Preface to the third edition

Part Three. The Path To Glory


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Part Three. The Path To Glory

(B) For Social Uplift

Chpater 30. Human Touch, the Great Solvent

(*) Address to Coffee Planters and Industrialists

Tea planters, foreigners & natives, a contrast – Trust inherent goodness – First duty towards the poor – Example of Idinthakarai –“Heart” is important.

WE are assembled here to think out what solid contribution we can make towards the cause of resuscitation of our Dharma and our society, which is, I am sure, dearest and nearest to the hearts of us all. I shall give the example of the tea planters in Assam to make a few points clear.

The Contrast

There are some plantations owned by the English. How does the English planter behave with his workers? He goes to their houses, pats their children and personally looks to their medical needs. He builds up a human relationship with the entire family of the workman. He does not stop at that. He builds a chapel or a church in his estate. He and his managerial staff and their families go there every Sunday morning without fail. They also encourage the workmen to attend the Church prayers. They offer some extra benefits to those who attend. They engage a priest to give weekly sermons to the church-goers. By such inducements and persuasion they have succeeded to a large extent in converting their workers to Christianity.

By contrast, there are also our own countrymen, Hindus, owning tea plantations, whose relations with their workers are anything but cordial. They only try to squeeze out as much work from them as possible. The workers resent and revolt and demand more wages and better amenities. The tension is increasing day by day. The tension is not limited merely to the economic aspect. There is absolutely no social intercourse between the two. The owners display no human touch at all in their dealings with their workers. They hardly visit the workers abodes, much less share their joys and sorrows.

Take a Lesson from Them

How tragic that foreigners can have such humane relationship with the native people, although for sinister purposes, but our own men should be high-browed and high-handed towards our own people! It is high time that our countrymen such as planters and industrialists who employ a large number of workers recognise the signs of the times and become aware of their responsibilities towards their workers – their own kith and kin in society. Their human touch will go a long way in wiping the tears of sorrow and suffering arising out of both economic and social debilities, which are weighing heavily upon the workers. Also they should build a temple in each estate or labour colony and arrange for weekly bhajan and worship, religious discourses and Harikathas.

Trust the Inherent Goodness

Some owners argue that if they show human consideration, the workers become unruly and take undue advantage of it. I do not think that normally it is so. If the workers feel that you are sincere, and not merely exhibitive, in your humane intentions and actions, then they are bound to respond in course of time. I can never conceive that our people are so devoid of inherent goodness as not to respond to noble and humane virtues. Even our day-to-day experience belies that argument. Once, when I was in Banaras University, our household servant was arrested at his native place for possessing some valuable article. The police let him off upon my assurance that the article was given by me and that the servant had been honest throughout. The servant thereafter gave up whatever dishonesty he had previously and served us with exemplary honesty and gratitude.

Often the question is asked, “How are we to face the Communists? Once the workers are indoctrinated by the Communist thought, they will view all our actions, good-intentioned though they may be, with suspicion.” Even to this I say, the Communists can get a foothold only where there is no human touch. There is no ‘ism’ which can outbeat the appeal of the human heart. After all the workers are human beings first and then, if at all, Communists.

How Heartless We are!

It is in this, the factor of human touch, that we are falling short. This shortcoming is to be found not merely in plantations or factories; it is in villages, it is in the cities, it is in the everyday life of our entire people. For instance, there are persons in affluence who engage maidservants for their household menial work. Often the maid-servant comes with her child to the master’s house, leaves her child in a corner and engages herself in the household work. It is also quite a common sight that the small babes left uncared for cry and cry themselves hoarse. But is it also not commonly observed that the mistress of the house turns a deaf ear to the weeping child? Nor does she ask the maid-servant to take a few minutes off the work and first soothe the crying babe.

In every province of our country there are vast areas where our people are ill fed, ill clothed, illiterate and devoid of any opportunities to cultivate religious devotion. And all this is exploited by the Communists and Christian missionaries. Even in the advanced parts we find that the Christian missionaries have spread into deep interiors.

