Social change: A must with changing times

Amit Sharma
We often talk about incorporating change in social norms and fighting with old traditions to replace them with new ones. It is easier said than done as the society is not governed by modernistic mindsets but it is still governed by social challenges thrown by so called ‘social gurus’.
Let’s start with the area of religious gurus/masters who have slowly but steadily become a dominant force to reckon with in the past few decades in a culturally and traditionally rich nation like India. Initially, people used to lead a normal life with devotion towards their respective religious areas. But slowly, the culture of religious gurus or leaders started creeping-in which led to multiplication of their disciples or followers which happened at a phenomenal rate. They created different sects and cultural ethos and always wanted their followers to be their propagators. In fact, it worked also a great extent, but the recent expose at different times of various gurus or such leaders found them themselves trapped into many such weaknesses which they used to sermonize against.
Next, we can talk about the status and treatment meted out by our society to better sexes i.e., Women or Females. In this context also, we find lot of discrimination is still persisting, in spite of the fact that there have been lot of legislations, social movements, exemplary display of courage and skills by women in various fields since past sometime. Still, we find quite often, we hear cases of atrocities against women, harassment, molestation, rapes, dowry deaths, female feticides, brutalities, etc. Thus, the basic psychology in a nation like ours, still hints towards inferior mindsets against women folks which forces slow adaptation towards this long-pending core area of social change.
Another social area which requires attention is bent towards criminal mindset and shortcuts to success. It is a fact that our nation is amongst the very few most youthful nations with the largest young population. But the bigger challenge is to channelize the energies and youthfulness of these upcoming young genre who are not having fixed targets or goals to follow in life. For example, if they are in the field of pursuing higher studies, they would keep on climbing the ladders like Post-Graduations, Doctorates, etc. without realizing or visualizing where they would land-up with these heavy-weight degrees in future. So, social change should also hint towards making youth realize their potentials and channelizing same for personal as well as nation’s welfare rather than wasting themselves in traps of addictions, luring and aimless lifestyles.
One peculiar area of degradation is the one of social discrimination and lack of dignity for labour. We have seen societies growing in the West, primarily because of an open-ended and natural approach. Every job is seen with an equal eye and every worker is respected, irrespective of whatever one does for earning livelihood and becoming self-independent. Here, we find social taboos and false display of statuses which has killed the very spirit of workmanship. The society hardly allows or acknowledges a person for living a dignified life and pokes nose every now and then, to such an extent that either that individual becomes a shirker from living a natural life or often becomes a victim of social trauma and deviates from the mainstream.
Social adaptations to changing times like technology, its variants like mobile applications of various Government functions, banking, transportation, etc. need to be taken in a very positive perspective by the public. Now, Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) like subsidies, wages, incentives, salaries, commissions, etc. are a reality, in otherwise a culturally lagging nation like India, with the help of modern tools like Aadhaar-enablement, banking services grids like National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), etc. So, a major overhauling in social mindset is a must with total deterrence against corrupt practices, bribery, compromises for petty benefits.
In a sports-freaky nation like ours, especially where popular sports like Cricket rules the roost, a mindset towards keeping a healthy lifestyle is a must which still is a challenge. We all are interested in seeing India at the top of world, be it in any sport or game, but at the same time, we are hardly willing to become active contributors towards this change. Irrespective of being an active player or not, we need to develop an aptitude for healthy lifestyle, physical fitness and positive mindsets. All this leads towards developing sportsman spirit which is a must for our overall growth and invariably, it will also lead towards incorporating major social boosting in the society.
There are innumerable challenging areas wherein there is ample scope for incorporating social change like building moral fabric, quality rather than quantity in today’s hectic lifestyles, community participation in nation building, realizing the total value of tax-payer’s money, building common cultural threads to bind whole nation in one loop, fighting and eradicating all social evils for jointly overcoming regional and cultural biases, raising ethical standards in public life and fighting for social justice, etc. But everything requires consistency in approach and focus to fight for such social changes.
If we are unable to fight for a social change, then the days are not far that it will become visible that in spite of advancement in indigenous technology, holding matchless potential for change and future growth by virtue of being one of the best races in the world, we still would be unable to become true global leaders at the earliest. Anyways, there is always hope against the hope. It is never too late. As we are going through a phase of major social transition, we should see our social fabric undergoing major positive changes in the near future in all such areas as discussed so as to set an example for outside world to imitate our major social change initiatives.
{The writer is a Senior KAS Officer of J&K Government and a specialist in e-Governance who can be reached at his blog: amit1kas.blogspot.com)

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