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Sreelatha Menon: Alienation of Chacha

A new book scans the gulf between the state and the child in terms of policies and their impact

The history of the child and his rights from the time of independence to now is a long and harsh slide down, from the arms of a protective state to a situation where the state’s concerns end with legislation addressed to children. This slide in the child-state relationship from the painful womb of partition to the present is documented by social scientist Vijayalakshmi Balakrishnan in a new book called Growing Up and Away, Narratives of Indian Childhoods Memory, History, Identity, published by Oxford University Press. Here is an example of what the state meant for the child in the ...