An Example to Emulate

It they, the foreign Christian missionaries, having come from far-off lands and working with ulterior motives could do it, we with positive love for our people and our dharma certainly do it better. There is the small experiment of Idinthakarai, a village in Tamil Nadu. Some 500 years ago the entire village had been converted to Christianity by fraud. But recently the entire village population decided to return to their ancestral Hindu fold. One of our Swamijis went there and carried out the coming-back ceremony. But those people had plenty of problems. Firstly, the problem of unemployment was there. They are

all poor fishermen. During the rainy season they cannot go out to the seas. They have no work and so nothing to eat. The Mangalore Ganesh Beedi proprietors came forward and started a small centre, which could give work to ladies and boys and make them earn a living. Then some other generous friends came forward to give them fibres for nets. Some of our Swamijis promised donations for a temple. People from surrounding villages often visit those people and they feel comforted they have been received with warmth. And this example of Idinthakarai has generated a similar healthy trend in other surrounding villages too. That is the magic of the human touch.

For a Big Heart.

Such ventures could be undertaken in all provinces. And for all such projects vast resources are doubtless needed. It is up to those who are by the Grace of God in affluent circumstances, to come forward and support them with the necessary material resources.

Proper upkeep of temples should also be the special responsibility of such people. Local bodies should be established to look after the arrangements for daily worship, for its cleanliness and sanctity. An overall trust can be formed later on to control and guide the affairs of the temples in the spirit for which the temples are built. The present state of neglect and dilapidation of many of our temples is a sad reflection on our callousness towards our gods and goddesses. Look at the Muslims. They see to it that even a pile of bricks in the name of some peer in some out-of-the-way roadside is properly whitewashed twice a year and a green flag kept fluttering over it.

And for all this, it is the devotion, the heart, that is all-important. If the heart is large, funds and every other kind of resource will flow automatically. And it is intense love for our society and the yearning to see our Hindu society rise once again in full prosperity and glory, that will make the heart generous and devoted.

Part Three. The Path To Glory
(B) For Social Uplift

Chapter 31. Call To Motherhood

Making the home, centre of Samskars – Morning chanting, dress, etc. – Toll of “modernism” – Heroic motherhood – Social aspect – Banish “loneliness” – Literacy campaign, training for employment, and Samskars, to needy sisters– Invoke spirit of Savitri.

OUR mothers have a special responsibility of rearing up the budding generations of our society. Now, what does “rearing up” really imply? Is feeding and clothing the children and sending them to schools, the only thing to be done? On the contrary, the essential aspect is to inculcate in them the right type of samskars such as devotion to duty, spirit of personal endeavour, love of the motherland and readiness for service to society. Our mothers have to attend to this aspect of character formation as their first duty. And for this purpose, they have to be mindful of the many little things, which go to fashion the young minds.

Morning Imprints

When I remember my childhood days I am enveloped in very tender and sweet memories. When I used to be woken up in the mornings, I used to listen to the sweet melody of some stotras and chantings of god’s names being sung by my mother even as she was engaged in her morning chores. What deep and holy imprints those melodies must have left on my young mind, coming as they did in those calm and serene

mornings! Just contrast this with the so-called modern homes. The mothers neither wake up their children in the early mornings nor do they sing divine chantings. Not unoften, the children start their day listening to some obscene cinema songs and humming those tunes. I know of an instance where a young mother, not an uneducated girl, was singing third-rate songs, while working in the kitchen and rocking the child to sleep. If children find this behaviour in their parents, they have every reason to copy the same. And in such homes, where children grow without a cultural background, they fall an easy prey to Christian propaganda also.

There was a case of a child aged 8 or 9 who came in holidays to the house. On being told to observe vrata on Krishna Janmashtami Day, the child asked the parents, “Why do you celebrate the birthday of such an adulterous fellow? Why not celebrate the birthday of Christ?” Can you imagine a child of 8 or 9 confronting its parents with such obnoxious questions? Let our mothers make the children wake up early in the morning, make them salute the elders in the family and offer worship to the family deity. The sacred responsibility of instilling Matrubhakti, Deshabhakti and Daivabhakti in every Hindu boy and girl is upon our mothers.

Dress, For Samskars

Then about the dress. It must be borne in mind that the dress and decorative items also leave their imprints on the young minds. Mothers should see to it that the children acquire traits of our culture through these things also.

