A man who is suing his parents because he couldn’t consent to being born has said he’d give up all the joyful moments in his life to “not exist”.
Joining Richard Madeley on talkRADIO, who is standing in for Matthew Wright, Raphael Samuel said that his campaign was to raise a debate around the cultural belief that children should be grateful to their parents.
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Mr Samuel, 27, from Mumbai, said: “Suing in itself is not the intention. I don’t want money or fame. It’s a wider idea, that in India, most parents take their children for granted - ‘if I had you, I’m doing something good for you’.
“Out here I want to put a concept that no, your children don’t owe you, and you don’t own your children. They don’t have to give you anything. In fact you owe your children.”
“You’re saying we’re being selfish by having children?” asked Madeley.
“Absolutely. You had children for your joy. Seeing them smile, seeing them play, that is your joy, you did not think of the child or the suffering they may or may not go through.”
'They forced life upon me'
An image from Raphael Samuel's Facebook page. Image: Raphael Samuel/Facebook
Madeley said that Mr Samuel must have experienced “extreme happiness” at some points in his life. “You wouldn’t give [those moments] up for anything?” he asked.
“I would, I’d give them up for not existing at all,” Mr Samuel replied.
Asked why he didn’t just “end it all”, Mr Samuel said: “I don’t believe in suicide.”
The security firm boss, who is currently single and said he never wants to have children of his own, said that his parents were taking the case in good spirits.
“My mother is completely for it, she’s even given a statement to the media saying, ‘do not dwell on the absurdity of what he’s saying, understand the message’,” he said.
“She’s also a lawyer, so she’d destroy me in court if it does come up. It’s going to take a while to come to court, I’m setting up a legal team, a bunch of volunteers. I don’t know if a judge will accept it.”
He explained his legal case was based on the concept of the right to life, but not the right to death.
“Legally it’s based on the right to life, it’s complicated,” Mr Samuel explained.
“We don’t have the right to death here, so if I don’t have the right to death, why can’t I sue people who forced life upon me?
“That’s the legal argument. The moral argument is that if you cannot get the consent of your child, don’t have the child. If you really want a child, adopt a child.”
Mr Samuel’s mother Kavita Karnad Samuel said in a statement: "I must admire my son's temerity to want to take his parents to court knowing both of us are lawyers. And 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."