Living in the age of moral dystopia

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Source: The post is based on the article “Living in the age of moral dystopia– Conformism is the norm today. Humanism, justice, and freedom have all been consigned to the deep freeze, to be retrieved at some indefinable point in future” published in “The Hindu” on 5th September 2023.

Syllabus: GS4- ethics- human values (role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values.) & probity in governance

News: The author talks about how moral values are decreasing in India. They mention communal violence, government bias, and public apathy as examples. The author also points out that societal values are changing, and intolerance and injustice are becoming more accepted.

How are moral values and societal values decreasing in India?

Moral Values Change:

Broken Promises: Leaders and governments are increasingly failing to uphold their pledges. There’s no longer an expectation for them to keep their word.

Skewed Justice: Government actions, like demolishing buildings without legal procedures, indicate a move away from fairness and justice. The Punjab and Haryana High Court raised concerns about potential ethnic cleansing.

Gender Disrespect: The public humiliation of women in Manipur and the public support for the accused in the Kathua rape case show a declining respect for women’s rights and safety.

Public Indifference: Acts of violence, from lynchings to property destruction, are happening regularly. Many witnesses choose merely to record these acts, showing a lack of empathy and intervention.

Societal Values Change:

Decline in Communal Harmony: Yogita Bhayana’s act of helping a Muslim man rebuild his shop was criticized, signaling a reduction in societal appreciation for communal unity.

Historical Bias over Present Justice: There’s an undue emphasis on historical events and wrongs while current issues, like attacks on mosques in various states, are sidelined.

Desensitization to Violence: The frequency of violent incidents and the public’s passive response, such as simply recording them for social media, indicates a growing desensitization to brutality.

Destruction Celebrated: Some media segments hail the destruction of properties as “instant justice,” indicating a societal shift towards accepting brute force as justified.

How does this impact India’s fabric?

Impact on India’s Fabric:

Eroded Trust: With leaders not keeping their promises, faith in governance is diminishing.

Communal Harmony Threatened: Acts like the criticism of Yogita Bhayana, who helped a Muslim man, signal a strain on inter-community relations.

Selective Historical Preoccupation: The focus on ancient wrongs, while overlooking present-day issues like mosque attacks, creates division and neglects contemporary challenges.

Increased Desensitization: The passive response to violence, such as public recordings of brutal incidents without intervention, weakens societal empathy and compassion.

Skewed Justice Perception: Viewing property destruction as “instant justice” distorts the understanding of genuine justice and law.

Gender Disparities: Incidents like the humiliation of women in Manipur undermine the progress towards gender equality.

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