Since independence, there has been a drastic fall in the standards of our moral conduct, right form the top leadership to the layman. The cadre of the leaders that we saw during our struggle for independence comprised selfless, visionary men, who sacrificed personal interests for the betterment of the society. Sixty years have passed; we find rampant corruption taking roots into almost every sphere and section of the society.
Education and Morality
A civilized society requires continuous influx of young citizens having strong base of moral character which enshrines values that bring out empathy for the society as a whole.
Education has a pivotal role to play in this process. Parents and teachers are the main components of any education system. Parents are primarily responsible for the education and morality of their children since they have given birth to them. But, this does not obliterate the necessity of an education system in place to take care of the moral education of its budding citizens. It is, for best results, a two pronged approach and, often, in the absence of any one of them the other can outdo to compensate the absent one.
Indian Education System
Like our parliamentary and judiciary systems, we inherited our educational system from the West, which was purely secular in its nature. Later on, it also got influenced by the leftist inclinations of the Establishment. Whereas, prior to that, religion was an integral part of the Indian education system and it was inherently capable to indoctrinate the young minds with the moral values and virtues that were the part and parcel of the religion.
Where the Malady Lies?
Our compulsion to adopt the secular western education system was rooted in our choice of a secular and democratic polity to govern a religiously and culturally diverse India. But, in the process, we failed to take cognizance of the fabric of our society. The new education system that we provided deprived the society of its moral character. It was the same moral character which gave birth to legendary visionaries like Mahatma Gandhi and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad that we were deprived of. Even the Christian missionary schools that taught Moral Science as a subject some 25 years ago have, mostly, discontinued doing so.
India is a home to almost all the religions of the world. Moral values and character that form the basis of a morally healthy society are, fortunately, common across all the religions. Courtesy, loving one’s neighbors, wishing good for all, honesty, truthfulness and such virtues are tenaciously upheld and taught by all religions.
The need of the hour is to devise a course encompassing all these basic tenets common to all religions and start teaching them as a compulsory subject, at least till secondary school (Class 10) level. However, every care should be taken to formulate the course in such a way that it does not even seem to have a skew towards any religion; so that no one can argue that a particular religion is being promoted by the State. Thus, a balance has to be maintained; without compromising with its secular character, the State’s education system should fill this vacuum of providing moral education to all.
Article Source: http://ezineseeker.com/?expert=Syed_Ahsan_Shamsie
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