Wife of Vallipuram’s Vadivazhagan.
Mother of Two.
Presently residing in Andhra Pradesh with her parents (at least till August).
Does the name ring a bell?
If not, I request you to look up the spine-chilling video that went viral a month back where she recorded herself mercilessly beating her 18-month-old child, even on his face and mouth.
We understand that the couple was going through a dispute, and Thulasi was expressing her frustration. But on her own child? That too, an 18-month-old!!! Video-recording it during the process clearly indicates that it was pre-planned and had a purpose.
This validates my notion that as a society we unnecessarily create a hype around biological relationships, especially that of a parent and child. We fail to recognise that every relation has its own shortcomings and should be dealt with consciously.
And this holds not only for the common people; even our judiciary and legislative wings have similar views. Indications of abuse, especially psychological, are often ignored when there are biological ties, even if that has the risk of putting the children in danger.
As in this case, it is highly unlikely that Thulasi displayed such extreme violent behaviour suddenly at once. There would have definitely been indications which were ignored on the pretext that “a mother can never harm her child”.
Who, amongst the society and legal structure, will take responsibility now? Maybe Thulasi will get punished by the Law, but will the child ever recover from the traumas, physical and mental? Any psychological imprint which could cause the child to act against our social and legal structure at a later stage, will then be tagged as his crime alone, with no acknowledgement of our failure as a society.
Another similar case was reported in Purulia, West Bengal where Mangala Goswami, along with a tantric with whom she lived, put seven four-inch needles into the private parts of her three-year-old child. Her death sentence does not bring the child back to life.
There are several instances and established syndromes that define dangerous behaviour of parents against their own child, but our society and well as law enforcers keep ignoring or dismissing them until it is too late.
On this note let me introduce a term that may not be very commonly known to all.
Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy (MSBP).
MSBP is a mental health problem in which a caregiver makes up or causes an illness in or injury to a person under his or her care,
MSBP is highly common and the most ignored psychological syndrome where a biological parent purposefully causes physical injury to a child, or lies about symptoms of the child, to portray that the child is of ill health, just to prove a point.
We often see this happening in cases where a parent wants to win a marital dispute battle. Even if it is not always about physical abuse, many parents mentally abuse the kids or put roadblocks in their path of progress, just because they want to prove that the other parent has failed.
Custodial parents do this to get custody. Non-custodial parents do this to win back custody or just out of plain revenge.
Statistical analyses will show that most of the babies were conceived without planning. It was just two adults trying to enjoy a conjugal act, totally dismissive of the outcome that could await them. Even after conception, hardly any couple goes through parenting training. But somehow the society shows full trust in their capability of raising another life. A vulnerable life which has been given no choice!
While I am in no instance hinting that all biological parents are dangerous for the child, it is just that there should be checks and balances instead of canonising by default.