By Rajkumar Bobichand
For ordinary people, value means belief about what is right and wrong and what is important in life. Social values are the norms or forms of behaviour which are widely acceptable and admirable in society. Social are the root of all virtues that pave the way for the harmony of a society. It is the social values that are the key to the development of a society.
We also know that social value also refers to the life style that people think that they should accept. In the past, honesty, sincerity, truthfulness, piety, fellow feeling etc. were regarded as the social values.
But in our present Manipur society, everything becomes topsy-turvy. What were considered wrong and bad now substitute right and good. What were considered shameful and abnormal becomes prestigious and honourable. What were illegal and criminal turns out to be accepted norms of our society. What were considered unfair and injustice becomes the best and most effective means to achieve a goal. What were considered competitive changes its meaning and form. What were considered most competent and able-man now becomes incompetent unless supported by huge money in terms of millions. What were considered a committed, dedicated, disciplined and honest now become fool, outcast and outdated. What were questionable is now considered granted and becomes an accepted culture.
It was dignified to earn by hard working and sweating. But now, people who believe in earning money for livelihood and well-being with fair practices are considered useless and outcast. Those who can rob public money and become rich overnight are highly considered the able man and respected by the society. Those who can buy government jobs by paying million rupees now become and educated and competent persons for the posts of the government departments. Attending offices and workplaces late were shameful and punishable. But now those who go to offices and work places late and leave before early are considered cream and from the influential families of the society. Students tried to earn knowledge and skills during their education. But now most of the students think that just getting a degree is enough because everything is to be done with huge money. Now, everyone thinks that there is nothing, which cannot be done with money. This is one of the kinds of value our growing children learn from their elders. Long before, even talking about paying some tips was not talked openly in the families. Now, when a government employment or recruitment notification is heard to be published people start talking about how much money should be given for a post.
It was not abnormal to buy a kwa matap or a glass of tea as tips for doing something in time. Government offices and its staff have now no inhibition to quote the price for moving a file, forget about completing a task. This disease now spreads even to service providing institutions. They cannot think are service providers for which people pay them. The government employees cannot think that they are getting their salaries from the taxes paid by public.
Now people who can rob of maximum public money become rich and respectable person in the society. Before, a home was guarded by the goodwill of the house. But now it prestigious by erecting high brick walls and guarded iron gates. Children who can ride a costly bike are considered a need for a good student who goes to study. When an accident happens, nearby people rushed to rescue and help, but now victims remain helpless as people prefer to remain as spectators.
Adopting unfair means in any walk of life for any reason whatsoever was regarded as evil in the past not long before. Before, people tried to keep themselves away from all sorts of malpractices and misdeeds. “Honesty is the best policy”- This was the motto of the people in general. The miscreants were in great disrepute in society. They were hated by all and sundry. But it is a pity that those social values are interpreted now the other way round. Now the criminals are honored as heroes of society. Criminals are elected as people’s representatives. They are made absolute ruler of present day society. The people are afraid to speak against them and their evil deeds. The basis of the present social values is the materialistic attitude of the people in general. With a few exceptions, people now run after name, fame and fortune without giving any thought to right or wrong, good or evil, moral or immoral. It is pertinent why parents are encouraging their children to try for Union and State Civil and Police services – not because of the responsibilities and duties of the state and services to the people but because of the lucrative earnings fair or unfair where only money is valued too much.
The effects of social values in the present society are deplorable. The noble qualities are now in exile. Honest people are now pushed to the wall. The wrong doers are held in high esteem because of their post, power and position. We all know that without social values a society cannot advance. In addition, in absence of social values, there is chaos and confusion in society. The preservation of social values is a must for the harmonious and positive growth of a society. In absence of them criminals are held in high esteem in society which is undesirable and a stumbling block to the development of a nation. Our collective efforts, responsibility, contribution and accountability to the society are now decaying and too much individualistic desires and wants is leading our society.