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Changing morals

Sahana Prasad, Nov 25, 2012 :

A person accused of wrong-doing lived in its shadow all his life.

‘Do you see that person with grey hair and wearing a blue shirt?’ She whispered in my ear as I strained to look in the crowd.

‘Oh, yes, he has a hospital in our area and is a respectable person’ I said, immediately recognising the familiar face on citizens committees. ‘Well, his father was suspended a few years back on charges of bribery, what is now called wealth disproportional to income’ she continued ‘In earlier days, the whole family would have consumed poison, unable to bear the insult and the resulting stigma. But these people have not only thrived on the ill-gotten money but have made a name too.’

‘Are you admiring or reproving?’ I asked. ‘Neither, I am calculating how much that would amount to, these days!’ I took a deep breath as I pondered over what she said. ‘Morals and values don’t and can’t change,’ the moral science teacher had solemnly said.

Nor can you or should compromise on that. A thief by any standards is a thief. Makes no difference if he stole a ten rupee or a hundred rupee. A pencil or a loaf of bread. Morals and morality have undergone a change too, however we wish they haven’t.

A person accused of wrong-doing lived in its shadow all his life. His family paid a price for such a deed for generations together. Most people who have turned wealthy overnight due to dubious reasons and even matrimony are grudgingly admired.

After all, if your father is poor, it is fate and if your father-in-law is poor, it’s your stupidity. So it is no longer a simple and sweet bride who is sought after but one loaded with the right connections and moolah.

A good samaritan who rushed to help a fellow citizen in trouble, sometimes jeopardising his life in the process, was not uncommon. After all the world was small and everyone was family. But now, the trend is to film it on camera and sell it to the highest bidder. After all, technology has to be utilised fully, never mind if it means compromising on basic human decencies.

A principled guy who sent his wife away as she used the official car to drop kid to school is now passť, we now have a top citizen whose entire and extended family travels abroad on the tax payers money.

Old is gold. Don’t think of exchanging those zari saris and heavy jhumkas with new ones. They will surely come back in vogue as the wheel of fashion turns, predicts the fashion pundit. So there is hope, that morality and righteousness will return to stay and shine.


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