Elders have utterly failed to transmit moral values to the younger generation. The pomp and show of the western civilisation has swayed our youth and elders are to blame for not educating them about its pitfalls. Youth seek instant gratification and pleasure. Elders don’t educate youth about things like patience. Our personal greed has completely distracted us from the larger social good. We, as a society, have become materialistic. Principles and values have taken a backseat. In that context, elders lack the legitimate authority to inculcate morals in the young ones. Though parents have a strong weakness for their young ones who may take advantage of it, elders must know where the line ends. Otherwise they will lose their grip on them. If they ask you to buy a smart phone, deny them no matter how much they get annoyed by your decision. But most parents succumb. Sometimes it becomes important for elders to rebuke their children if they go astray. That way you can set their moral compass right. Otherwise they will do whatever they want to and feel justified about it. In our childhood, our elders were a source of moral education for us. We were reprimanded, even beaten sometimes for our acts of misdemeanour. But, today elders have largely forgotten this responsibility. The result is our youth have no sense of good and bad. Love and affection are ok, but the kind of moral deprivation you see in our society needs harsh methods to enforce moral discipline. If elders fail to discharge their responsibilities of training youth in ethics, morality and values, I think we will fall in such a vicious circle which we can never get out of.
Prof M Siddiq Kuchai, Ex-Principal
Youth are to be blamed for the moral decadence in our society. They don’t pay heed to the advices of elders and have no respect for them. Our elders have tried every method, from love to rebuking to inculcate good manners in us, but youth have failed them at every step. We have seen instances where a youth threatens his parents of committing suicide if they won’t buy him or her a smart phone. What can elders do in this regard? Do you still hold them responsible? As one looks at the declining standards of morality in the youth, one wonders where this modern society of ours is heading. In the name of progress, youth have demolished the age-old ethos and value system, which our forefathers had fostered with care and affection. Youth think that progress means imitation of the western tradition. Thereby they throw away their traditional values, ethics and morality. Misuse of mobile phones has destroyed the moral fabric of our society. Today youth have become addicted to their phones. They can’t stop themselves from accessing morally-degrading content on the internet. Drug addiction is a huge problem among our youth. Parents can take you to a de-addiction centre, but it is the youth who have to hold themselves back from such activities. Youth take great pride in fashioning their lives after the lifestyles of celebrities, business tycoons, and models. They feel ashamed of their cultural roots and moorings. But they don’t realise how important it is to follow our own value system. What today’s youth must understand is what sort of a society and moral system they would pass on to their children.
Aamir Habib, Research Scholar
—As told to Aasif Sultan