The days in 1970s were far more different than the days we see now. Here the days refer to the people of those days in particular. The post independent young era was full of enthusiasm for building a great nation of which the other developed world gets envious of. The parents told the stories of freedom fighting to their young children, bought books and magazines in plenty so that the future generation comes up with knowledge and vision. Most of the families believed in the moral values and ethics of humankind. Values are many as such – political, legal, religious, cultural, aesthetic, scientific and moral. Among these, the moral values which includes happiness, duties and responsibilities, purpose of life, conscience, honesty, dignity, mutual respect, took the centre stage to bring up a good human being out of every child. The value of speaking the truth, taking the honest route to achieve heights, growing a sense of responsibility towards parents and environment, appreciating others’ good qualities, selflessness were the parameters looked within a young groom or a candidate seeking job. The knowledge acquired by reading books were often reflected while people used to sit in a group over a cup of tea or coffee to discuss any topic anywhere- be it in a coffee house or a community club. This trend continued till the later parts of 1990s but a slow onset of deterioration in the values and ethics was noticed by many of our young minds. The peace of life and mind of the people with inherited values started disorienting, there was a sense of insecurity about the future days, though not extraordinarily strong as there was still hopes of reverting back to normal.
Slowly, many of us started to realise that the values inculcated in us in our childhood is differing with the surrounding activities. People are getting more superficial day by day, there is no longer a spirit of teamwork in whatever we do, the things changed from a broader perspective to a narrower sense- selfishness in every mind was popped in. Proceed to reach to your goal, grab the opportunities by any means, become rich by any means, the bar between the right and wrong faded away. We learnt not to criticise anything or any actions, rather to accept the wrong doings in the name of ‘adjustments. To survive or to progress, most of the people were not hesitant to do harm to others. There was not any kind of appreciation for any good actions rather there was an attempt to demoralise a person who was correct or a good doer. It may happened that the people with high morals and ethics continued to survive either in the name of adjustments in the society or changed their attirude to get moulded with the transformation of the societal views.
The societal transformation which came alongwith the changed thought processes has now spreaded its wings to accomodate all irrespective of their social or economical status. The moral values found places in dust bins as well as the political values have changed significantly. The hollow promises are made to forget soon after the election gets over, the leaders often forget to think deeply to chalk out plans for the development of its electorates. The sense of responsibility had vanished long back. The cultural values which include creativity, art, freedom, communication have lost that happiness of mind. Now, an artist never knows how that creativity will be appreciated or thrashed out! The legal and scientific values are tougher to implement as it needs literacy among the masses. The moral values are resting in peace in the old pages of Moral Science books. All of us were bowed our head down to the social transformation, but why?
Because, we never wanted to lose peace, lose jobs, lose relationships, lose the happiness, lose the wealth and not to lose our dignity. We wanted to make everyone happy compromising values. We calculated in favour of our own benefits ignoring societal benefits, we manipulated carefully to draw things in favour of ourselves. These calculations or manipulations never thought for the upliftment of the society or the human conditions but always favoured the self interests. Calculations are of many types varying from person to person, circumstances to circumstances and it continued with greater compromises, greater acceptances. The happy people of the society forgot to find out the lacks of health care system, the lack in primary education/ higher education system, the lack of good roads or free electricity and water or they forgot to claim the basic rights. For every missing rights, they kept quiet- “adjusted”!
The neat result of ignoring the values and ethics is now haunting us when we are fighting the pandemic. The plight of the sick people or the scene of floating dead bodies in the Ganges made our hearts numb and the minds blocked. We prefer to keep quiet, we prefer to switch off the news channels!!
Did we reached the bottom?? Or still more to come??