Monday, January 25, 2021

Morally deprived

We are all quite aware of the destructive capability of a human being. Yet there was an element of doubt about his self-destructive potential. Mostly human beings are driven only by self-interest. It was assumed that man will desist from treading on the path which eventually will lead him to devastation. This has proved to be an erroneous idea in view of the indiscriminate and wanton destruction of nature being carried out, which will ultimately cause the annihilation of the human race. Earlier it was understood that spread of education triggers awakening of mind; education makes a man wise. In the present world spread of education is unprecedented, never before man was so concerned about education. Growth of educational institutions has made possible for majority of the population to learn and be literate. In our state just a few decades ago there used to be no university and few colleges were functional. Now more than half a dozen universities and over hundred colleges in public and private sector are catering the needs of students across the length and breadth of the state. More and more students are also venturing out of the state in pursuit of higher and technical education. Information revolution and growth of electronic media has made possible even and judicious dissemination of the information. Barely literate person can also be as informed as a highly educated person. Access to information is not now confined to the elite classes. Ideally the spread of light should have killed the darkness, conversely darkness has deepened. Puritanism has become fashionable. In comparison to the past, today more people follow religion and visit religious places regularly. Worshipers have increased manifold, religious institutions too have multiplied. Ironically piety is vanishing in equal proportions, if not more. The more we flock to the places of worship, more we are distanced from the truth. Gone are the days when remote villagers had to trek for days together to reach the nearest road link, now remote villages are connected with road. Not only road network has come up but colleges and high schools have been established in far-off places. There is electricity in villages; villagers have mobile phones as communication towers have been built on high hills. Social conditions have improved, literacy rate has gone up, and people today have better hygienic sense. So far so good, quality of life has improved. But in the mad race of development concerns of ecology and environment have been compromised. Wherever development has taken place, concrete jungle has cropped up. Houses and shops have eaten up open green spaces. Villages have become towns and towns are aspiring to be cities. It is an old debate: What is the first priority – nature or development? Without going into the old debate, still one will like to ask: Is it necessary to destroy the village and plunder the nature in order to develop? If villages are turned into slums what will remain of a village? But more important is the question – prosperity at what cost? In order to prosper, ethical and moral values are being compromised – is this hallmark of progress and prosperity? In the past, we were uneducated and economically downtrodden. However our people were simple, honest and straightforward. Today white collar crime is growing and people are more corrupt? The more they have developed materially, more corrupt they have become. In the past, our people were honest and sincere, with less we were contended. Now we have plenty but we are becoming morally deprived. Ideal development means improving quality of life that includes strengthening of moral systems. Here quite the opposite is taking place. When people had less they were hospitable, loving, sharing and caring. Droughts and scarcity of food was part of life, yet families of three-four generations were living together. With progress our people have become individualistic. Now real brothers are disinclined to share the common space. Disintegration of the society is talking place at a frightening pace, never witnessed before. Resultantly disharmony is on the rise. More we possess today less contended we are. Richer we are today, less caring and magnanimous we have become. Where lies the fault? Does it lie in our family structures or in our education system? Is it hidden in our lust for material or our aversion to anything that is moral and spiritual?