“When virtue is lost, benevolence appears, when benevolence is lost, right conduct appears, when right conduct is lost, expedience appear. Expedience is the mere shadow of right and truth, it is the beginning of the disorder.”
One of my office colleague Sh. Harish Kataria (H.E.S II Biology) came to me one day and asked, “If you are at a public place with your family and suddenly you saw people talking in most abusive tone in a loud manner; what will be your first reaction that time?” I had no immediate answer to this question, but I thought about it…
What a paradox! Academic educational index in India is rising with each passing day and simultaneously moral values, integrity and personal conduct are approaching their extinction. One thing is absolutely true, ‘there is no relation between education and our conduct’. Junius said, “The integrity of men is to be measured by their conduct, not by their profession”. Just step out of your house; you will not need any research to validate my point because you will experience this for sure.
Sh. Harish Kataria visited a town park with his family and saw children (of not more than 10 years of age) loudly hurling abuses at each other. They are also making signs of female private parts with their fingers and performing very lewd representations of sexual acts. There were numerous people in the park and surprisingly, neither these children nor other people showed any concern towards each other. Ninety per cent of the abuses related to mothers, sisters and daughters and we listen to, tolerate and accept such humiliating tone every day. This is yet another paradox; on one side we say ‘BETI BACHAO, BETI PADHAO‘ (Save Our Daughters, Educate Our Daughters) and other side B***C***, MA***C***. Last year, I watched a viral video on social media depicting a woman asking for a gift from her brother on Raksha Bandhan. She requested her brother not to say B****C***. See the irony? This is respect that should be a given for a lady, but she is begging for it.
This can only show our carelessness towards basic tenants of life. I have seen so-called educated and also well-decorated officers loose control over their tongue even in public places. Why? Either we have become habitual of it or we too are involved in such practices and so have no power to counter such practices.
While eating, we closely analyze and choose our food. We know that otherwise, our body can respond badly, but surprisingly, we have no filter for our ear. We receive and accept everything. Food makes our body, while thought makes our consciousness. We are building body without proper conscience. Quoting Manusmriti, “Na ast strinam……….. – 5/158. Women have no divine right to perform any religious ritual, nor make vows or observe a fast. Her only duty is to obey and please her husband and she will for that reason alone be exalted in heaven.” Manu has physically left this world, but our abuses towards women have kept him alive. Hence, this is not a coincidence that every abuse objectifies either a mother, a sister or a daughter. This has been a long-ensuing malpractice to manifest patriarchy. This malpractice becomes more dangerous when it comes out in public places. It spreads profusely and corrupts the environment with insanity.
When I am saying that education has no relation to our conduct, I want all to understand my point with wisdom. Let me explain my point with a simple experiment. Visit any temple and stand in front of your deity; analyze your thoughts. Now visit any slaughter house and stand there where animals are killed; analyze your thoughts. Are thoughts same? I guess you will reply with ‘Yes’. Now we will go to the next step. What thoughts survive longer? I guess there will be no absolute reply to this question. Now I will forward my conclusion. Environment generates thought, thought makes the conscience and the conscience motivates speech and action. As a teacher, I have noticed that we stop students from talking unnecessarily on the school campus. This is not just a matter of discipline, but a matter of our environment. Our environment generates thoughts and thoughts alter the environment regularly.
When someone says, ‘A real teacher motivates’; it simply means she/he creates proper environment. Go to school and analyze the situation when teaching is going on without any appropriate environment. When a boy learns ‘BE A GOOD MAN’ and simultaneously ‘B***C****’ ; the first loses its way and the latter remains forever, this is all because of the environment.
Till the early 19th century, ‘Sati’ was still in practise. It is not a reality of today. Thought became dormant when the environment changed. Social reformers like Raja Ram Mohan Roy expedited his movement with all his might to change the environment; thoughts changed automatically. Any movement can be successful when it reaches our conscience. This was not an easy task for Roy, but nothing is impossible for the determined mind. If we are really serious about various issues like domestic violence, rape, eve teasing, girls’ literacy etc; we should first learn to respect women with our words and thoughts. We should not educate a girl child because the government is saying ‘BETI PADHAO‘, but we should believe this as her right. Our thoughts around respect for women will alter the environment and from that environment, new thought will emerge. I remember an old adage – to do service with your body, mind and money. To date, I have understood body and money, but not mind. Today, I can understand this.
Everyone should check their conduct. We should exert control on our tongue before uttering abuses. We may also face difficulty doing this, but believe me, it is not impossible.