Problems before Society, Nation and Obligation of Intelligentsia

It is natural that problems arise in day-to-day human situations. This is not a matter of worry or anxiety. It is, however, necessary that problems must be solved per apt thought. Apt thought is necessary so as to avoid facing these problems soon again. It is expected in the human world from a being. These problems again appear soon when a person solves them while keeping selfishness at the top and does not prune them with apt thought.

They are more serious when they appear a 2nd time. Resultantly, human life paces towards a difficult future. Others also come under its effect. A thing in relation to an individual is also in relation to a human group. After all, a human – group is formed by individuals. As such, when a human society solves a problem instantly with auto-selfishness without apt thought, the solution badly impacts not only that human-group but whole society and nation: whole human world sometimes. This obstructs the way of development along with disintegrating society and nation.

Such a thing happened with our society and nation also and is still happening. As a result, serious situations has emerged before society and nation. Furthermore, four problems are responsible in this regard. These four are interlinked in absolute manner. They have also accord impact, more or less, on one another.

This is like a situation where our body catches one ailment and we do not take a right and comparatively permanent remedy. The ailment appears again after some time and brings with it one, two or even more other diseases. The body fails to fight such a situation and its situation becomes serious. A question crops up pertaining to very existence of life of human concerned. Subsequently, whole human-group gradually comes under grip of the disease. The disease of one person transforms itself into an epidemic and extinguishes many lives.

Four main problems are:

  • Population;
  • Corruption;
  • Defective Education System; and
  • Caste System.

    Population of India was 33 Crores when India gained independence. Now it is more than 100 crores. Such an immense increase in population within 60 years shall certainly create vivid problems at individual, social and national levels. Along with such a huge population, it is difficult to fulfill five fundamental human necessities – food, clothes, housing, education and medical aid.

    Employment to all is something specifically appreciable. Increasing population shall definitely create serious problems: in whatever quantity natural resources are there in a country. Arab nations have oil storages. They are considered rich in this respect. But amongst them there are many, especially country like Iran, where 18% to 20% people are unemployed. The main reason behind this all is population increase.

    Look at the condition of India. Even today, people in many parts of the country are having an income of 100 Rupees per month or below. A lowest level has been prescribed – even if poor …… such an income must invariably be with an individual for subsistence.

    It is unfortunate that 40% of the people have failed to reach up to this minimum income level in our country. That evidently proves them to be below poverty line. Increasing population is the main reason behind it. Similar conditions prevailed in other countries whenever population increased in this way. In case, we are poised to bring a progress into this nation and wish to take people to a way of life imbibed with pleasant, prosperous and peaceful attributes, we shall have to control population increase of such a dimension.

    Second problem is of corruption. Really speaking, it is an international problem. Along with Asia, it is also there in Europe and America. We can peruse and understand this from the grafts which were sought in preceding years. We have an example of Thailand in the preceding year before us – the Prime Minister Silpa Archa had to vacate his office owing to being fully involved in corruption.

    Indonesia’s condition is no better. But condition of India is somewhat abundantly poor. It is needless to mention as to how much we are in grip of corruption. Probably, there has hardly been any region or person that could not be under its impact directly or indirectly. Rulers, bureaucrats, workers and others: it appears that all are under its grip.

    Our whole system is like a body. Vivid nerves in body are full of flows of blood just like actions taking place in vivid parts of any system. Now, it seems as if corruption is rampant in the system which can be compared to a body and this is happening practically.

    Now, this is a subject not only of our concern but that of existence of respectable life. I am not mentioning any individual or institution in particular but you all know that those individuals and institutions, who claim that they are there to take nation towards development and to give clean governance to nation, are actually fully involved in it. There is a question mark on our national character. Certainly, our dignity and honour have been severely tarnished by this.

    The third problem is defective educational system. When I use the word defective, it signifies that this education is not complete in imparting self-sufficiency. It is incompetent in getting a graduate obtaining employment and in getting he/she developed. We have been treading on a traditional and rotten way since a very long time.

    We did not sufficiently ponder over or act in this direction according to time and circumstances. Resultantly, twenty crore people of the country are under penance of unemployment. Think for a while the circumstances under which a country shall have to proceed where people happen to be unemployed in such a huge number.

