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Are we happier than our forefathers?

The indefatigable sail of time has taken us from dilapidated huts to ostentatious mansions, from faulty telegrams to immaculate technology, from bulky books to speedy Goggle, and lastly from impeccable moral rectitude to a precipice of absolute morality collapse.

As this 4G modernized world explodes into path-breaking inventions and jaw-dropping technology; the values handed over to us through ages recede further into the stark recesses of oblivion. The world has marched on relentlessly leaving footprints, as the milestones of glorious achievements, on the dimensionless sands of time but as the wagon of advancement hurtles through the tunnels of development with impetuous speed, we left something on the way-the virtues that are forefathers taught us; the values they embedded, rather attempted to embed in the folds of our hearts, through their sweet bed time tales.

Happiness resides in peace. Today’s world is a ruckus. They taught us to be content; we indulge in unbridled corruption. They taught us to help the neighbour, we don’t know who lives next door. They taught us to be generous; we turned out to be gods of insensitivity. They told us to help those in need, we drove by an accident site unmoved because we were getting late for our worldly engagements. They nourished us in their sheltering arms; we drove them to old age homes. They taught us imperishable morals and uncompromising ideals; we slaughtered principles at the august citadels of power.

The fact lies bare, crystal clear and irrefutable; we have become a bunch of insensitive, passive, corrupt, unkind and immoral people. When we succumb to evils, cow down to immorality, somewhere a muffled voice echo in the desolate corridors of our conscience; the voice of our forefathers beckoning us to right path. But the evil, rash and ruthless instinct we have seasoned through the years, quickly overpowers it drowning that voice. Conscience is, thus, lost in the wilderness of evil.

Our forefathers were content with food to eat and a shelter to live under; the found bliss in relationships, in unconditional love, in worship and in each other. We have amassed bunglows, accumulated stacks of cash in banks, but still never end the pursuit of wealth. We would never stop rummaging for more, even if the path is devious. More than technology has upgraded through the years, values have degraded. Eroded to rubble, those lofty ideals and undying morals today are no more than a languishing corpse.

India was that land of diverse culture, preaching of Buddha, heritage of  Ashoka, resolve of ahimsa, purity of Gandhian ideals, the land of austerity, the land of God. India today is replete with evils, corruption lingers like a monster, communalism spreading like a latent cancer, politics as shoddy and murky as can get, indifference at an ever high, din of immorality having marched a crass crescendo. That was their India, this is our India. Our India is where an 8-year old is brutalized and the culprits are at large, where honesty is murdered, where ideals are jettisoned and the hollowness of avarice reigns supreme. It is agonizing to attach a sense of belongingness to such a country, but it is equally unfair to separate that ‘our’ from India.  Why solely blame the political masters for the entire ruckus? Corruption breeds in that office where we pass bribes to get our work done faster. Communalism sparks from that stem disapproval of inter-religious marriages. Callousness begins in our indifferent attitude to an accident site. So, we are the creators of this mayhem.

The shores of morality stands desolate; the blizzards of sins have uprooted moral uprightness. We have genuflected to the diabolic forces. Evil is reveling. For a moment, just halt. Take leave of worldly affairs and breathe. Walk away from the cacophony of the world. Listen to the mellifluous melody reverberating in your heart; the voice of conscience, the beckoning cry of your forefathers. Attempt to clear the mist that has fogged their picture instilled in your heart. From the shadows; they are still watching us; hear their stifled sobs as they see us becoming slaves to the devil. Wipe their tears. Reignite the flame that smolders in your heart. The fire of optimism, of morality, has dwindled but even the wildest gales cannot extinguish it. Do not let the edifice of their aspirations from us demolish like a frail pack of cards. Grant to the dying flame a new life.

Richa Singh is a student pursuing Economics Honors from Jamia Millia Islamia.

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Written by Richa Singh

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