Physical punishment not solution to stopping violation of village by-laws
The answer lies in changing the mindset through education, gentle persuasion, love unfeigned and without hypocrisy or guile.
Those who are advocating the use of physical punishment to stop violation of village by-laws are living in a time warp. The use of violence, like whacking of a female wearing shorts instead of a long dress or skirt to below the knee, is preposterous.
The practice is barbaric, unlawful and out of kilter with the norms of the 21st Century.
As a means to instil discipline it is a temporary fix, but it does not completely solve the problem.
The long-term solution to achieve compliance, observance and respect of village by-laws is through education, gentle persuasion, meekness, love unfeigned - without hypocrisy and guile.
And this must begin in the home and community.
If people are well informed and taught, they will observe the village protocols, including visitors particularly foreigners and strangers. Many respect the by-laws. There are only a few who choose to violate them.
Of course there are rebels because we live in an imperfect world.
The breakdown of law and order in villages is part of a bigger problem – the clash of cultures – our traditional culture and the foreign culture.
In many villages, alcohol is banned because of its impact on peace and order and on families. There are many examples of social drinking in groups ending is tragedies. It is a known fact that some villagers quietly drink in their own homes without any incident. Should there be a blanket ban on alcohol?
Some will argue that’s a violation of their basic human right to choose what they drink in their own home, as long as they keep the peace and do not bother other villagers.
Alcohol and dress standards are top on the list of by-laws that are often talked about. This is because they are regarded as a threat to the peace and tranquillity in the villages.
When women are scantily dressed, they cause unnecessary attention and cause males to commit sexual offences, that’s the ridiculous rationale behind the dress code.
What about promiscuity? The village by-laws do not ban it because they have no control over it. Teenage pregnancies and women bearing children out of wedlock are no longer a big deal although more and more cases of child abuse, incest and rape are being reported to Police and ending up in court.
The influence of popular culture, internet, videos, music and movies has had a massive impact on village life.
The by-laws are inadequate to deal with all the challenges. And the kind of punishment pushed by some to deal with them.
What is needed is that we need to teach our people the truth and that is every decision or action they take has a consequence, good and bad. If they choose good and right the consequences will be good. If they choose the opposite the consequences will be bad. It’s as simple as that. If they want to grow, prosper and be happy then they need to be good and choose the right. Our cultures teach many of these principles and values.
Once we empower the people with knowledge and wisdom, we reduce the risks of them falling victims to a false sense of security and happiness by engaging themselves in immoral activities. Having said that we must recognise that no one is perfect and will make mistakes from time to time.
The important thing is we learn from the mistakes and make sure we do not repeat them. That will cone – not by using the stick, but teaching with love and understanding.