Somewhere on this blog, I have written about the profound statement ‘You get what you deserve’. I have also raised this question in the fora of intellectuals and great personalities that society has to be blamed for all the ills around us. Quickly came the answer that the individual and the society have been blaming each other since time immemorial without any conclusive result and thus every individual should act conscientiously ignoring such a blame game. My limited reading of Sociology also tells me that society is more than the group of individuals who make it.
In this ‘Mahabharata‘, we now have individuals who have forgotten their ‘Dharma‘. Greed, lust, hypocrisy, wickedness and many other ills plague the individual today and this has been internalized in our society as well. For a person born into such a society, the society is a given: a kind of ‘mayaajaal’ and to get out of such a ‘mayajaal’ without hurting his prospects of survival is ‘salvation’ or ‘enlightenment’ in a true sense according to me.
The above proposition is not an easy task. I am not able to accept till date Gandhiji’s advice that if someone slaps on one cheek of yours, you should present another cheek of yours 🙂 What kind of individual values can you expect in a place where law and order are antiquated words found only in the lifeless statutes. How can you do business honestly in an unfair environment? How can you speak the truth when you know that you will be ‘witchhunted’? (Refer to Sanjiv Bhatt’s case).
Should we adapt ourselves to the ‘society of the day? By ‘society of the day’, I mean the major values that are in currency at that point of time. Media is the barometer of public sentiments and when you see the news of some bollywood star getting into a brawl with some person, when we hear about which stars insured which body parts of theirs, when we are given a glimpse of the wealth of some person, etc, it tells us about the kind of things that the society values most.
Undoubtedly, society values ‘money’ the most. A person riding a Rolls Royce car with diamonds studded on it steering wheel is definitely given utmost respect though the money to buy such a car came from ‘ill gotten’ wealth. A chief executive officer of a private company is valued more than a ‘sarkaari babu’. Many such examples can follow. The point that I am trying to make here is that an individual trying to be upright has to wage a war against the ‘current’ values that are trending in the society and should not give up his values or values that he thinks are worth emulating. An individual is required to learn how not to get muddled by the ‘populist’ values circulating in the society and made credible by a media which again has forgotten its ‘Dharma’.
We cannot keep blaming our ancestors for the society that we have bequeathed from them. All that we can do is to be on the path of righteousness ourselves and be the change that we want to see in this world. Such a mindset by a majority of souls comprising this society will ultimately transform this society.