Gandhi's India: Modern society of responsible citizens
By Uday Dandavate | PUBLISHED: 03, Oct 2014, 16:11 pm IST | UPDATED: 05, Oct 2014, 17:55 pm IST
objective of this note is to reflect on how popular sentiment might be getting in the way of India emerging as a modern society of responsible citizens.
The biggest barrier to evolution towards a just and moral society is a psychological shift we have made in our day to day dealings. Today we are less inclined to be guided by ideological and ethical standards. We are more likely to make choices based on practical trade-offs.
Another shift I witness is in who we consider our role models . I see successful, wealthy and powerful people serving as role models, as opposed to people who choose a life dedicated to service (of underprivileged), sacrifice ( for a larger good) and struggle ( against injustice).
In fact deal making is considered a virtue and standing up for a just cause impractical. The ability to exercise power and brute force is considered a sign of strong leadership, and tolerance, reconciliation, and inclusiveness a sign of weakness. Jugaad is celebrated as a competency, whereas quality is compromised for expediency.
Those working within the rule of law do not command as much respect as those willing to Bend, circumvent or break law to achieve fast results. Acrimonious and violent behaviors are becoming a standard feature in public life, whereas restrained, dignified and civil actions are fast becoming a thing of the past.
The idea of social justice is being replaced by chauvinism of different types. Conspicuous consumption commands respect, whereas those living frugal life are dismissed as losers.
Ecological thinking is considered anti-development, whereas plundering of natural resources a sign of a superpower status.
We don't mind voting for crooks, thieves and murderers as our representatives but we are not willing to stand behind people of character, conviction and humility.
How do we reverse this trend?