Friday, 30 April 2010

By Dr. Shura Darapuri
Everyday like few years back, we used to get the news of serial bomb blasts, one gets the news of innocent school children, for no fault of theirs getting hurt in road accidents, incidents of traffic disruptions on some pretext or the other affecting school going children becoming almost a regular feature, some of the ‘teachers’ beating school children ‘black and blue’, yet going scot free, unpunished. Cases of molestation of students in educational institutions, students committing suicides, incidents of shameful ragging in ‘educational institutions,’ school going children kidnapping friends for ransom money, without batting an eyelid. The other day a young girl was being badly beaten by a group of adolescent boys, which was being shown on the You- Tube. The goons it seems have taken day off and have allowed entry to the so-called ‘civilized gentry’ in their trade!
The question arises where are we heading to? Does ability to use mobiles, computers, driving cars, speaking fluent English make us ‘civilized’? Even with enormous amount of degrees issued to us do we really qualify to be called ‘civilized’? We are categorized as a Third World country, and do not have much resources at our disposal, for example many areas are still not connected properly owing to lack of transport and do not of have the basic facilities like clean drinking water, electricity etc. Yet in our country, burning public property to mark protest has become a norm be it an individual or a group protest. We forget the kind of example we are setting before the posterity? In marking protest against price rise, resorting to violence, burning our country’s already scarce ‘expensive public property’ succeed in bringing it down? Then perhaps the solutions to most problems lay at a ‘stones throw’ literally. If every individual decides to resort to such modes of protest, day will not be far when we are left totally devoid of already meager basic facilities and no commodity left to call ‘expensive’ or ‘cheap’. Traffic disruption owing to the protesters causes much inconvenience to the people most of all children, old people, ailing patients, some die even before reaching the hospitals. Our sensibilities shudder at the thought of children getting hurt in a road accident yet unable to get immediate first aid owing to the delay caused by traffic dislocation.
One fails to understand, with a history of struggle for self government against an alien rule have we been successful in understanding true meaning of democracy? We have failed day after day. A school going child dies in a road accident a mother loses apple of her eye, her only child, at that time there is not a single brow of protest raised from any side .Is life so cheap in our country? There is a lingering feeling of dread and unease in the minds of every parent, till a child returns safely home from school. Calling attention of school administration or government quarters goes unheard; people have nothing to depend on but ‘god’ for the well being of their kith and kin. No wonder instead of more police stations and hospitals which ought to be there on the road, we have more religious buildings. But the thing is, where do we stand morally? Violence going unabated indicates poor state of morality! But where are we getting lessons on morality? Morality in simple words means concerned about others’ welfares as we our for ours, that is the basic condition for peaceful coexistence. It is only when we are morally strong it becomes easier for us to be rule abiding because then we can easily distinguish between right and wrong.
But in real life what are the enacting principles of morality? We are forever pointing finger at others, sometimes it is the government, sometimes it is the ‘foreign hand’. But if we go for self introspection where do we ourselves actually stand? If we read news about school children getting killed in a road accident what do we say? “A few words of sympathy or sigh a breath of relief thinking it wasn’t our child but fail to realize next time it might be, and he might become a victim of our own callousness”!
Instead of leaving everything to destiny we ought to believe in ourselves and in the rule of law and make every effort to bring to book the errant! But we wait till someone else “bells the cat” or some miracle to happen! Indians love miracles! They tend to live more in their past than present! They get fascinated by fairy tales and can’t hide their feelings of disbelief yet believing whole heartedly in the miracles. They believe so much in miracles that most of them have lost faith in themselves and others. They wait for the ‘outside force’ to work for them! That is why most remain way behind in their lessons of morality and fail to impart the lessons to their children! Violence committed in their favor is justified but when they succumb to violence it is branded as bad!
In present times when our siblings are becoming innocent patrons of violence it is time to become alert! They have to be diverted lovingly to the path of morality. They have to be taught to be truthful, honest, tolerant, compassionate, forgiving and non-violent. For peaceful coexistence and for translating democracy into reality these are the values to be inculcated in every child.
Dr Shura Darapuri
Coordinator (I/C)
Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy,
Baba Saheb Bhim Rao Ambedkar University,
Lucknow. (U.P.), India

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