Last month a debate was going on in a TV channel about enactment of Jan Lok Pal Bill. Mr Katju presently Chief Press Council of India opined that what was the guarantee that those recruited for the Jan Lok Pal office would themselves not indulge in such practices. This indicates degeneration and turpitude in the society has reached alarming proportions. Many analysts also seem to be in a dilemma and mostly blame our educational system, declining religious and moral values and western influence for the prevalent perfidy. We discuss these one by one before arriving at some conclusion.
In the sphere of education, Indians have made their name in academic and professional excellence and a credibility in the field of Science, Arts and Mathematics. They may not be innovative at par with the Europeans but are among the best in memory faculty and intelligent quotient. Our IITians are engineers/technocrats par excellence and have been top echelon in many reputed international enterprises. But despite this all, it is generally believed our educational system produces best engineers, doctors and scientists but not good human beings. Our system does not inculcate in as morality, ethic and sensitivity. On the other hand, if we compare our educational system with that of westerners, we find moral and ethical values have never been an essential part there too. No stress laid on novality. Teacher student relation is also not of guru-deciple type as in India. The teacher is less revered over there. Their children are not controlled like ours. Students indulge in wilfulness, volition is very common and all this goes on in the name of individual freedom. Despite all this, children there, have the sense of saying-thank you, please and sorry to others. They are more law abiding and equally sensitive to their rights and duties. This shows it is not preaching which matters or motivates but the very system in which an individual with his freedom has to fit in.
So we can safely deduce that education may help in infusing moral values but can not be held wholly responsible for this sad state of affairs.
Lack of religious and moral values
No doubt India has been land of great civilization and religions, of the world. It has been land of sages producer of great epics, treasure trove of spirituality original thinkers. To take pride in such a past is but natural. But to keep on repeating and relating ones own version without considering modern times realities, is equally unnatural. The argument of lack of socio-religion values does not cut much ice for the present bad or gone out of order socio political system. Scientific and technological advancement has changed man’s outlook. Man is not at the mercy of nature as he was a few centuries ago. Our interpretation of religion and our conceptions and perceptions can not be same now. Many myriads of mystery have been reduced to simple scientific facts. Wraths of God or nature in the shape of storms, floods, droughts,epidemics and other calamities haunt us no more. Solar systems and galaxies million of light years away can be seen through a telescopic lens. In this age of nano technology there is every possibility that our body parts will be available like other machines parts. The concept of God and religion has undergone a tremendous change. Today’s man is more spiritual and less a follower of an institutionalized relgion. Though religion will continue to influence millions of people in time to come also but the morality connected with the religion will be transformed, not ostensible but actually true. Today most corrupt people are apparently very religions. In such a scenario law of land takes precedence over fear of God.
It is generally said that under the influence of western culture, we have given up our value system and landed in a highly degraded and depraved social system. We may indulge in vainglorious talk about our culture or civilization but the hard fact, we failed to protect our dignity and freedom in the past and in the long past. Casteism, regionalism, egotism or any other ism kept as divided. We preferred outsiders to our people to rule us. Centuries of slaverly has infused a sense of insecurity in us. Our mentality is fearful. Under such conditions moral integrity becomes a casuality. Now with this background we need to view our present. The world is shrinking. Borders and boundaries are barriers no more. Cultures are intermingling thus influencing and impacting one another. When two things intermingle, whether they are cultures, societies, people or any thing else, the weaker one is impressionable or easily influenced. We are not being compelled by westernrs to follow them, it is our compuslion to change our outlook.
They are ahead of us and to move forward, we have to look ahead. If we were so fearful and cautions about our culture we should have adapted the Chinese model of secrecy, one partly rule and cut off from outside world. Even Chinese who first progressed, then came on the centre-stage could not escape influence; Hong Kong is the living example. But in our case it was totally impossible, as said above, we were weaker side. Moreover we chose the path of democracy, liberty and transparency and are basically open and flexible mostly. Many of us say ‘agreed, influences are there but we should not have copied westerner’s culture and values blindly. The simple explaination to this is in transactions and dealings, it is difficult to be selective especially when the other side is very much progressive. We can not say jeans and jackets are OK for men but pants are not proper for women. On the other hand, if we had really something too give, we have given that. Yoga has been acknowledged and adapted by westerners. Even spirituality and meditations greatly impressed them. Our god men are flourshing there and telling them Indian’s way of life. So western culture should not be considered as our bete noire.
From the above discussion we reach the conclusion that instead of complaining and grousing we should try to view the realities in their right perspective. There may be need to change educational system, revist our value system and keep the society aware of some wrong influences but all this has to be done with eyes not on the past, but as per present times needs. We have to strive to find ways and means to create a society free from malice, greed, superstitions, insensitivity and malpractices and a system which works automatically. The attempts are already being made in this direction. The situation has started taking a turn. But there should be no scope of laxity. Comming into being of RTI Act, Accountability Commission, CIC, CVC, NIA are going to bring a sea change in our socio-political system. Media hawkish eye has already started peeping deep into misgovernance and misdoings of those at helm of affairs. With enactment of Jan Lok Bill much improvement is expected.
But all this needs a change in our mind set, no more behaving like a spoilt child. Supremacy of the law of land has to be accepted by one and all. Violators big or small, high or low must not go scot free. Some say who will do this ? The answer is, time has come. When the conditions are ripe things start happening automatically. Movements are rising. Anna Hazare and Baba Ram Dev along with other whistle blowers need our cooperation. But the thing of utmost importance is, agitation and movements should not be given any tinge of religion, and purely on secular lives. Very necessary for us to be positive about changing scenario of Indian polity.