Social Transformation for Nation Building

ABSRACT

“There are painters who transform the Sun into a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the Sun” – Picasso...

By: somya gaur | Update: 2016-10-24 11:13:05

Social Transformation for Nation Building

ABSRACT

“There are painters who transform the Sun into a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the Sun” – Picasso

When a pot contains milk it is called a milk pot; when the same pot is filled with honey it’s called a honey pot and so on. Just as the pot is known by its content, so too, is a country known by countrymen. Thus, the transformation of individuals leads to the transformation of a nation. Therefore it is rightly said that Country is a mark of civilized person, otherwise it’s just merely a geographical location and a burden on Mother Earth.

Thus, if Indians transfigure themselves into a more healthful, soulful, learned, constructive, civilizing, cultural, patriotic and spiritual person with the vision of universal oneness, India will be reawakened. Indians will not only gain at a personal level, but will be major benefactor to the society and the world at large.

When an individual works towards attaining his holistic growth, there are key areas that he needs to consider making changes in – patriotic, physical, emotional, intellectual, cultural, spiritual and a universal outlook. The aim of life should be to find the unlinked blocks of life, which when refined will give birth to a complete citizen.

So here is an effort being made to bring out the fact that how the transfiguration of traditional lifestyle with the modern lifestyle has in fact transposed the civilization to un-civilization. And what can be done to premeditate such an alarming situation. Therefore, it is a discussion about our society, for my country.

Grand on promises, but nothing on delivery’

The present situation of the youth force and their aspirations can be well described by a situation similar to a one like this - we are travelling in a giant car heading towards a brick wall and everyone is arguing over where they are going to sit.

An important question, which comes across is whether we as citizens of India have fulfilled his/her part of obligation enshrined under the Constitution of India? The answer is ‘No.’ In Plato’s phrase, ‘we are still like cave men, with our backs turned to the light, watching the shadows on the wall.’

These days,

Our society is losing its true meaning,

Our society is forgetting its sole purpose,

Our society is no more melodious,

Our society is trapped with changed conceptions, which were not even dreamt of,

The perception, the essence, the dexterity, the benevolent nature all has been eradicated due to unconcerned behavior of the citizens of our country.

There was the time when the flute of the society always played its whimsical notes articulating “All ought to be treated with love and justice and due regard to their merits. No one ought to be contended with his own good alone, but everyone ought to regard his prosperity as included in that of others.”[1]

There lay the general conviction that “It is obvious that the world serves us and fulfills our needs, but our relation to it does not end here, we are bound to it with a deeper and truer bond than that of necessity. Our soul is drawn to it, our fondness of life is really our wish to continue our relation with this great world and this relation is one of love.”[2]

But the voice has been choked today there’s no music left in the flute every person has been brought down to an aprosexia state of mind where ‘for the next day (tomorrow) we die today.’

With the transposition towards modernity, the efforts of our forefathers have been disfigured because the future generations have failed to carry over the legacy.

Although such transposition is embraced in the name of development but if analyzed closely then one can easily assert the fact that this has actually annihilated the three main pillars of our society, besides many others, namely;

  • Family 
  • Education
  • Status of Role Models

And, with the destruction of these institutions of our society, the society can be said to be developing but negatively.

Development till the time not assisted by progress of its members can not be named as development in true sense and progress has been hampered with the disintegration of family units, educational system and disgraced status of role models and this is now emerging as a social problem which ultimately deviates the society and take us to a path which is unjustified, wrong, not solely accepted and then people are left with no other option rather than just regretting about there past involvements.

The foremost pillar is Family, which is one of the basic unit of our society, which initiates the process of socialization of an individual. As when a person is born he first socializes with his family members and then he proceeds to continue his journey of life based upon the teachings of his family, qualities he inherited.

But at present the connotation of family seems to be fading where the role of a mother has been undermined to such an extent where many of them are even ashamed to call themselves as housewives.

The present generations after having lived in joint family system have taken the initiative to break and start a nuclear family. The generation that broke out did so when individualistic thinking began to gain predominance over qualities like cooperation, forbearance, atonement, amiability and all this develops the disavowal among the upcoming generations because children tend to follow the same footsteps of their parents and this system gets further continued.

The difficulty in passing the cultural values, morals, and ethics has been witnessed as all these are learnt and taught by visualizing them in action. Therefore the morals, the ethics, the values, the etiquettes, the emotions, the true culture of Indian civilization has been dwindled and all this have advertently resulted in getting disconnected and disassociated from the hearts and minds of our elders (including parents, grandparents).

Family used to be training grounds for the future generations where they learned and developed attributes and skills of living in harmony which ultimately used to help the society to get built wherein there is more tolerant nature of personal differences in views and thoughts and where people appreciated and carried forward the same legacy.

