, who also runs ‘Laughter club, Crying club’ a therapy club in the city. While talking to The Logical Indian, he said that the idea to start this oath taking ceremony came to him from his ‘Crying club’ where he also counsels people. He said, “Many youngsters have come to me with their love-life problems. Many come complaining that their parents are not ready to accept their choice of partner. And how they would not let them marry each other. At times, parents have also come to me complaining about their children who have gone against their will and married someone who they do not like.”
The day to celebrate love
He adds, “This day is to celebrate love so why not we should celebrate the love between parents and children. So this oath is to make the children understand the importance of parents and how much sacrifice they put up to raise their kids. So next time when they will take any step of going against their parents, they will have this oath in their mind, and which would remind them about their parents and so they might end up not hurting them.”
He further says, “See I am not against love, it is just that I want children to make responsible choices and also involve their parents in decisions”.
Talking about the oath-taking ceremony, he said that students aged 16 and above took oath in many schools today. He also said that the event was not compulsory.
Kamlesh says when he proposed the idea of this oath to the private schools many liked it and asked him to commence it in their school. “Till now we have organised the pledge at 25 private schools in and around Surat. We have so many requests that we will be going to do the pledge ceremony tomorrow also at some schools.”
Love for parents
The oath was eight lines of a Gujarati poem written by city-based child psychiatrist Dr Mukul Choksi, who is also a poet.
The poem reads, ‘Jeevan Naamna Prabhu e apela uphar ne prem karishu, Keval premijan ne nahi, aakha pariwar ne prem karishu, Shani, ravi jemaj Som thi Shukrawar ne prem karishu, sikshan naamna jeevan na sacha adhar ne prem karishu, Ekaj Janne shane mate? ek hajaar ne prem karishu, Shala college, teacher, vali, salahkar ne prem karishu, Valentine ne Vasantpanchmina aa tehvar ne prem karishu, pan pehla, Maa Baap-e apela sanskar ne prem karishu’ (We will love this gift of life given by God, not just our lover, we shall love the whole family. We shall love Mondays to Fridays just as we do Saturdays and Sundays, We shall love education which is true essence of life, Why only one, we shall love a thousand, we shall love our school, college, teachers, guardian and counsellor, We shall love the festivals of Valentine’s (Day) and Vasant panchmi, but first we shall love the virtues instilled by our parents).”
The school administrations have asked the participating students to memorise the poem for the oath-taking.
While talking about the oath Dr Mukul Choksi, told us, “I have only written the poem but I am not part of this initiative. I am a writer and I was asked to write something, that’s it.”
When asked did he not know about the initiative, he said that he was aware of the initiative but his intention was not to impose it like that. “As a psychiatrist, I don’t believe in imposing anything on anyone. What Kamlesh is doing is completely opposite from what I think but still, I am not raising any questions.”