Crisis of Value Decline and its Redress
Feeling the Need
With my spiritual quest which began decades ago, I also developed an abiding concern for preserving ‘the cultural strength of our Nation’, which instills a unique cohesion in our people. This became deeper and deeper, making my heart wonder as to how best can the lasting welfare of our Nation be ensured and its eternal values reinforced.
Is our India just a geographical subcontinent, with Natural bounties and mineral deposits? Does not our country represent a distinct civilization, who have lived gloriously for millennia, with not alone material prosperity but also an inestimable inner spiritual affluence, that far excels all worldly possessions?
Our Value Heritage
Any one should wonder: where lies the strength of such an ancient living civilization? What enabled the people here to withstand the severe vicissitudes, which Nature as well as human mind brought from time to time?
Instances of such inner glory and Soul magnificence abound the cultural ethos of our country.
Should not this deeper inner spiritual strength inspire our people in all ventures? Each Indian is an esteemed heir to this impeccable legacy, and gifted to triumph even in the hardest challenge, persecution and privation. Characteral and behavioural excellence has abundant power to sustain the human against all odds in personal, familial, societal or professional life.
Indian mind is noted for cherishing a vibrant attitude towards Nature and all its constituents, namely earth, water, air, sun, moon and the sky – considering them to be divine. It is strongly averse to exploitation. At best we can only ‘think of harnessing natural resources’, without damaging their abiding worth.
Therefore, to love our country is to inevitably adhere to its cultural values, in thoughts, words and deeds alike.
Our culture emphasizes that greed and possessiveness erode one’s inner being, and they should not be allowed to dominate us any time. To live is also to co-exist with others. Human life excels, when it is devoted to help and serve others heartily. ‘Selfishness’ is a curse, and ‘selflessness’ the greatest blessing.
Cause of Value Decline and Redress
Our cultural evaluation holds ignorance to be the cause for all evils. To instill right knowledge is the only means to redress the plight. Dissemination of ‘Subject Knowledge’ thus becomes the indispensable mission for all times. Rulers have to recognize this fact and act prudently in the matter.
What is this ‘Subject Knowledge’, whose grandeur enables human life to attain its glory and fulfillment? Distinct from external, material, professional and technical knowledge, which come under ‘object knowledge’, ‘Subject Knowledge’ holds the potential to enrich and empower the mind, intelligence and heart. Characteral might, behavioural majesty and interactional excellence are the unique gifts of ‘subject knowledge’.
All our cultural values are aimed at bestowing this three-fold inner enrichment. By their very nature, they are ever applicable to one and all alike. To blend ‘subject values’ with ‘object education’ thus becomes the goal before us.
National Attention – Immediate Rescue
Individuals, groups, political and other leaders do speak about the acute crisis in value decline. But no basic effort to evaluate the plight at National level is made. As food nourishes the body, ‘subject values’ alone provide inner nourishment and growth, for individual and society alike.
India has time-tested values, imbuing the individual with societal expanse and compulsions, enhancing the cohesive potential of the Nation. Our culture abhors svartha-nishtha, a common malady, by instilling praarthna-nishtha consistently. Sarvabhoota-hite ratah is our goal. To be selfish, constricted, is the mind’s wont. Value-enrichment alone can redress this notoriety, and make the mind national and societal.
Bereft of value enrichment and the resultant strength, human life will degenerate grievously.
For this reason, did our ancient thinkers devote their whole life to ‘value enunciation and enrichment’. Vedic and epic writings were the great outcome of their dedication, which seeks to make life harmonious, elegant and fulfilling.
In such a context, to be ‘patriotic is to be given to the Nation’s values’. Without imbibing values, any patriotism and nationalism would be hollow. Our eternal values and their all-fold relevance are the Nation’s legacy to all.
To preserve these values and embody their strength and inspiration, is the only way to ‘save our Nation’ from the impending abysmal fall.
The immediate step in this direction will be to have a National perspective on value culture and its compliance in all branches of National life. Like adherence to Constitution, value abidance must be a fundamental duty of all.
Part IVA of the Constitution enjoins the Fundamental Duty “to value and preserve the rich heritage of the composite culture of the Land”. But this is neither known adequately, nor heeded. A National effort to activate people to heed this Fundamental Duty is imperative.
Political leaders, thinkers and bureaucrats often display ‘a blind secular bias’ to our eternal cultural values. But in reality these came into vogue, when the world ‘had not seen anything like religion’ at all. Thus, the relevance our cultural values hold, do not give any room for religious affiliations, a fact to be recognized widely.
It is not that these cultural values have come to us by tradition and hearsay. Our ancient Texts provide a rational enunciation of these, to inspire and guide people of all times.
It is worth mentioning that these immortal enunciations are the best memorial any society can think of making. All others made of brick, stone and mortar are fated to perish sooner or later.
Every individual is a constituent of the society, like a cell in his own body. The health of each cell determines the composite health of the body. Likewise, any decline in values in an individual, like infection in a cell, will be perilous to the Nation. Thus, individual adherence to values and the resulting enrichment are indispensable.
This ‘value message’ should be imparted to the people through the Nation’s mass media and channel network, regarding it as a Fundamental Duty enjoined by the Constitution, a National obligation. The responsibility for this devolves on the Government. No matter which party comes to power, this National Commitment and Dedication cannot brook any inattention or delay.
Details and procedure about the values to be imparted can be worked out later. The imperative need now is for a Central and National introspection on the subject. Government should emergently appoint a High Power Commission to go into this national plight and arrive at feasible remedies to be effected expeditiously, who will take guidance from enlightened people, including spiritual stalwarts.
Appropriate persons from the Executive, Parliament and Judiciary to be persuaded to come forward and help deal with the subject by effective measures, without reservation or reluctance.
Actual course of action on implementation can be evolved only after different departments of National governance enlighten us about the value-decline crisis, as it confronts them in their actual functioning, and their perception about redressing it effectively.