Now with the gap of time a conscious mother has disappeared and children are left to be taken care of and are brought up in the hands of maids or maidservants. Ultimately children become underachiever who fails to honor the warmth, the storytelling times, those innocent smiles, the pampering of grandparents. The children don’t get the opportunity to rest there heads upon the laps of their parents and they even fail to get allured by the essence of purity, love, hard work all blended in food being cooked by a conscious mother.

The children after being neglected of such upbringing are left unguarded, unguided, at there own wisdom and upon such individuals the future of our country gets based.

As per the popular verse:

Kulakshay pranshyanti kuladharma: sanatana:|

Dharmae nashta kula kritstradharmaobhibhavtyut:|[3]|

Meaning thereby with the destruction of a unit of family the whole religion gets destroyed and with such destruction the evil gets dispersed, inspiring all in the entire society towards the evil path.

The direct contact, the sharing of personal bonds between the children and parents has disappeared because of the simple reason that parents are working and they leave home for there jobs early morning and by the time they return its quiet late and no one is left with any valuable time and the whole day stress, targets at work place keep them indulged and they forget about there unlettered targets regarding there families. The qualitative time spend in families by its members is not being seen now.

But it’s a famous phrase that if you don’t act on life, life has a habit of acting on you. The days slip into weeks, the weeks slip into months and months slip into years and before you know it, that little child is now an adult with a family of his own. Lost time never comes and by the time one realizes it is too late.

It is at this stage the actual problem mounts the time, whereby the most precious span of life went enhancing the professional front by neglecting the family when:

  • As per the Indian tradition ‘sanskars’ were to be transmitted to the younger generation.
  • Child was to be assisted at every stage of his growth and development by his parents.
  • The child was to be brought up very tenderly in the hands of mother seeking her full attention whereby the finest qualities of nature, like the bloom on fruits was to be preserved only by the most delicate handling.

But all this has transpired and all the qualities, etiquettes in possession of dear soul have been possessed under the guidance of another voice not that of his own parents or any other family member.

And, for those who do not understand the importance of all such teachings, in the great wide world, even in bright daylight lie in the darkness. It is the time now when parents should realize this important fact and perform their part of obligations towards upbringing of their children.

This can be compared with the increase in the number of cases of suicides, murders, kidnapping, sexual offences, matrimonial cases and so on and so forth. All due to lack of value education because of which the very foundation of life becomes flimsy.

Secondly, “value based education is the only instrument for transmitting national talent into national progress.”[4]

Next degradation has been analyzed in the present system of Education, which is also thwarting the development of our society and building nation.

The importance of teachers who were respectably referred as ‘Gurus’ has diminished and their status has been lowered down to such an extent that now students despise them just because they did not inherited ‘sanskars’ since their childhood from their parents and family, which was also their right to get in heritance.

There was the time when India had the ancient heritage of education. The ancestry of Vedic teaching and learning was outstanding. Variety and vastness were both wedded to Indian education whose greatest uniqueness lied in the fact that it was not lopsided or partial but was all rounded and complete. Where it was emphasized on building the ‘down to earth’ character of a person whereby he was guided to always master in and never change the four basic qualities ever, namely;

  • Aakriti
  • Prakriti
  • Pravati
  • Nivrati

Then education had two major functions:-

Firstly ‘to enlighten the understanding’

Secondly ‘to enrich the character’[5]

When we talk about duties, tendencies come from a rich character and character is built from a good and qualitative education, which is firstly given by family.

Dr. Radhakrishnan has rightly asserted that “civilizations are not built with brick and mortar, steel and machinery, they are built with men and women, having high values and character.”

The impact on academic knowledge is beyond any doubt but spiritual and moral etiquettes find no place in our curriculum. No emphasis is laid upon in the present education to uplift the student’s morals, ethical and spiritual values.

A closer assessment indicates that the degradation has started from the roots and society is decaying due to which the callous disregard of common man’s interests, the increasing hypocrisy and double talk have cumulatively caused deterioration.

“It is good to have a population which is able to read but infinitely better to have people able to distinguish what is worth reading.”[6]

In past decade what the intention of people used to be in depicted in the verse, which says:

“Gurum eva abhigachchet||”[7]

Which means that the world consists of people of various backgrounds, thoughts, intellects, and experiences so question was that at the time of conflict on whom should we base our discussion? So this was answered through this line in Upanishads that we should not go anywhere else but only a ‘Guru’ can be approached.

The word ‘guru’ was of great significance that was referred as:

“Upadekshyanti te gnanam gnaninastattva darshinaha”[8]

Meaning thereby that Guru is wise and seer of all entities.

Where there is education, there is always progression and upliftment in the Society and where there is no education, there is degradation and society has to confront misery.

