Humanity is not a race, it is a value.
And we have lost it in our blind
pursuit of success and prosperity.
In this age of falling moral standards and near-absolute absence of the sense of discrimination between good and evil, we find that the structures which imparted values to humanity have been erased out of existence, or distorted so that they stand only in form, while their essence is essentially lost. Let us look at religion. All the goodness that it preaches remains restricted to the holy pages, while what we see going on in society is utter lack of divinity even among the holiest of holy people. Religion has been reduced to a habit, a custom, a rite, and its spirit has been taken away. In the same way, the second structure which was supposed to maintain morality in the system was the teaching profession. It has been dropped from the list of ‘noble professions’. It is not a matter of choice with our youngsters. It is only a matter of employment, a dry attachment to a job from which we extract monthly salary to support the family. The systems which decide the content of teaching subjects want that there should be no literature in the syllabi, students should learn only how to write a letter, a quotation, and how to draft advertisements. The third structure that has fallen, absolutely, is the presence of the grand parents at home. Need I mention the broken family system, and the single-parent families where old people have been exiled from homes and quarantined old age homes? Who is there to teach the stories of Raja Harish Chander and Shakuntala, and even the Ramayana to the young minds? They have been replaced with the TV which has tumbled them into a world of consumerist culture, day and night telling them, eat this eat that, making them obese in body and mind too.
Man or a Perfect Manipulator
With all the moralizing structures gone with the wind, we are now in a helpless state, in which the modern generation is exposed to market values. It is commerce, success, wealth, power and fame that rule the minds of men. In fact, let us agree that in a society, what happens is decided by the government and these days, governments want smart men who look charming, and intelligent, and who can be masterminds. In other words, modern society needs manipulators, who have mastered the art of success, because ultimately, it is the success that matters in a competitive conglomerate to which our society has been reduced.
The culture of corruption that has made inroads into human society on a spectacular scale has increased the pace of humanity towards self-destruction. Philosophically, we appear to be at the end of the cycle of Kalyuga, and this being the last phase of the epoch, we can see signs of an imminent disaster waiting for us, when every value has been lost. Humanity is not a race, it is a value. And we have lost it in our pursuit of success and prosperity.
What do we require today?
We are opening universities, and colleges, and sending our kids abroad for education.
It is all a surcharged exercise to make money, and then, more money so that you can lead a life of comfort and luxury. I wonder if there is any other passion which works with our younger generations. I want to underline what makes India different from western cultures. India stands for a life which believes in God, in godliness, in religion, in scriptures like Ramayana and Mahabharata, in Guru Nanak, in Tulsi Das, in Rabindranath Tagore and in Mahatma Gandhi. There is no India if you drop even one person from your search. India never dwelt on BARE LIVING PRACTICES as we are now going to imbibe in our upcoming generations. Earning money or a job makes 20 per cent of a man’s life, the rest of it is leading a life in love, compassion, family, believing in goodness, working hard and praying.
And what we are now preaching is a lifestyle which is shorn of all values. Which has only money as the first and the last value. It is a destructive passion that we are teaching to our younger generations. How many old couples are now taking care of each other, because their kids have migrated to US or Canada? And how many when die, remain unattended by their sons at their funerals?
Man is not body, nor bones. Man is his emotions. His family. His love. His likes his dislikes.
His peace. His time. His vacant hours. His dreams. We deny all these things and force them to live on money and impractical dreams of a high life. If we remove our flesh from our bones, can we sustain ourselves? Where are emotions in our blood? In our flesh? Where are dreams in our minds? And visions in our eyes? We are much more than bare bones. No science can dissect us. Let these people who decide our fate know this fact.
We, all those who wish well to this society, who want values to return to our younger generations, who want that we must rise above crass commercialism, and turn human again, need to join heads together. Certain things are clear. We cannot look for correction towards religion. Education has been destroyed by masters of commercialism. And family system has gone down the drain. Our worry is how to inculcate Humanism among our growing children, who are going to make our world tomorrow. How to bring them to realize that this society needs certain values of goodness, humanity, honesty and integrity. That wealth is not the last value. That fame, power are glittering illusions only.
We can do so if in each state, we have a University of Ethics, which should be beyond the pale of all religions, regions, and creeds. We need to teach literature and philosophy, and issue 6 month certificate courses in Moral Engineering and make them compulsory to pass Higher Secondary. No person who does not possess a degree can get into a job. A three year degree programme in Moral Engineering may give us Ethical Supervisors to be placed, one in ten schools in a cluster. In Universities too, we need to open Department of Ethics, and make the study compulsory in every department.
Let us take the cue from Shanti Niketan. That is a University with a different mindset. Let us in each state open a University of Ethics, so that the world knows we have taken the much needed U-turn. It will be India’s pioneering effort to push the world back from the brink of moral disaster.
Dr. JERNAIL SINGH ANAND
Dr. Jernail Singh Anand is an Honorary Member of the Association of Serbian Writers. He is Prof. Emeritus in Indian Literature at The European Institute of the Roma Studies and Research Belgrade. Dr Anand has authored more than 150 books in English poetry, fiction, non-fiction, spirituality and philosophy. He is credited with the theory of Biotext in critical theory. His work has been translated into more than twenty world languages. Author of 9 epics which are regarded as modern classics, Anand has organized 4 International Literary Conferences, latest of them, in Chandigarh. He was conferred Franz Kafka Laureateship 2022 and International Aco Karamanov Poetry Award 2022 (Mecedonia).
More about the author: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jernail_Singh_Anand?