It’s a common perception that the parent community in India doesn’t give children adequate freedom to choose their career. Debarnab Chatterjee (Class X) of The Levelfield School (Suri) also thinks so. Here, he writes an open letter to Indian parents about what he feels. 

Dear parents,

It’s about time you realised that we have our own likes and dislikes.

Please don’t force your dreams on us.

You want the best from us. You want us to be successful in life. You want us to be famous and influential. And very often, you give up things that you hold very dear and compromise your cherished moments to help us achieve these goals.

But more often, your version of best differs from ours.

What you typically want is to fulfil your unfulfilled dreams through us, and as a result push us to an overcrowded path which ends up in a land called oblivion. For example, in my country, you want us to be doctors and engineers.

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But we children may not want to be doctors and engineers. Our version of what is best for us may contradict with yours. We may want to be something else. We may want to pursue a career which we are passionate about. Why choose to be one of the many when we can be one in the many?

Even when it comes to education, you force your views on us. And this starts from a very early age. So in the end, when we have to choose an area for further studies, we end up choosing subjects like chemistry and biology, in which we may not be having even an iota of interest.

As a result, a lot of us end up getting into unsatisfying careers, wondering what we are doing with our life, in our little cubicle. We will feel frustrated, but we will never know how it went all wrong.

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It’s time that you change your definition of success and let us think for ourselves. It’s time that you let go of the convention and embrace the radical.

After all, a small step taken by every one of you will result in a giant leap for the country as a whole.

Thanking you,
A free-thinker