Civilisation is advancing in all fields, now we are embracing Fourth Industrial Revolution. In the last 100 years, the world made tremendous progress, but conventional principles, ethics and values are being destroyed. Social decay is increasing. The whole social system is becoming unstable as a result of social relations being severed. The world has suffered more than it has improved. Civilisation has brought greater welfare to the people, but it has also damaged society. In the last one hundred years, there have been two world wars and a third is waiting to happen. Many countries are fighting for the existence or the supremacy of one over another. Civil wars have erupted in many countries. Besides, innumerable people are losing their lives in many other battles. World leaders are silent. There is no headache or outcry from the UN, the OIC, or any organised alliance. It seems to everyone that these are increasingly common occurrences.
People are constantly creating new lethal weapons to destroy the world through new technologies, spending thousands of crores of dollars in the process. Others are spending similar sums on research, trying hard to find cures for diseases. What a strange behaviour on the part of human civilisation! Human qualities like ethics, morality, humanity and kindness are declining day by day. So-called civil society leaders are turning to sociologists for remedies and they are not shy about giving advice. Meetings, seminars, roundtables, short films, human chains and various awareness programmes are also in active mode. Are there any changes? Some inhumane and immoral incidents seem to be part and parcel of everyday social norms.
People have lost confidence in people, believing is a crime, disobeying the law is bravery. If principles, honesty and ideals are lacking in the family, society and government, then our sense of human worth decreases. We spread corruption, nepotism, extremism, violence, and immorality. The level of honesty and morality of a doctor, judge, law enforcement officer, and teacher, should be the same. Deviation from ideology destroys thinking, meditation, justice, and mindfulness. Honesty and ethics are very important for everyone in their respective professions.
Teachers engage in other activities for extra money instead of teaching in the classroom. A university is a centre for research. The practice and sharing of knowledge are supposed to be an integral part of the role of a university. Do we find these in our universities! Teachers teach ethics & morality. People of all levels of society respect them. Unfortunately, many of those teachers are involved in corruption and immoral behaviour, including the harassment of women. For position or promotion, a teacher bows down to anyone and walks from door to door. Teachers don't just do a job, they work to change society. It is useless to compare the opportunities of this profession with other professions.
The authorities, who are there to look after these academic institutions, work for a while, enjoy the benefits, but due to lack of the vision or courage they cannot do because of pressure from tenured staff and vested interest groups. Nobody cares how many people are being harmed due to their immoral activities. Rarely one can find a good teacher who is also a good administrator. Many of them are alleged to be corrupt, lazy or inefficient.
Many greedy physicians force patients to undergo unnecessary tests or surgery. At a cost of 500-1000 taka, you can't even talk for 2 minutes. Many times the patient does not get emotional relief as he cannot say all he needs to within such a short time. Often 4/5 patients stay in the chamber at a time and patients' privacy is often not protected.
A section of unscrupulous traders are involved in damaging our health by adulterating food. They want to make profits by creating an artificial crisis. Education in many cases has become a product. If a corrupt person gets permission to establish an academic institution or become the head of the institution, then morality becomes secondary.
We get credit cards, spend money that we do not want to repay, borrow money from banks and avoid paying off debts. It is as if we are winding down our principles day by day.
As soon as we open the newspaper, we find news of women being abused, even killed, and cases of maidservants and children being tortured. When such incidents happen again and again, it is the moral responsibility of the concerned authority to take remedial action.
There are very few people in the world who have such soft hearts as the people of this country. The people of Bangladesh can show the most humane manners, kindness, hospitality, and sympathy for others. They are very emotional. It is clear there has been a lack of discipline in family and religion. Religious blindness and irreligion are creating social unrest. The number of divorces has risen at an alarming rate.
The ethics and behaviour of those who are respected in society influence the common people. Ordinary people listen to them attentively. In this case, policymakers and socially conscious people have to speak out and administer justice very carefully. It is also important for parents to pay attention to their children's behaviour and movement. Needless to say, if there is strong family bonding, the child also grows up properly. Sometimes it is not possible to prevent many unintended events and accidents. However, without indulgence, in the interest of all, in order to prevent the degradation of the society; it is possible to reduce it to a large extent if motivational measures are taken to stop these. The decline of morality will continue until justice and the rule of law are accorded respect.
Professor Sarwar Jahan is Initiator & Founder of Southern University Bangladesh