EDITORIAL

Tiger mothers

Posted on January 21, 2011 | View 370

India,China Breed Competition 

From winning spelling bees to churning out programmes for our tireless outsourcing behemoths,Indian youngsters show the formidable depth of their random access memories with metronomic precision.Why then did it take a Chinese-American Harvard law professor Amy Chua to let the world in on the secret of eastern brain power: tiger moms Indians have long believed that it doesnt pay to let kids have a good time,or even any free time for that matter.The few hours not taken up by schoolwork,homework and sustained swotting at serial tutorial classes,are packed with music,dance,karate,tennis and golf lessons.And the guardian angel of these prodded prodigies is usually the fond materfamilias,monitoring every inch of progress in the classroom,sports arena or activity centre,come rain or shine.Gauging by her new book,Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,Chuas daughters seem no different from countless Indian children,brought up on the strict diet of no TV and computer games,no sleepovers,playdates or school drama fests,nothing less than straight A grades in class,and excelling in at least one musical sphere achieved through tortuous hours of practice.It is heartening to note that Hindi-Chini are mai-mai at least on that count,even if we do have divergent perceptions on Aksai Chin,Arunachal Pradesh and stapled visas.


So far,the world has been big enough for both breeds of panthera tigris matris,with North America providing vast,non-overlapping sanctuaries for rival species.There could be a problem,though,if Indian and Chinese tiger moms come head-to-head with their competing cubs.As everyone knows,there can only be one winner of a spelling bee or music contest,one class valedictorian and,ultimately,one dominant world power.Which mother will it be

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