Mumbai man who sued his parents for having him reveals his reason
Raphael Samuel, the Mumbai man who is trending worldwide for threatening to take his parents to court, speaks on anti-natalism
When he started his Facebook page, Nihilanand, last February, 27-year-old Raphael Samuel, a Mumbai resident, did not foresee the kind of traction he would get within the next year. His first post says it all: 'You don't owe your parents anything'.
But, Samuel, an anti-natalist (a philosophy that argues that people should abstain from procreation) has in the last 10 days given over 50 interviews to media channels across the world - from Australia to Brazil - after his plan to sue his parents (for Rs 1) for giving birth to him went viral.
Samuel laughs. It started when he was about five years old he says. "There was a minor frustration with my father and I asked him 'why did you have me'? He had no answer then. I would ask that question several times later and eventually after jumlas like 'so you can experience life', they said 'we had you for our pleasure because we wanted children'. Now, that's all very noble for them, but I am in the fray now."
He clarifies that he is not upset with the life he has. Samuel, who runs a security business argues that he has seen friends being forced into professions and situations by parents handing blackmail of "we had you, we fed you, so you should do what we want". But, he believes that children don't owe their parents anything. His parents - with whom he gets along just fine, he clarifies - are both lawyers.
While his father is qualified (but not practising) in constitutional law , his mother works at the family court. Their response to his threat to sue them? "Come to court, I will destroy you." In the face of much backlash on his Facebook page, Samuel's mother (identified as Kavita Karnad Samuel) even had her own response put up: "If Raphael could come up with a rational explanation as to how we could have sought his consent to be born, I will accept my fault."
Samuel has both an environmental and societal argument against the right to bear children. "People go through five IVF cycles to bear children, why shouldn't we just listen to our bodies?"
He also argues that the way children are seen as a retirement plan is incorrect. "I will take care of my parents, but that's my choice entirely. I see people who abuse their fathers behind their backs and such a person cannot be and should not forced to take care of his parents. It must be a choice," he says.
He believes that the court should take a call on licences to becoming parents, decided by who is mentally, emotionally and financially capable of doing so. The nitty-gritties he hopes will be ironed out by a lawyer. But finding one to represent him has been a tough. Some have said this will not be constitutionally valid, another three did not believe in his argument and one said though he agrees with Samuel, he's worried about the backlash. If he doesn't find a lawyer, he will do his own research and go to court in six months.
But the man, who has been asked "bachche nahin honge to vansh aage kaise badega?" doesn't hate children. And no, he doesn't plan to have kids of his own. He is single right now, but should a relationship get serious, the first thing he will tell a future prospective partner is this.
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