I am again reminded of my early childhood. I had long, thick and curly hairs. My mother would often do my hair and stick a peacock feather over it in such a fashion as to make me appear as Bala-Krishna. She would put on a garland round my neck and tell others,

“See, how our Madhu appears, exactly like the child Krishna.” Such things, apparently though small, help to mould the child’s psychology in tune with our cultural standards. If, on the other hand, the children are brought up in the European style the impressions carried by them will also be colored similarly. Seeds of intense devotion to the motherland and its cherished values would not sprout on such a mental background. How “Woman” Became Soldier!

Sometimes, people have no idea as to what a decisive influence the garment would have on the mind. There is an interesting incident during the days of First World War. The English, who were ruling here, promulgated an emergency order recalling all the old and retired soldiers to join the army. There was a soldier who had no desire to go back to army. He remained in his village. The police came with a search warrant to take him away. When the soldier came to know of this he put on a woman’s clothes and hid himself in the house. When the police came, his wife told them that he was not in the house and that she and her sister alone were in the house. But the police suspected deception. They called out that “sister”, found out the truth and took him away. The soldier was sent to his old platoon. He was then given the army dress and made to join the ranks. When he stood there with the soldier’s dress on, he was asked whether he would like to return home. He replied with a new resolve in his voice that he was now a soldier, that there was no question of his going to the house; he would now only go to battlefield. Indeed, the dress had made all that world of difference!

Toll of “Modernism”

And then about our family traditions and devotional practices. Whatever be our personal or family deities, we have to conduct its worship with great devotion and keep aglow our holy family traditions. How tragic it is to see these things disappearing nowadays! In the South, at least, we often see the Tulasi Brindavan in front of our houses. As dusk sets in, our mothers light a lamp in front of it. Often we, listen to the sweet sounds of bells in the pooja-griha and witness the devotional worship going on there. But in the North, this has become a rare sight to see. “Modernism” has verily banished God from our homes. “Modernism” is taking the toll of many more of our cherished values of life. A couplet in Jnaneshwari says, “A pious man spreads a cover of modesty over his good actions just as a virtuous lady covers her body.” It describes the nature of virtuous womanhood. But “modern” women think that “modernism” lies in exposing their body more and more to the public gaze. What a fall!

It appears modernism has come to mean, in our country, only blind aping of the West and nothing else. In many of the modern families the children address their mothers as ‘mummy’. Do we know what the word originally conveyed? In Egypt, there are massive cemeteries entombing their old kings. They are called pyramids. The corpses placed inside are called ‘mummies’! And here we address our living, loving mothers as mummies!

Epics in Heroic Motherhood

As we are well aware, our nation is beset with ever so many perils. Attempts to undermine the integrity of our motherland and our society are on. Challenges to the time-honoured values of our spiritual heritage are mounting. Conflicts and confrontations are thick in the air. Under such conditions, what is the type of training that we have to impart to our children? Shall we teach them to seek safety in their homes and not to stir out?

Should we harp upon things pertaining to their own happiness and future and task them out not to “dabble in other things”? What shall we teach?

There is a beautiful anecdote narrated in Mahabharata. There was a queen by name Vidula. She sent her son Sanjay to the war-field but the fellow became nervous and terror-stricken. He turned his back to the enemies and galloped to his capital. When Vidula saw her son in that crestfallen state she closed the entrance to the fort and severely chastised him. That conversation between the mother and the son has become famous as Vidula-Sanjay-Samvad, wherein Vidula instructs her son as to how a brave warrior should conduct himself on the battlefield. She then orders him to go back to war and return as a victorious hero. As the story goes, Sanjay sallied forth into the battlefield, displayed exemplary valour and came back to be received by his mother with honour. The words of Kunti when the five Pandavas came to seek her blessing before proceeding to give battle are remarkable for their heroic tone. She says:

;nFkZa {kf=k;k lwrs rL; dkyks·;ekxr%A

u fg oSja leklk| lhnafr iq#"k"kZHkkZ%AA

(The moment has arrived for which Kshatriya mothers give birth to sons. Lion-hearted

men are not cowed down in the face of enemies.)

There is one more couplet in Mahabharata which says: may no woman give birth to one who would mutely suffer insults, who is devoid of vigour and manly prowess and one who would bring joy to the enemies.

Impress the Right Values

Further, let there be the impress of national pride in all that is ours. Make a vow of Swadeshi in all the daily household uses. That will make for unsullied national character. Aping of the glare of Western civilization would spell ruin to the matchless traditions of nobility and chastity set up by the daughters of this soil.

