The Legacy of Honesty

All human beings on earth are controlled by three things. The conscience level, the law of the land and the religion he/she belongs to. The conscience level is a deeply held moral principle which measures the honesty of one’s self and makes one feel to distinguish between right and wrong. It is the inner voice that helps us to know what God has placed in our hearts. The law of the land is a set of rules formed by controlling authority which are binding on all its citizens. The third and the most important thing is the religion to which a person belongs. All religions in the world teach us about righteousness, compassion, peace and direct us to be upright in our actions and behavior at all times. These virtues govern a person to lead a principled and productive life. People who fail to be controlled by these virtues are not less than uncontrollable beasts that kill others for reasons other than food or self protection.

The concept of honesty and truthfulness is dying fast in our society and unreason and stupidity has taken birth in our daily life. We have created a sick environment for ourselves and all our energy and qualities are being used on wrong side. The corruption, sifarish, inefficiency, hypocrisy, selfishness, jealousy, hatred and bigotry have hollowed our roots. The deep-rooted malaise of sifarish is the highest kind of corruption that society not only has adopted but feels a matter of honor. Surprisingly majority of people who otherwise consider themselves quite honest and above any pecuniary temptations think that there is nothing wrong about resorting to sifarish. Many people believe that giving and receiving outright bribes for favors is better than shifarish because with bribes at least money remains circulated, the shifarish creates a stagnant nepotism. We have created a division on rural-urban, sects, cultural and other baggage and spread hatred, mistrust, anger, bitterness and suspicion even in Govt Institutions which we think is our personal fiefdom. We are involved in pity politics, lobbyism, distorting facts, creating false impressions and deceiving people. The most lamenting is that we all are part of this race.

The public health care system and education are our two most important organs. Not to speak of hospitals in towns and districts, the state of affairs in main city hospitals is beyond description. The hospitals are mainly run by junior non-specialist doctors while the senior doctors remain busy attending their private clinics. It has become virtually impossible to consult a specialist doctor in the Govt hospitals for a problem. The promotion of fake and costly drugs and flourishing of diagnostic laboratories everywhere has put a price-tag on our heath. The teaching in our schools and colleges has taken a backseat and people focus on superficial things and misplaced priorities just to highlight it in the media. Incompetent people use underhand means to be at the helm of affairs to fulfill their nefarious designs, holding the system hostage to inefficiency and those involved in wrongful acts deliver moral lectures. The mediocrity has caused immense damage to the institutions; the future of the students looks bleak. We are demanding our rights but we  least bother about our duties and the institutions where we get job-security, huge emoluments, retirement benefits and honor in the form of titles like doctors/professor/HODs on which we thrive on.

There are natural laws which are fundamental and which govern the whole universe. Everything in the universe, the motion of heavenly bodies, life on earth, the plants, animals, appearance/reproduction of vegetation and every particle of matter/light are controlled by natural laws. Any disregard of the natural laws, leads eventually to the equivalent and opposite reactions. These laws exist because God wills them to do so. We human beings are endowed with superior knowledge, intellect and power. The phrases, proverbs, maxims, sayings, adage etc, are a small group of words standing together are exquisite strokes of human genius that express a thought, a concept, moral and the truth. They are the energy capsules and in one or the other way discern the laws that govern life on earth. With this energy God expects human beings to do laudable things for whole life on the earth but we are violating the natural laws and misusing our superior knowledge. We are adopting all power and methods to commit crime, amass wealth, through all unfair/unjust means and we are polluting earth. The saddest thing is that we have created a trouble for most of the population without realizing that we are actually doing it for nothing.

Most of the religions in the world teach us about righteousness, compassion and peace. They control our behavior promoting physical and psychological well-being motivating people to work for positive social change. A lot of stress is given on helping poor, destitute, orphans as they have nothing to repay. These attributes uphold the natural laws. No religion on earth allows illegal earnings. In Islam we have to earn our income according to the instructions and the ways approved by Allah and His Prophet (SAW) which emphasize gaining wealth through hard work and lawful means. Abstaining from Haram (unlawful) is as much necessary for the Muslims as the observance of Salah(prayer) and payment of Zakah. One of the basic prerequisites for having our prayer accepted is to ensure that our way of life is devoid of haram earrings. The Prophet (SAW) mentions a traveler on a long journey, who is disheveled and dusty and he stretches forth his hands to the sky, saying, “O my Lord! O my Lord!” – While his food is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, his clothing is unlawful and he is nourished unlawfully; how can he be granted a response?

Stephen Hawking, known for his outspoken ideas about things that could destroy human civilization, warns that it will not be artificial intelligence or nuclear war but human stupidity and greed which will usher in our end. The only hope for humanity to survive on earth is honesty and truthfulness. It is the cornerstone of all success and helps us to focus on the most important issues in life. There is no darkness but ignorance to accept that truth and honesty are really exciting concepts. We have to create a space for rational, dedicated and honest people and think for our progeny on long term basis. We have to inculcate values in our young generation through parenting and quality education in schools and colleges. People are always remembered for the legacy they leave behind when they die and it is glorifying to remember a person for honesty and good deeds. I wish we all can understand ourselves and the laws of nature.

Author is Associate Professor, Higher Education Deptt, J&K

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