The modern materialistic world raises our standard of living but declines our standard of life. The erosion of moral values in our society today has become a phenomenon. Morals are the acceptable standard of general conduct or behaviour when judged by an average person or the society at large. Morality plays a healthy synthesis between people, co-operate each other in a harmonic manner, understand the right or wrong differentiation makes a value based society. Morals are influenced by family, society, culture and social values etc.The agencies of education such as family, school and society play an important role in developing ethical and moral values among our youths. But unfortunately due to several social and economic factors many families are disoriented, disorganised and confused and failed to play this vital role. Our institutions of learning are preparing efficient individuals but not good citizens. Society today is marked by violence, greed, theft, drug addiction and epically the crimes against women are increasing be it rape or other types of violence against them. Discipline today is lacking among young children. They do not obey the elders and often disrespect them. Young generations today have become so much self-centered that they are mostly busy in serving their own interests. Thus it has been a common belief that there has been a rapid erosion of ethical and moral values among the youth in our society.
The modern materialistic world raises our standard of living but declines our standard of life (i.e) the value of life. On account of population explosion, knowledge explosion (science and technology) and material explosion man has started moving towards the wrong path by considering material comforts of the world as real happiness. In the present society due to the spread of greed, self-aggrandizement, gross injustice, abuse of human rights, pervasion of power, callousness, insensitivity, deceit, dishonesty, thefts, bribery, smuggling, corruption, exploitation of man are wallowing in the low and dark dimensions of his consciousness.Religion and morality are being throttled and the power of man is being misused. The growing influence of the negative aspects of Western culture in younger generation is stranded on the crossroads. To make youth conscious about such evils education based on moral and ethical values should be provided to them so that they become rational human beings and to know what is good, and not to turn beasts in the skull of human shape.Undoubtedly materialistically the society is growing at a very fast rate but if we anyalise our pace and progress morally and ethically we have been degrading day by day in every sector. Be it our religious institutions ,our schools ,our government offices or any other institutions the practical examples of morality and ethics are missing everywhere. We have seen even our Ulmas wearing costly brands and living highly luxurious life and delivering sermons to people of living the life of simplicity. Why not our Ulmas discuss the present scenarios and the moral degradation prevalent in our society in their sermons.Those who had the supreme responsibility to help in rectifying the social crises prevalent in our society are unfortunately acting just as mute spectators. The day is not far away when in spite of growing and advancing in the era of technology too fast we will be still similar to wild and beast animals. We have doctors who consider patients more as customers rather than the human beings and needy one’s. We have teacher’s who tries hard to help his students to achieve their dreams of becoming doctors, engineers etc, but making them morally and ethically good citizens first is never on their priority list. While analyzing our whole institutions from top to bottom morality and ethics are the causalities almost everywhere. There are various factors responsible for degradation of moral and ethical values among our youth, some of them are….
Parental behavior: In today’s society the role of parents is much important in developing the personality of the child. Parents are much more concerned about education of their children rather than teaching good moral values to them. Working parents fail to develop good discipline and manners among the children. Most of them are unaware about what their children do when they are not in home. Sometimes excess freedom to the youth gives them scope to engage or involve in many undesirable activities like, gambling, rocking, trafficking etc which ultimately turns into grave crimes. Parents of today failed to regulate the activities of their children, some parents are unable to cope with the demands of their children which compel them to pursue in immoral activity.Influence of mass media: Undoubtedly TV, print media, internet blogs and websites, cinemas, role models (movie actors/actress) play an important role in honing and shaping the personality of the youth. Many media platforms, images, movies and games not only neutralize violence but often glorify it. There is so much violence, vulgarity in all these entertainment avenues and if a majority of youth watches these, the impact of the same on the next generation can’t be positive. Defective education system: Our education system fails to impart moral and ethical values among today’s youth for various reasons. The modern youth receiving education are losing their idealism and living in spiritual vacuum. Moral values have no respect now. Man fails to distinguish between right and wrong, good and evil. Highest respect is being placed on wealth and power. Religion has now become a private affair and stress is being laid on secularization of social relationships. Human relations are becoming impersonal and secondary. Higher importance to materialistic achievement among students. Privatization of educational institutes is another major cause for decline in ethical values in education. Mushrooming permission and recognition given by government to open self-financed private institutions have made the education to acquire the status of a marketable commodity, where educational institutes act as the traders and students are their customers. Lack of extra co-curricular activities based on human values and professional ethics. There is a great importance of curricular and extracurricular activity for the student’s life. But now the scope of extra-curricular activities is been limited to only sports, literary competitions, quizzes, few games, dance or musical events only. Morning meetings, prayers, literary works, discussions over social problems and other cultural activities have disappeared. National festive are celebrated only for the sake of formality. The creative mind of youth diverted towards antisocial activities such as smoking in public place, eye teasing, misbehaving in class, drug addiction, misconduct in the household and juvenile delinquency to name of few. Social values are uprooted by commencing antisocial activities so regional movement, conflict, bias, enmity etc take leading role on the overall down fall of the society. The alarming percentage of criminality and antisocial behaviour is increase among youth with the change in social structure and individual motives. Invention of new modes of scam and frauds are emerging which denotes that youth are tending to get more interested into easy way of attending wealth, power and fame giving least consideration to human values. It promotes identity crisis and relationship with individuals or group who already perceived the association as morally deficient. In modern era ethical and moral values are degenerating. People are becoming self-centered. Our youth are without any discipline and even they do not respect their elders. It is very necessary for today’s youth to understand the meaning of moral values deeply. If we want to make a crime free society, human values and professional ethics must be given due consideration. Morality is the most deterring factor of crime, antisocial behaviour, assault, cyber crime, corruption and for other grave crimes. It is very imperative to find out the major causes of decline of morality in the society. Moral principles held the world together. So there is a need of moral principles and values to be imparted in children to make them better and responsible citizens. Moral orientation of youths needs to be strengthened to build up a moral and harmonious society.
(The author is EVS Lecturer at Govt Higher Secondary School Khellani Doda. Views are his own)