There is no way to adequately express our anguish at the devastating fire in the tuition class at Surat, where 22 young students lost their lives . Fire tenders arrived very late…the hydrant water could not go beyond 2 nd floor while the fire was raging on the 4 th!..Even the ladder on the fire tender could not reach beyond the 2ndstory. The fire tender was not carrying even a net to catch and save the students jumping out from the fire.
Just a few weeks back, a 62 year old lady doctor died while visiting a museum in Mumbai. The lift she entered in to at the 1stfloor, collapsed while she and her daughter were inside. The staff had no idea what to do and kept fumbling with the lift buttons from outside. The daughter has survived with serious injuries.
A few weeks prior to the above, a young boy walking on a footpath fell in to a huge drain as the manhole lid that he stepped on flipped open! Fortunately, his mother ,who was walking behind her, yelled out for help and the boy was rescued in time against heavy odds.
After a few days of the above incident , Samir Arora, a highly celebrated fund manager based in Singapore, fell in to a drain while alighting from his car in South Mumbai through an open manhole. He twitted about the horrendous experience in trying to come out of the deep hole and the hell!!
The collapse of the Foot Over Bridge at the VT station in Mumbai,claiming several lives is also a very recent disaster.
One can go on and on ….The readers can easily add many more such incidents which are happening in their surroundings ..! Indeed, the frequency of such tragedies is rising exponentially.
The common thread in all these ‘man made’ calamities is the lack of accountability facilitated by corruption. A belief has firmly set in that you can always confuse a situation by blaming one another ..and in the process the litigation can continue for years ..without fixing the culprit. You can pay your way out at every stage of the investigation. This has emboldened the officials to compromise on their vigilance ,once their pockets have been adequately stashed by a willing businessman !. There is no conscious that bites..there is nothing that makes them feel guilty..there is no question of any repentance..”Ye duniya men rehana hai to ye sab to karna hi padta hai” is the normal refrain!
Is there any hope for the situation to improve? Can we expect one Modi to save us from all this?
The answer is an obvious and a resounding NO.
The root of these problems is the fast eroding value system in the society. Greed makes a person blind to the consequences of the disastrous actions that one is lured in to committing.
I often say that Values are the principles that we want “others” to follow! All of us end up compromising on values in some way or another.
In our schools and colleges we learn all subjects: Physics/Maths/ Chemistry/Law/accounts …..the list is increasing by day.
But do we learn how to live?
How to live in a way that we follow rules..that we discharge our duties to the fullest..that we respect every one’s rights …that we do not do anything that harms others….that we show some kindness to the misfortune of a fellow being…
Are we made to realize that even a highly educated and decorated Rajat Gupta (ex head of Mckinsey) can fall prey to greed and lose everything that he has earned , including reputation?
There is a strong need to introduce Value Education in our schools and colleges without any delay.
It is only when a critical mass of children, in whom such values are imbibed ,become young citizens of the country ,that the tragedies of the kind described above can be prevented in a sustainable way.
The process will take time..may be 15 ..20 years…..But we have to start NOW.
At least , we will have the satisfaction of having done something for the good of the next generations.
Let us also keep in mind that the basic Values are universal and are common to all religions. Let the ‘secularist’ lobby not resist any such reform !
There are organisations which are ready to guide this process..like Swadhyaya Parivar, Swaminarayan, Art of Living, Isha Foundation, Brahma Kumaris..and may be many more which i am not aware of …the need is to support their efforts ,in whatever it is possible for us.