    Along with this, the educational system also seems to be antagonistic to moral knowledge. This is definitely a subject of concern. Moral knowledge is an essential part of education. Education does not fulfill its definition in absence of that; how shall it be able to gain its aim or objective. Good conduct is impossible in absence of knowledge. Resultantly, personal and social life shall become vicious.

    We have certain expectations from an educated person. In case these are not fulfilled, its straight forward and simple meaning as it appears is that he/she is devoid of moral knowledge. Diminishing moral values and standards are the reasons behind the present situation in public life. Defective education system has been constantly causing vices. This should not continue henceforth.

    The fourth and the most fatal problem is caste system. This system has been rooted there for centuries. It is assumed that this system came to be there in place of class system. Why? When? And how? Several expressions have been there on this. I am not mentioning them here. It will not be contextual to do so. Even then, I shall like to remind that it is said about class system [and it is also mentioned here and there in treatises of Vedic Religious Community] that it was based on labour division system in human society.

    Its basis was work not birth. Lord Buddha and Tirthankara Mahavira also supported it on the basis of work. On this accord, even though the topic is interesting, I shall not elaborately explain it here as it is not my intention to put a thesis or research before you. I may do that separately. I certainly wish to emphasize that we now do not have the class system that was in former times.

    Now, there is a question relating to caste system that is based on birth in our society. We produce religious arguments also in its favour whereas religion is not at all concerned in relation to caste. Caste has concern with definition or meaning of religion. Ordinarily, religion signifies adoption of goodness. This is the reason that eternal human values which guide to welfare come under purview and embodiment of religion. Non-violence, non-conservation, abstinence from stealing, compassion, sacrifice, justice, truth equality etc., all have been considered religion. Caste system is symbolical of inequality and it divides. It is full of exploitation and selfishness. How can it be termed proper in context of religion?

    Number of castes in our society is about 4 thousand. Let us assume that all believe in one God. Every one has even then a separate mode of living. It’s very plain meaning is that our society is divided into 4000 parts. This division is symbolical of inequality. It certainly makes the principle of fraternity and spirit of justice insignificant.

    We talk of faith in one Almighty. God is the father of all. He is just. There are many other things also that we say about God. We also talk of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam [This earth is a family]. But we have been sticking to caste system for centuries whereas this system is prone to signify inequality and injustice.

    This is our way of thinking and mental application. Let us for a moment analyze with truthfulness and impartiality. We shall find that this system always disintegrated us. It took our hearts away from each other. It has harmed us. It many a times gives us bondages as per several bad customs and usages. It has even made a deep gap betwixt man and woman. Even today, we can see it on social, political and economic levels.

    We may give numerous arguments in favour of this system and we may try to prove it adequate by citing examples from religious treatises. This is against that Divine principle on which we claim that it is practiced by us. It is certainly totally opposite to the principle of equality, fraternity and justice and is full of selfish spirit. It has been showing itself in every age and is still showing.

    As such, these four are serious problems before our society and nation. They have gradually developed owing to indifference and apathy to one’s duty. More than these, selfish motive is the cause behind them. We are facing them today. In case these problems happen to be there before other societies and nations in addition to India, causes of their existence and development are the same.

    It is responsibility of intellectuals in every age in every society and nation that it must accord guidelines towards solving the problems truthfully and impartially. Intellectual class has its own specific position in a society and nation.

    This class is competent in solving problems constructively. ….. It is our misfortune that intellectual class is not doing this truthfully and impartially. It appears that it is itself under the grip of these tangible problems. Now, what conclusion should be derived? Are intellectuals far from their duties? If it is not so, they will have to accord guidelines with truth and impartiality. It is what society and the nation expect from them. Ultimately, we cannot turn our face from truth for very long. Truth is truth after all. We shall certainly suffer if we disassociate ourselves from that. We are disintegrated; ourselves. We have divided ourselves; In case we want this process to continue, we can gladly choose to keep ourselves away from truth.

  • Dr. Ravindra Kumar is an eminent writer, Indologist, political scientist and a former vice chancellor of Meerut University, India, who authored and edited over 100 works on great personalities like Mahatma Gandhi and on various social-cultural issues.