I had no doubt in my mind that social media was going to take Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar to the cleaners with his statement, ‘I fear girls drinking beer’ and that the cleaning people would definitely be women.
I am not writing this article to defend or object to his statement. I am writing this article from the perspective of a father who has two growing up daughters who would someday have a glass of wine or a pint of beer.
Drinks at home has never been a Taboo.
You will find my Dad’s home stalked good whisky and rum. You will find my house stocked with Single Malts, Vodka, Rum and Beers. There was a time I used to drink. Its been two years, that now I prefer not too but I still keep the good liquor for family and friends.
I choose my people very carefully, if I have to have a drink with, that too very rarely, and most times it will be a no with a request, please get me an Orange juice.
At home my Mother and wife will often have a glass of wine during a family get together.
Would I mind if my daughters have a glass wine or beer, when they grow up. Of course not. In fact they can have single-malt with me, if they prefer too.
My fear will as a parent only stem if they were with a group of friends. If they are friends that I am aware off and comfortable with, I would probably be less worried but if they were going to associate through their friends with some strangers, I would be very worried.
This is not an issue of trust with my daughters or a question about their ability to look after themselves. It is just a parent being a parent, a father being a father.
My mother even today has to remind me to eat healthy, not drink or be careful with whom I associate with on travels and I am 42 years of age. You do not me expect to tell my mother that it is not her business to tell me what to do, I am father of two growing up kids.
Forget my mother, my daughters will not let me eat chocolates or even go near a beer at a family function.
So I am sure as a father I would be very concerned about my daughters in what company they have a drink in.
A girl or boy drinking in wrong company can become victims of so many evils lurking in society; and the truth is we as parents need to be careful and keep a watchful eye. Most importantly educate our children.
Nothing is more painful for a parent than to see a child loose itself to the vices and evils of the world.
I do not know the exact context of Manohar Parrikar’s statement, but I hope it was said as an elder in the family concerned about the girl child and not as a patriarchal head who has different rules for girls and boys.
Cheers to all the girls I know!