The deepening value crisis in the contemporary Indian society is casting its evil shadow in all walks of our life. There is lack of development of sound moral vision among human being along with scientific and technological development. As a result, human being can produce such powerful means of destruction like hydrogen and nuclear bombs and destroy the whole world in no time. Wealth worshipped as god, Pride has become a creed. The promise of the ‘tryst with the destiny’ and the dreams of prosperity, social wellbeing and human happiness are proving to be false. One can understand the nature of the value crisis in different spheres of our life. These spheres may be categorized as individual, societal, intellectual and cultural. For now, we will see only at an individual level.
At individual level:
- The sole aim of all the strivings at the individual level has become the attainment of personal success. It is a worldly success, defined in purely materialistic terms as the acquisition of money, power and prestige. All other life values (moral, aesthetic and spiritual) which give meaning, worth and fullness to human existence are seen as roadblocks and unnecessary diversions from the high road to material success.
- Similarly, the concept of a good life has been restricted to very narrow confines. Good life is one with unrestricted enjoyment of sensuous pleasures and fulfillment of unlimited desires, through consumerism. The new economic policies of liberalization and globalization have further propelled this ever aggressive march of consumerism.
- Value crisis is also leading to increasing respectability of selfish individualism. It takes the form of exclusive concern for personal gains without any consideration for the common good.
- People today are only concerned about their rights, without fulfilling their obligations towards others. The common ethical principle that the rights of one can be fulfilled only if others performed their duties seems to have been forgotten.
- Another dimension of value crisis is the common mentality of adopting double standards of value judgment, a much higher one for others and a much lower one for us.
- The strongest value-base of the Indian society has always been the institution of the joint family (If each member of family knows their limits). But in the new urban culture the joint family has broken up, partly because of the socio-economic pressures, and partly because of the rising individualism. In the unitary and the nuclear families,the demands of career success and the necessities of consumeristic fulfillment leave little time and energy for value inculcation. Instead of being a social and human unit the family is becoming more of an economic unit where the child is conditioned to work single mindedly for career success, to meet the competition in all fields and to become worldly-wise.
Strategies to control value crisis in the contemporary world are as follows:
- Parents should be made aware of the importance of raising children with right values and that they should themselves become role models for their children.
- Schools should have value lessons embedded in syllabus.
- Code of ethics for organizations. Right ethical conduct should be rewarded.
- The cost of unethical behavior should be made high by increasing punishment. Just increasing the punishment will not do. Implementation should also be proper.
- People who are generally the victims in the society should be made aware of their rights.
- Popular leaders should use their appeal to inculcate good values in the society.
- The downward spiraling ethical stock of the society need to be stopped and ethical standards should be raised. A prosperous society with no ethics is no good for anybody.