Need for Change?

'Value-system’ is a collection of rules, principles, standards by which we live our life or the principles of right and wrong that are accepted by an individual or a social group. They teach us eq...

'Value-system' is a collection of rules, principles, standards by which we live our life or the principles of right and wrong that are accepted by an individual or a social group. They teach us equality, honesty, truthfulness, hard work, discipline, perseverance, concern for others, punctuality, simplicity, loyalty, conservation of the environment and many other concepts. We learn these values through experience of life and through quality education. The parents as well as well as teachers can instill these values in children through their own behaviors. These values give us a sense of community and a sense of identity as a nation. They not only make us successful but also help us to live a fulfilled and happy life. Although the value-system is based on logic and real things, they are already well defined in religious scriptures. Running ones life without values is like a ship without a compass.
Over the last few decades we have been witnessing a huge moral degradation, erosion of social, cultural, economic values, waywardness, corruption and chaos in our lives. We are living in a time very much different than that of before. Every time we read newspapers, there are flashes of scandals, rapes, frauds, embezzlements and violence. Every person does what is easiest, not what is right and try to create their own world. The people have become very selfish and looking out for themselves alone, since there is no sense of community. The dominating desire to pursue material wealth and other tangible things that provide us physical comforts have made us blind and we have ignored the cardinal principals of life. The crisis have taken up such a magnitude that if serious efforts are not made to check it, then the whole system is likely to collapse
Health department is one the most vital organs on which the whole society rests especially in this part of the world where the people are poor. The recent reports of the supply of spurious drugs and substandard antibiotic injections to GB Pant and other hospitals sends shivers down our spine and reminds us how low we have fallen. As per reports there are always 10-20 per cent spurious or low quality drugs in any market. As their is a nexus between drug companies and doctors who benefit substantially in cash or kind for prescribing a drug made by a particular company, even when cheaper or better alternatives are available. Therefore we should first blame the doctors for the promotion of sub-standard and spurious drugs in our markets. The understanding between diagnostic centers, nursing homes and the doctors, the kickbacks, the unwanted tests, must-caesarean culture, etc is a curse prevalent in our society. Sir William Osler, who is regarded as father of modern medicine, made a prophetic statement in1905, when we had not powerful drugs of today "One of the first duties of the physician is to educate the masses not to take medicines"
Today, our government hospitals are a shambles. A common man feels insulted to go to the Govt hospitals, why shouldn't he?, because we see mostly junior doctors and interns attending the serious and sensitive patients and doing all jobs in the hospitals while the senior doctors are missing. We also see our doctors attending hundreds of patients in early hours at their private clinics and then refreshing for the day in the Govt hospitals, to get ready for the evening shifts. Under these circumstances can we expect better work at the hospitals? Our commercial interests have thrown away our ethical and humanistic issues into the air and the Hippocratic Oath appears to have lost its relevance. It appears that the poor people have no option but to drink water and pray to God. It is high time that we should take a cue from countries like UK where healthcare is completely free and everyone gets required level of care.
Every now and then we see the reports on food adulteration, from milk to edible oil, butter and ghee, fruit juices, butter biscuits and the use of other contaminants and harmful chemicals for improving the look and the size of fruit, vegetables etc and other contaminated products which are unhygienic. We know how harmful they are? Recently the national English daily, The Hindu carried a report of Government data revealing large scale food adulteration in Delhi. Today nobody can give us any guarantee that our food items are not adulterated.  The price haggling, duplicate materials in plastic, garments, electronics etc are common in our markets. The game between the customer and the seller should have been win-win in which both should become happy. The common people too have very little consumer awareness. We neither demand proper receipts from shopkeepers nor do we have any knowledge of consumer courts.
Today a common man on the streets can't think to go to any office without greasing the palms of officials or without any reference. Corruption is rampant everywhere. The house wives feel it a matter of honor and proud if their husbands obtain money from illegitimate sources. Everywhere we see a sort of family affair prevailing and we look forward desperately for some Sifarish (recommendation) so that we can manage to do our work easily. If one has influence and connections with the officials, one can easily manage things even on the phone. This is the highest kind of corruption in our society and it fosters injustice, inequality, discrimination, and failure in delivery of services and bad governance. It paralyses not only the general public but the government machinery as well and is the main hurdle in our developmental process. It is indeed a modern form of slavery and humiliation that our society feels a mater of honor. It's not only against the spirit of justice but the injunctions of Islam and the law of the land. I really salute those poor people who fight on and on in this system, to make their work done when they have no body to come to their rescue.
Banking is regarded as an instrument for social change. Today we see a social change in the form of traffic jams, pollution and consumerism, thanks to the liberal bank loans at low interest rates and convenient and easy installments. Today when we approach banks for car loans we may get it in hour's time but when we have to build a house, or purchase a land, the same may take months. Both banks and motor dealers are doing their business squeezing the common masses into the hell. The banks could have taken up the construction of multi-story residential complexes with construction companies for saving our agricultural land from disorder growth of large number of colonies. The way the traffic congestion is increasing at an alarming speed, in the days to come, it is certain that it may halt all our activities and it may give rise to the phenomenon of new problems. These things show that bank want profits no matter what we do with the money. The way we are heavily loading the surface of our land with the vehicles, I sometimes feel, God forbid, the vibrations should not excite some disastrous earthquake for us. So what to do with the luxury or the necessary items? Today we are devoted to pleasure and luxury and we have become too lazy. We have developed an unproductive, consumer and extravagant life style. We remain engaged with cell phones for hours together. The technology that has liberated the whole world is detaining our activities. Our work culture has declined and we feel below dignity to do manual works. Today when we go to the markets for hiring a Kashmir laborer, first of all the laborer asks the employer, what he has to do for the day? If the work is simple, the laborer becomes ready, but if it is a little difficult, the laborer is reluctant to come. From Wazas (chef), barbers, to the work in the  paddy fields, we  now employ Biharis and even the revered Imams for leading the prayers are coming from outside. The handicraft products were we had used to win worldwide accolades for their exquisite designs and beauty which illustrated the unique talent of Kashmiri artistry is now slowly dying down.
Today we are talking tall of improving tourism sector to boost our economy etc and we are in search of new pastures and valleys. It is a welcome step. But we have to see how for it will be successful in the long run. Considering the fact that we are apathetic about community matters and our attitude towards the community is very different from our attitude towards the family. We keep our homes spotless, but when we go out we do not think twice before littering. We shit and piss everywhere. I am sure, that the human interference in the calm far off places which are our natural heritages and yet naturally preserved will also be polluted once they are discovered. At the cost of boosting tourism and improving economy we will pollute the atmosphere further, melt glaciers and contaminate the underground water table and this may give rise to severe problems for all of us. So what we gain on the roundabouts, we lose it on the swings.
We are interdependent and we cannot escape the necessity of care towards each other. Nor can we afford to harm others because it ultimately backfires. The secret of life is to be as good as possible. Money is not everything, the life extends beyond money. Through core value system based upon strong virtues, beliefs with all social and humanitarian aspects, we can only sustain our survival or else we all may perish. I will close my chapter with a saying "wealth cannot be collected without sin and it doesn't accompany us after death".
amin_malik_ku@hotmail.com

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