Home > Bookish, Personal Events > How I taught my son his Fundamental Rights!

How I taught my son his Fundamental Rights!

The Indian Constitution, the venerable very amended tome that it is, dictates these as the Fundamental Rights of an Indian Citizen.

  1. The right to equality
  2. The right to freedom of speech and expression
  3. The right to freedom from exploitation
  4. The right to freedom of religion
  5. Cultural and educational rights
  6. The right to constitutional remedies

Why am I talking about this now? Well, I had to read, recollect, revise and drill them into my son’s “short-term memory” so that he could regurgitate it appropriately if they appeared in his Social Studies examination, the last of his “exams” before he moved on to Grade V.

Finding it near impossible to get him to list them without missing at least one of them, I racked my brains for a nice metaphor, a mnemonic, some hook that I could employ, willy-nilly, to get him to remember them right.

And, this is what I came up with.

I am talking to my son here… He is in blue!

Let us take the two hands… As shown below. One hand with five fingers laid out open, and the other made into a fist.

The First Finger:-

Let us start with the little finger of the first hand. What is special about the little finger, and what do you think it would say if it had a mouth?

“That I am the smallest? That I am not equal to the others?”

Yes! There you go! The little finger represents your Right to Equality!

The Second Finger:-

Next, move to the finger next to the Little Finger. What do they call it?

“The Ring Finger?”

Yup! What ring? Why ring? Who wears ring?

“Christians wear rings in that finger”.

Great. So, we are Hindus, Matheeha who visited us today is a Muslim. And, Christians wear Rings. So, The Ring Finger must remind you of our Right To Freedom of Religion!

The Third Finger:-

What is the next finger in your hand?

“The middle finger”.

(I make the “middle finger” gesture, and confront him). What does this mean? (A sheepish grin and a semi-shyness takes over). Come on. I know you know. I am sure you have seen this being shown, at school, TV, movies. What does this mean?

“Some senior-class friends at school do this Dad! Not me.”

I know. I know you don’t. But, this basically means I am not happy with what you are saying, and I am going to express my unhappiness about it. A rude gesture, the showing of the middle finger is to express your irritation and that is why, we will use this finger to remember our most important Right. The Right to Freedom of Expression.

The Fourth Finger:-

What is the next finger?

“The Index Finger”.

Do you remember, we all went to the voting booth recently, and came back with a dye mark in our index fingers? What did we do?

“Voting”.

Great! So, when you are unhappy with the government, and when you are looking for change, you go to the voting booth and express it. You are looking for “remedy”. A constitutional remedy. So, this finger will remind you that we have the Right to Constitutional Remedies.

“Great pa. Thanks pa. We have two more to go!”

The Fifth Finger:-

Yes, what is the next finger?

“The thumbfinger”.

What is the most common signal you give with this finger?

“The Thumbs Up sign”.

When do you give it?

“Exam time!”

Why do you give exams?

“Learning. Education”.

So there! This finger is going to remind you that you have Cultural and Educational Rights.

The Fisty Hand:-

We have just one more to go. The Fist symbol.

What does this Fist symbol remind you of?

“Fight!”

Yes. So, this fist symbol must remind you of your right to Fight Back. Against something bad. Your Right Against Exploitation.

“Wow. Thanks pa! I will never forget pa!”

I am not sure how many parents and teachers from around the world will approve of a mnemonic like this…….. But, what’s much more important? – My son aced the question when it came up in today’s exam, and called me up to say “Thanks pa! I listed all six correctly!”

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  1. April 10, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    I’m a ‘teacher from around the world’ and I approve! What a great way to take something which is not particularly relevant for a child of his age and make it meaningful for him, so that he can not just remember it by rote for an exam but apply his understanding of it to his own life. Kol Hakavod!

  2. Sathish Rajagopalan
    April 10, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    Raj, superb ! I’ll use this when my kid gets there 🙂

    Sathish

  3. Gopi
    April 11, 2010 at 1:40 am

    Great one Raj!
    Thanks for giving this useful stuff i can go with, to my ‘why’ rich son. 🙂
    (Let me be careful on football though 😉 )

  4. April 12, 2010 at 10:49 am

    Tats wonderful Raj.. you come up with amazing things like these every time

  5. April 12, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Fantastic Raj! Will bookmark this!

  6. Sudhakar
    April 12, 2010 at 11:54 am

    Really very good.

  7. Bharathi
    April 12, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Amazing explanation!! 🙂

  8. Sandhiya
    April 12, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Well done!
    I am sure, not only your son, this trick helps many of us!!!

  9. April 12, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    Simple, very effective. When my son needs a lesson on this topic, will ask him to read it out from here.

  10. SRK
    April 12, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Superb Raj !

  11. Rebecca P Khanna
    April 12, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    Wow.. What a imaginative way of teaching your son about the Fundamental Rights. I am sure he would remember these forever. What a text book failed to make him understand,your practical explanation made him remember his rights for his lifetime. Very useful for not just your son, but also for us when our kids need to be taught these.

  12. Hari Haran V
    April 13, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    Wow! comes to my ignorant mind as am refreshed and enlightened forever with your mnemonics for the ‘Fundamental Rights of an Indian Citizen.’ I too will never forget.

  13. raji
    April 15, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    awaiting the next lesson as eagerly as aaditya would. tks.

  14. tina
    April 16, 2010 at 11:24 am

    what a fabulous way to teach my six year old son.Thanks a lot and we are looking forward to some more

  15. May 7, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    wow!! what a lovely n easy way to make a kid understand this. Blogrolling u.
    (Bloghopped from vidya’s)

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