The Hindu was known for his unflinching devotion to truth and sterling character. But these days even our big leaders have become notorious for their corruption and moral decay. It is up to our mothers to save our younger generation from such corrosive influences. They should so cultivate the atmosphere in home as would make one gladly prefer to forego a meal, rather than accept immoral gratification. The family as a whole should pledge themselves not to partake of the sinful food procured by corruption. If our mothers were to inculcate such wholesome and heroic traits in their children, surely the coming generation would be able to successfully meet the various challenges being faced by our country.

If Social Cohesion is Lost...

Then, there is the question of our attitude towards the society. It is clear that the security and happiness of personal and family life depend very much upon the well-being of the society. Indeed without social peace and security even the moral and spiritual advancement of individuals become beset with obstacles. It becomes difficult even for the spiritually great to survive if society disintegrates. As such, it is a duty of first importance for us to see that social life is made healthy.

In the past, we ignored this aspect of keeping our social life intact, free and self-respecting. We forgot that we have to live as one integrated entity. Notwithstanding our tremendous manpower we succumbed to the feeling of being ‘alone’. Once there was a mammoth meeting of 20 thousand people in Nagpur. All of a sudden someone raised the

cry ‘Oh, they have come!’ Immediately the huge crowd began to disperse in frantic hurry. People fled leaving behind their chappals. Someone asked a fleeing person what had happened. He said, “ I do not know. All were scared and I too ran.” ‘ But why did you not stop and inquire what it was all about?’ To that he replied: ‘What could I do? I was all alone?

True Yajna

That is the result of the absence of the oneness, of our being the children of one single society who have to share the joys and sorrows of each other. Our love and adoration for society must be expressed in a concrete shape. For instance, there are so many in our society who go without their daily food. Do we feel for them? Do we strive to do something for them? In the past there used to be Balivaishwadeva Yajana where the poor and the hungry used to be fed first, then the rest. Today, we can, and we should, at least keep apart a handful of grains every day to feed the hungry in society and then only take our food. That would be the real Balivaishwadeva sacrifice.

Duty Towards Neighourhood

There is a special burden upon our mothers of serving our needy sisters in society. True, a majority of our mothers will not be in a position to go to far-off places to carry on social work among the distressed and the destitute. However, this does not mean that they should sit back in their homes all the while. They could establish useful contacts among the womenfolk in their own neighbourhood and carry out programmes, which would inculcate our cherished ideas among them and their children. The spirit of mutual help and service would also have to be made popular through our day-to-day social intercourse. Our womenfolk should not be allowed to develop inferiority complex or a feeling of helplessness. They should be taught that they are the living emblems of parashakti.

There are quite a few of our educated mothers who have spare time and energy, which is often wasted in gossip of fashionable clubs. Here is one useful hint for them. There will be many small boys and girls in their neighbourhood who do not go to schools. They can make such children gather either in their own house or in some other convenient place and engage them in games, stories, songs, etc.

Service to needy

We see scattered all around us a number of our sisters who are either engaged in physical labour or are totally helpless and handicapped. When we see such a sight our hearts should melt and well up with deep compassion and motherly affection. We have to chalk out suitable projects, which would give them some useful employment and enable them to earn a livelihood. It is our sacred duty to see that none of our sisters and mothers will be left on the streets uncared for.

Literacy campaign among women is one more important programme, which our educated mothers alone can successfully tackle. But here also, inculcating noble samskars in them should be given the priority, teaching of alphabets should come second. In order to do this, instill in them a spirit of pure devotion to our motherland, faith in our Dharma and pride in our history. Show them the map of our sacred motherland, the holy streams and mountains, the Tirthas and temples stretching right form the Himalayas to Kanyakumari. Introduce them to the rich variety of our national life in language, literature, art and social traditions. Thus make them become intimate with the true spirit of our national being.

Invoke Spirit of Savitri

I am sure, if our mothers make a resolve to uplift the society, then there is no power, either in this world or the other, which can defeat them. The ideal of Savitri, before whom even the Lord of Death accepted defeat, is before them. May they all invoke within themselves such single-minded devotion to the ideal, such purity of character and such peerless heroism!

Once we do this, I am sure, the long night will pass and a new dawn will spread its golden hue over the horizon of not only Bharat but over the entire world with the renewed effulgence of our Dharma.

