Today’s predicament in our Society
A country will undoubtedly remain strong, cohesive, and progressive when its citizens have abundant nationalism and are committed to preserving and uphold a set of values. In India, a multi-religious country, these National Values have to be essentially ethical and eternal, ensuring the lasting welfare of all individuals as well as the society.
It is gratifying that our country’s economic growth, especially over the past two decades, has been acknowledged by the entire world. But along with this, we have also been labelled as a country where dealing with authorities and doing business in an ethical manner is most difficult. How can such an appalling contradiction prevail between our growing economic competence and falling ethical conduct? There is a startling breakdown of values across every section of our society. Money, and not moral character, marks an individual’s worth today.
We have inherited a powerful legacy with an enriching past. The potential and the possibility of the Indian mind and heart have been appreciated, even as late as in 1835, when Lord Macaulay acknowledged our country’s cultural and ethical magnificence in his address to the British parliament. “I have travelled across the length and breadth of India and have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such calibre, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage. And therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their native culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation.”
Our educational system, in the distant past, was renowned for its holistic approach to development, which produced a strong social order and culture. Now, many who go through formal education, fail in the assimilation of living values and thereby lack the strength of character.
The dearth of committed citizens, fired by a passionate drive of Nation-building, is something that the nation cannot afford. It has already caused a huge loss of ethical leadership and governance in most areas of functioning. This, in turn, has impacted the way the concerns of the common man are addressed. Corruption is sapping the strength of the nation and reducing its capacity to deal with complex issues of administration. India’s 94th position in the corruption-free index is shocking and heart-wrenching.
It is significant to note that our National struggle succeeded in achieving independence without bloodshed, solely by dint of the time-tested values. These values infused undaunted inspiration, inner resolve and the inherent strength of non-violence, to sustain the protracted struggle for freedom. Subsequent to independence, however, the epidemic of greed and possessiveness, as also the temptation for power, has shaken the strong foundations of National Values. Selfishness, corruption and lawlessness have raised their heads, triggered by the descent of cultural values over decades.
The Clarion Call
India is once again poised to become a global influencer. Dynamism and energy are conspicuous in our economy. But any such growth is bound to be shallow, even destructive, unless secured to a stable foundation of inner values, ensuring the welfare of all beings as well as our planet. History reveals that many towering civilizations at their zenith of economic prosperity suffered downfall primarily due to the lack of ethical strength, which a stable value-foundation alone could provide.
The love and regard for our cultural heritage and values have declined perilously in the average citizen’s mind. This makes a rethinking and restoration imperative.
Does not our country have persons committed to Values now? The answer to this question, fortunately, is an emphatic “yes!” We still have a large population dedicated to lofty values. In fact, it is these individuals that uphold the country’s ethics and standards. Even a small number of value-cherishing persons is a great anchor and promise. But this is not enough. They will have to take a more proactive role in leading the Nation.
Here comes the clarion call to the cultural and patriotic thinkers of the Country to launch a timely movement to arrest this inner bankruptcy, by restoring our National Values and imbuing the hearts of all Indians with the brilliant strength of cultural patriotism.
Foundation for Restoration of National Values
The Foundation for Restoration of National Values (FRNV) has its compulsion from such a National ethical imperative and the redressal it points to. To instill the National bond of cultural values, and the cohesion of society that would ensure the fulfillment of our constitutionally enshrined “Fundamental Duties”, FRNV was set up in June 2008.