Let us first consider what we know about the meaning of the word ‘values’. The values that individuals or societies have, make them a species apart, first from the animals, and then from each other. It is values that go to identify individuals and societies as separate enities. Values is the name given to certain human virtues which are believed to be necessary for human existence. Few of these values are universally appreciated and taught and can never lose their relevance in the world scene. These few values are honesty, justice, modesty and simplicity. These are the few values of human behaviour that are appreciated everywhere, and will always continue to be called virtues. These will never be called outdated or misplaced. These values may exist or may not exist but, they can never be called bad anywhere in the world at any time of existence. Let us now analyse why these are called values. It is because they gave strength of head and heart to individuals and societies that they were termed as values. What we have to consider in this place is whether these values have lost their sheen and strength. They still do exist but have lost their relevance in the sequence of things, which in turn means that these values have lost their value and have got devalued. For instance, let us take the value of a rupee, it is often heard that, the rupee is devalued which means that, it has lost its original value, in the market. In exactly the same way, the values just mentioned have not got lost but, they have lost their market value, and so have got devalued.
Values truly keep changing but what is really good can never be called bad. For instance, we can, in no part of the world, or at any time of any century teach our children that, it is wrong or bad to be honest, but yes, the relevance of honesty may decreased as we may stop giving it any weightage but, we will never call it a bad habit to be honest. Just for an example, in to-day’s scenario, we can not say that, to be honest is bad though we may agree that it is difficult, and also fruitless. Here it comes the devaluation of the value of honesty. This, in turn does not reduce the greatness of the value of honesty, but it may now be placed low in the hierarchy of values due to its being non-result oriented.
The present scenario of India is our centre stage of discussion. India has a very rich and ancient cultural heritage, and it is really heart breaking to see the India of ages gone by having taken the shape of the so called modern India where, honesty for one has lost all its glitter. This is because, honesty is not rewarded and the dishonest are never punished.
Leave alone the punishment of the dishonest, they are found to be enjoying the best of everything. This makes the value of honesty irrelevant in the present scenario. With this situation prevailing, the number of honest people is on the decline and when we find glamour on the other side of the fence, the numbers on the other side of the fence are increasing by leas and bounds, and honesty becomes a thing of the past.
Regarding the value of justice, where do we find justice? In a country where justice was the hallmark of governance, justice has become a word to be scoffed at, and it is only in a bundle of dates given to all clients. When justice can not, or is not given AT ONCE, it loses its very essence, and takes the shape of a mere hoax. Fancy punishing a person for a crime he committed 20 years back, does this make any sense? N, not even to me a simple citizen of India. It is high time that, people who matter, understood that, justice can be of any utility only if it is given in time. On paper we often read that, ‘justice delayed is justice denied’, but, it is very sad to realize that people who matter never seem to give a thought to this simple statement, it is sure that they also know this fact, then why is there no change in the scenario? There is no change because, justice is not been given these days but it is a commodity for sale, and given to the highest bidder. Here we see the loss of the great value of justice, in the face of the changes.
It will not be out of context here to discuss our rulers, for it is they who put the first step forward for others to follow. Where is our Raja going? In a country where the Raja sacrificed all that was his for the country and countrymen, to-day, the Rajas are fast nibbling away and feeding upon what belongs to the country and the countrymen – what a somersault the values have taken. Why do you think that, even after 50 years of self rule, India has not achieved a respectable percentage of literacy? The reason for this is just one – the ruler. The rulers, i.e., the politicians did not want the spread of literacy honestly and so it did not happen. This was done for a very simple reason, the countrymen would not be easy prey to the dragon of the politician if they were educated, so, the dragon found it convenient to give literacy a back seat in its governance. If the people were educated they could not have been be fooled as they have been, for the last 50 years, and they would have read the lines written on the walls and seen through the camouflage of the democracy we are. So here also we see the value of love for others, bringing up others, bringing up others helping others being replaced by the value of be fooling others, crushing others and eating into others. In this way, the rulers, the present day politicians have taken full advantage of the foolish and simple public to fulfil their right and wrong ambitions.
Friendship is a quality of the past, a word forgotten. In these days of competition friendship has become a rare commodity. This is because, each one of us has become very selfish and self centred, and as soon as, SELF predominates our life style we have no place left for the friend, in our arena. Friendship requires a lot of sacrifice and to-day, we have forgotten the very word of sacrifice and so, no friendship can fructify. In the present day scenario there are no friends, there are only acquaintances, whom we can only know, but can not expect to be of any help to us in times of need.
Modesty is another word that has said a good bye to the modern people. Modesty which was once considered an adornment of people is now converted, into a misnomer, and showing off whether it be the body or ones achievements has become the hallmark of the present day Indians. Each individual is found blowing his own trumpet to attract attention of others, for, there is nothing in us that will automatically attract, so, we have to shout for appreciation. Regarding the qualities like love, emotion and service and many others which are finer feelings like them have been given up with the winds of the times now there is absolutely no essence in these values as we have all, lost all of them. These finer values having disappeared and are off and on, leading us on to problems of new and varied nature, for, we have lost all the finer values of head and heart that make life really worth living.
Now once we have lost so many values, let us analyse what do we live by then? The answer is very simple, to-day the only thing we live by is our strength of money. Money has taken the place of all values and devalued them all. Values of life are all lost and only the value of money prevails. Our value is not what we know, how good we are, or how educated we are, our value is measured by all that we can buy with the money we possess. This does not mean that these values have gone. No they are very much on the horizon but, we do not cherish them any more. These values wait for us to understand their worth and come back to us on some later day. I am very optimistic and feel that, just as the good values are lost, the bad values will also find their way out of our lives one day-let us wait and watch.