And this is also what Gandhiji has foreseen for the future of our Dharma. He says: “Hinduism is a relentless pursuit after Truth, and if today it has become moribund, inactive, irresponsive to growth, it is because we are fatigued; and as soon as the fatigue is over, Hinduism will burst forth upon the world with a brilliance perhaps unknown before.”

Part Three - The Path To Glory
(B) For Social Uplift

Chapter 32. We And Our Students (*)

Three classes of people – Essence of education: man-making –Dedication to ideal – Teacher, the pivot – Right home atmosphere – Eschew wrong political leadership – For healthy unions – Role of press and publicity –A thorough reorientation needed.

IT does not seem right to regard the students as community different from the rest of the society. The qualities of the people in general manifest in the younger folk, that only due to the immaturity, inexperience and preponderance of emotions in them; such qualities manifest themselves as an uncontrolled outburst. The general lack of training in codes of good behaviour, sense of uncertainty and insecurity in life resulting in a sort of frustration, want of any ideal to strive for and the none-too-edifying example of those who are projected as leaders and guides of the people, the crumbling down of the institution known as “home” are some of the causes contributing to the “ferment”, the disquietude and unbridled behaviour, which we name as indiscipline in the young folk, who constitute our students.

One people – Three Faces

Our people may be broadly classified into three major divisions:

(a) Those who for generations have been ground down by penury, want of education and what is worst, social disabilities. Fortunately the Government has taken up the work of spreading education, at least of the primary stage, and the students from this segment are getting the advantage. These students need careful and loving attention conducive to inculcating good qualities and awakening their dormant abilities, for they have little background of proper bringing up. In a way theirs is a clean slate with the inevitable scratches dug into them by their hard life – deprived of the light of knowledge, of the happiness of wealth and of the sense of being equal partners in the building up of our national life. These are the hope of the future and have to be nurtured with special solicitude.

(b) The people in average circumstances. These have always been the backbone of the people’s life in all its aspects. Due to queer but natural desire to appear respectable, they take to a way of life not commensurate with their means. The present economic conditions have hit them hard. Peace of mind and household peace have disappeared. They see no hope in the future for themselves or their children. This condition can produce all types of perversities. The young folk from this class form the bulk of our student population and this life of no hope but of only despair, mars their otherwise good mental make-up. Out of such desperation any kind of irresponsible activity can attract the youth.

(c) Those who enjoy affluence and respectability. An overdose of wealth, the position and power accompanying it, is sufficient to turn anyone’s head, more especially in the unripe youth who have little experience, little knowledge and in whom the quality of discrimination is still in the embryonic stage. These conditions can completely wreck the moral fabric of the young folks' life, as has been aptly expressed in the Sanskrit verse:

;kSoua /kulaifÙk% izHkqRoa vfoosdrkA

,dSdeI;uFkkZ; fdeq ;=k prq"V;e~ AA

Life of frugality, austerity during the formative student days, giving no opportunity for the mind to indulge in unhealthy enjoyments and vicious habits - such precautions may help keep them away from undesirable activities and behaviour.

Stress on Spirit, not Form

To convert this great mass of our youth into virtuous citizens devoted to building up of potential on right lines, is the real problem. It cannot be solved by superficial thinking and superficial remedies.

For example, the questions about the educational institutions, the teacher-student ratio and relationship, hostel arrangements, etc., cannot be said to go to the root of the problem. Rather than the way the institutions run, thought has to be devoted in the first instance to the aim and content of education, to the standard of quality of the teachers, of the wardens of the hostels, to the general environment in the country, and a serious attempt made to remedy them.

Our education is merely informative and not formative. The emphasis is on somehow equipping oneself to earn a living and not on drawing out the personality of the youth. The ideal of improving "the standard of living" relates only to material well-being, multiplication of wants and means of satisfying the carnal and lower mental cravings of the animal in man. It does not relate to developing the mental, intellectual and the higher aspects of the human being. The natural result is the production of an inordinate desire for amassing the aids to such enjoyments by whatever means possible. The expression "cultural activities" has come to denote singing, dancing and such other activities which easily rouse the baser instincts of man; its real significance of activities conducive to evolving and developing the higher qualities of the head and heart, qualities which inculcate the correct sense of values and restraint upon one's emotions and impulses, seems to have been completely ignored or considered unnecessary or unworthy of being imbibed.