The foremost requirement of our society is to have a curious learners and dedicated teachers. There are many opportunities indeed to get educated where in our country we even have legislation like Right To Free Education Act which came into force from April 2010. But still there remain certain lacunas because of the simple reason that there are no people to ascertain its benefits in true sense and many children are now being made educated not because they ‘need to’ but because they ‘have to’ take it as a society’s pressure or as a formality where it has become a way of life so parents thereby proceed in the same way. But India’s future depends on an educated citizenry and this does not imply to the children who just ascertain them as educated by the number of degrees they have, in fact,

‘Education is not the name of a degree or a certificate that can be shown as a proof but, education is the name of our attitude, actions, manner, behavior, literature, language and personality with others in real life.’

Despite heavy expenditure in education over the decades, the ways of imparting education have been a significant barrier to India’s gaining on education. The persistence of a flawed system cannot be better explained than by the fact that it works for the benefit of those who control the system and not for the larger social good. So to counter this, the already educated public has to take up the cause on behalf of those people who are in desperate need for a effective functioning educational system.  

“There is indeed no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination and finish with education. The whole life from the moment you are born to the moment you die is a process of learning.” [9]

It is the facts what you learn determines how much educated a person is even a person can be said to be educated in armories where he throughout his life learns everything about arms, the person learning all the techniques of terrorism is even educated, person who learns from books is also educated and a person under the guidance of conspirators also gets educated in that terms. So recognizing and preserving the true meaning and the soul purpose of education is our duty and requires our immediate attention because the quality of education of the children of today will determine the quality of life in India tomorrow. It is need of the hour now to recognize where we want our India to be in days to come because the miraculous years of son and daughter’s childhoods will never come again.

Indeed, in the words of Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam “if you educate a boy you educate an individual but if you educate a girl you educate a family”

Hence, it is right to state that education in true sense and of both a boy as well as a girl is necessary.

As even the words of shastra of our land echo the sound that “to learn and to teach is purpose of our life” and, we should try our level best to preserve this heritage of ours.

In the end, when family has lost its importance, the education is not being given in the manner it needed to be, the child fails to gather inspiration, make ideals of his life and leading him to become an individualistic person who never learned to bow down before anyone.

The role models, the references, the scholars, the ideals are no more given relevance their image, their perceptions, their talks, all have been undermined to such an extent that they are frequently questioned, doubted, criticized ultimately leaving them with no listeners, no followers from where the downfall begins.

The Mahabharata always guide its readers to ‘follow the path walked by the virtuous man.’ But,

  • Who that virtuous person is?
  • Upon which path that virtuous man walked?
  • What he experienced?
  • What he learned?
  • What he wants to conclude and tell his upcoming followers?

These questions are no more raised, answers are no more abided by, because from the very beginning they are left to grow as per their own consciences, and taught to never be afraid of anyone and this excessive confidence which gets built in, really proves to be harmful for the society and results in development of destructive minds of our younger generations whereby we can see that most of our youth gets indulged in cyber crimes, become the part of suicide bombers or various terrorists groups. Thereby resulting in total chaotic situation of our society deviating it from the confirmed behavior.

The outward purity can be brought through water, but the purity of heart is manifested in sincerity and since it is never too late to give upon our prejudices because “there was never a night that could defeat sunrise and there can never be a problem that can defeat hope”[10]

We can take over the shield in our own hands and work to restore our society and then lead it towards true development by:

  • Living in unity, peace and harmony thereby saving our well-established family system.
  • Recognizing our actions before they become a habit of ours because “we are books we read, the films we watch, the music we listen to, the people we spend time with, the conversation we engage in.” so to choose wisely what we feed our mind is determined by the education we perceive.

Ultimately, we will be able to bring back:

  • The conscious mother,
  • The dedicated students,
  • The desperate teachers,
  • The inspiring role models.

Which are now seem to be fading away from our society because of the fact that we are ignorant of this simple reality of our life and just heading towards to match our footsteps with the gait of the hands of our clock.

So we being the guards of our mother earth must make are living and presence upon it worth by preserving the true Indian culture whilst corroborating it with the modern lifestyle.

In the words of George Bernard Shaw, which needs to be treasured speaks:

“Life is no brief candle for me

Its is a sort of splendid torch

Which I have got hold for the moment and

I want to make it burn as brightly as possible

Before handling it onto the future generations.”

 


[1] Cited in: Essence of Upanishads (The wisdom of ancient rishis).

[2] Cited in: Essence of Upanishads (The wisdom of ancient rishis).

[3] Cited in Bhagwat Gita (the holy textbook of Hindu).

[4] Cited in ‘wit and wisdom’ by Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

[5] Cited in ‘wit and wisdom’ by Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam.

[6] Cited in ‘wit and wisdom’ by Dr. A.P.J.  Abdul Kalam.

[7] Cited in ‘Mundaka Upanishad’ (proclaiming the akshar-purushottam principle)

[8] Cited in ‘Bhagwat Gita’ (4.34)

[9] Said by Jiddu Krishnamurti.

[10] Said by Bern Williams.

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Vaishnavi rawat 25 October, 2016

very true and very well written.

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Simran Bhardwaj 24 October, 2016

a great piece of work :)

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