Hindustan is well known as a land of saints. These holy men have guided our society, protected us from ill deeds and shown us the path of salvation. In a huge and diverse nation like Bharat, the inner power of these saints, their meditation and strong determination for a better world, has been a strength and wealth of our nation. All our Shastras, Puranas’, Vedas, Upanishads, Gita, Bhagwat etc, are forms of guided principles, invoking us to lead a disciplined life. This ancient teachings and knowledge had made our nation a Vishwa Guru.
Intellectually, Bharat has always been at the top of the world in the field of spiritual sciences. The principles of Sanatan Dharma accommodates all castes, creed and religion and we in Bharat believe in the concept of a global family and a global village (Vasudhaiva Kutumvakam). The rich repertoire of ancient knowledge, in the fields of statecraft, human values, rights and duties of the citizens, applied science be it astronomy, astrology, mathematics, Ayurveda, surgery, and a holistic approach to the environment and other living beings. .
In Bharat we believe in the concept of nuclear family, where there is a sense of responsibility, affection and trust among the family members. The concept of nuclear family helps us in building a strong united society, where all are economically and socially safe. But nowadays, the adoption of modern lifestyles, we strongly needs safeguards to protect our fair sex. There lies a huge Trust Deficit amongst us in the modern life style. And thus when we open the newspapers in the morning, we despair to read news of rapes of our children in schools, public places and what not. Today I read a news item that a girl of 16 year old from Bharatpur, Rajasthan, was sold at the age of eight and now she has four children ! The police alleged that after she was sold by her father and step mother, she was mercilessly raped by unknown criminals. Somehow the girl escaped from the clutch of the criminals and an organisation has filed a PIL, to file a FIR. Where are we heading? One has to take up the issue very seriously, why this sort of immoral attitudes is growing up in the society. Why is the Moral Quotient missing from the unguided missiles of our society. Why this mental illness to provoke to involve oneself in such heinous crimes ? I don’t think the Law of the land alone would be able to erase such a criminal mentality.
Following the widespread protests over several incidents of rapes of minors, the Union Government has promulgated an Ordinance that allow courts to award death penalty to those convicted of raping children below twelve years of age. There are stringent provisions in the Ordinance that would be applicable to all cases reported from now. My suggestion to the Government is that along with the academic courses and sports, there should be compulsory moral education in the syllabus, where trained spiritual gurus, like Yoga teachers, can teach our children about the moral lessons from our age-old rich Shastras and Puranas. Our children should be taught about our glorious history where a sense of patriotism and moral quotient is well written. In the past in our rural areas, there was spiritual groups called Bhagwat Katha Ghar, where the people from the villages would listen to spiritual talks. Today, with the advent of technology, when our prime minister wants to connect all the Village Panchayats through video conferencing, he should also make available moral lessons for the farmers and the urban areas. Equally, in our families in the urban areas, our children hardly find any chance to interact with their grandfathers or grandmothers or even with their parents. All are busy earning money. Our children are growing up without proper parenteral guidance; rather the guidance of domestic helps and caretakers is more prevalent.
Today, children no more enjoy the benefits of the nuclear family. They are not aware of our rich ancient texts with their timeless morals and lessons. Rather, they grow up reading Mickey Mouse, Geronimo Stilton, Roald Dahl. I don’t say these books are not worthy to read, but our children must read the story of Great Maratha Shivaji Maharaj, Rana Pratap, Bhagat Singh, Subhash Chandra Bose, Sswami Vivekananda and many others. This will instill the sense of pride, trust, responsibility and respect for all in the society. Our education system teaches us that our grandfather is lunatic, so one can understand why Swami Vivekananda put much thrust on strengthening Indian culture and build our own education system. We must spare some time with our children to educate them about the changing world. Our children must be morally strong to face the new world along with the strong academics. The aim of education is not just to earn money but it should teach our children to liberate them from all ill sort of illness, both physical and mental.
By Deepak Kumar Rath