Man-making Education

Without dilating upon this aspect, suffice it to say the whole system of education seems to need a complete change. Every student must be taught the basic principles of Dharma, the life history of great ancestors who lived and demonstrated those high principles, the correct and true history of our people with the story of our national heritage in its noblest aspect. He must also be given some preliminary training in the science of mind-control through simple yogic exercises. The rest of the education has necessarily to relate to the surroundings, facts of day-to-day life, to each individual's aptitudes so as to equip him to successfully face the trials and tribulations in life. From the very beginning the emphasis should be on duty in all relationships. Absolute sense of duty is most desirable but if in the present atmosphere of pampering the self it seems impracticable, the truth that duty is supreme and the individual's or group's rights are only co-related to it and must be considered as subordinate to it, must be persistently impressed upon the minds of the young in their formative years.

The Ideal that Inspires

To achieve this end of inculcating a correct sense of duty, our system of education needs to be ideal-oriented. The word 'ideal' is likely to give rise to differences and disputations

and there may be experienced disagreement and divergence about its meaning. But I hope all will agree on certain broad fundamentals. The human being is a wayfarer on the path to the ultimate Supreme Reality (how it is conceived of and what is chosen as the path is immaterial in this context). That reality can be attained by devoted and selfless service. It is through service to Man that we can serve the Reality. Service to man has to begin with service to the people with whom we have a natural bond of affinity of ancestry, heritage, tradition, national entity and grateful devotion to the holy motherland which fosters us all and common devotion to which unites us all in one National Personality. These are our basic ideas or aspects of our Common Ideal. A firm grounding in dedication to this one Ideal is calculated to induce community of will, of mental and intellectual co-ordination. When coupled with this co-ordinated will, co-ordinated and controlled physical activity makes what is known as discipline. Military training can produce co-ordinated action on the physical plane. It is good so far as it goes and to that extent is a necessary complement to education. From the impressionable school-going age graded military training needs to be imparted culminating in advanced courses in college days. Naturally such training need not be up to the standard necessary for the armed personnel. But mere military training cannot by itself inculcate the real spirit of discipline unless concerted efforts are made to instil the discipline of will which is born out of common devotion to one great Ideal.

The Right Surroundings

All amenities granted in the educational institutions and hostels have to be directed towards this goal. The amenities available today are to the nature of relaxation and pleasure hunting. These also have a place in student life. But the whole atmosphere needs to be charged with the spirit of learning, of making one's contribution to knowledge, of the pious ambition to making one's mark in the service of the ideal. I think that suitable extra-curricular activities have to be provided in the form of sports and physical

exercises, in the form of arts, of pictures, of trips and outings, of participation in physical labour needed in actual life for following the various professions, in the form of service rendered to society presently living in less favourable conditions.

Teacher to the Fore

This will need constant guidance and supervision by teachers and wardens of hostels. Naturally the teachers have to be competent, well-versed in the subjects they teach, of unimpeachable character and of a disposition loving and also capable of establishing homely relationship with the youth. A teacher constantly haunted by the fear of penury, constantly afflicted by the necessity of augmenting his slender means to feed the members of his family and maintain an appearance of respectability, overloaded with work and burdened with the responsibility of looking after a crowd of young folk, cannot be expected to come up to the required standard. His economic condition has to be improved and he should have a limited number of students to look after. Our experience is that one person can conveniently and efficiently take care of between 16-24 wards. This ratio has to be established to achieve the desired results. The same is true about the wardens of the hostels also.

Home A Moulding Centre

Under the stress and strain of economic conditions and with the growth of industrialization, the institution of the "home" has broken down. The parents and guardians have little time or energy to look after their wards. Much cannot be expected

out of them. Yet their maintaining a peaceful, loving family life, following virtuous religious life, performing with proper decorum their traditional rites at least in some minimum degree and training the children to participate in those with faith, devotion and a sense of duty, will go a long way towards inculcating good conduct and discipline in them. Other individuals such as neighbours may also be helpful by setting up a standard of good behaviour in their own lives.

Children learn by imitation. The lives of the teachers, wardens, parents and neighbours have their impact upon their impressionable minds. They have to realise this and mould their life properly.

The Right Leadership

The general atmosphere in the country has also to be taken into consideration. The whole atmosphere is vitiated by an inordinate emphasis on the political and economic aspects of life. Persons in these fields are projected as the leaders and ideals of society. It will be difficult to say that their character and conduct is worthy of emulation, barring some rare exceptions. Day in and day out a ferment is on, agitations fanning people's emotions - often not very noble - are launched and persons of not a very commendable moral calibre are thrown up as leaders and ideals. It is unnatural to expect that agitations where passions are roused will leave the impressionable, emotional youth with abundance of energy, cold and unaffected. The promoters of agitations, desirous of strengthening their movements by adding to the number of participants to make them effective, cannot but be tempted to exploit this volatile youthful force.

It will be seen that most of the students' unions are working under the guidance or patronage of one or other of the many political parties, because the political agitations can, through such unions, have this force ready at hand to follow their behests. This state of affairs must change. Politics and political parties may be studied by the elder students from an impartial and academic point of view, but they should not allow parties or party leaders to interfere in their union activities. In the country's general political atmosphere also a change is called for; the agitational approach to problems must give way to a constructive one born out of discussions, mutual understanding and readiness to accommodate one another's view and finding out a peaceful solution to them. The role of those in charge of the Government in this context is of prime importance. If they do not pay proper respect and consideration to opinions other than their own and remain stubbornly averse to making reasonable concessions to such opinions, agitations will go on and with them student indiscipline, in ever-increasing proportions.

Unions for Channelising Youthful Energy

The unions have, therefore to be wholly divorced from political or other agitational parties and their activities guided into healthy channels for developing knowledge, spirit of service, dignity of physical labour, spirit of camaraderie and of community life. Closing down unions is no remedy. Unions have to be encouraged especially at the college stage (at the school stage the students are too unripe to understand and operate union activities), for they give an opening to the excess of energy which the young posses. The channels into which their activities can be diverted with benefit have already been indicated elsewhere.

Elevating Role for Press & Publicity

The press is merely a reflection of the life of the people. All evils in the society readily find expression through the papers. The emphasis upon politics and upon the material

aspect of life, which is today eating into our vitals, finds pointed and magnified expression there. Sensationalism and gloating over stories of sin and crime also find a place of pride in them. A complete change in this attitude is called for. Instead of giving excessive importance to politico-economic aspects and instead of projecting only such persons as indulge in this as ideal personalities to be emulated, the press will do a great service to the country, if they give due importance to those devoted to the service of God and humanity, whose lives, though not possessed of glamour, are spotlessly pure and tirelessly engaged in selfless action and hold these forth as really worthy of being imitated and followed. I think, however, that it is periodicals and magazines, which can do this properly. Form daily newspapers it is too much to expect.

Audio-visual methods of education have been acclaimed and rightly as efficacious in imparting instructions and moulding character. But the power of these methods is abused by advertisers in the papers, on walls, kiosks and places which easily catch the eye, abused by dinning into the ears of the public unseemly songs over the loud-speakers, through the radios and transistors. Voluptuous pictures and songs meet the eye and ear at every step. How these must be corroding the moral fabric of the youth can easily be imagined.

Basic Reorientation - Need of the Hour

But in the name of progress all this goes on without let or hindrance. The result of all this inordinate emphasis on material, political and sensual propensities is seen in the shattering of all moral and ethical values. The present-day leadership, the atmosphere built up by them and the false notion that satisfaction of animal appetites is the end-all and be-all of modernism, of progressiveness and development, have contributed to make the people and more especially the growing generation amoral. Morality is good; immorality though bad has one good quality - the understanding of moral values and realisation of having deviated from them. But non-morality is positively a danger, for there is callous disregard for both the moral and the immoral. The immoral, the sinful have a chance of turning over a new leaf, but the amoral become impervious to all sense of right and wrong; as such theirs is an irretrievable case. Such persons are extremely dangerous to the right evolution of the society.

A thorough reorientation in the processes of thinking, in establishing values of life and proper apportioning of importance to the various aspects which together go to make a full life for the individual and consequently for the nation, is the need of the hour. Want of this is at the root of all our social evils including student indiscipline. It will serve no useful purpose to separate this one question from the lager context and try to remedy it. If this reorientation is not immediately taken in hand seriously, other remedies will remain merely superficial and ineffective.

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