Erosion of values is weakening the country: Nayar

Power game has come to define politics today. It was pushing the country into the depths of moral anarchy. “A man without power is nothing today. Corruption has a new punch line ‘this is what the boss wants’. A person’s worth is decided based on his power, chair, bank balance, and material possessions. This is what tempts people to amass wealth, without paying attention to comprehensive progress of the country at large,” he said.

Nayar was delivering the Foundation day lecture on ‘India in the New Millennium: Democracy, Development and Idealism’ here at the University of Mysore.  “Mahatma Gandhi had dreamt of an India that treated everyone equally. The country’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, promised to build a country without poverty, a country whose men would not discriminate against each other. Not much progress has been made towards this,” Nayar said. The country has progressed since in some way. The problem is there is only an island of prosperity around which a sea of hunger, poverty and ill health existed in the country.

Besides dwelling on skewed economic development and the practice of power politics, Nayar also said in hour-long address that the country was also being pulled down by politics of communalism and violent ideological extremism.

Drawing attention on the recent communal clashes in Mysore, Nayar said while the Sub-continent had witnessed large-scale communal violence immediately after the Partition, what was extremely worrisome about the communal violence in post-Independent India was that they “happening within our own country,” he said. It was harming the country’s unity, he said.

‘Grey’ space

“I once told former British Prime Minister Thatcher that harmony exists in India owing to the spirit of tolerance and accommodating nature…There is no black or white in India, there is a lot of grey space and we go on expanding it,” he said.

Nayar also disapproved of the politics of violent extremism practiced by Maoists in the name of ideology. Though they claim to carry out their violent activities against the government of the day, they were in the process harming the country. Drawing a clear line between the ‘country’ and ‘government’, he said people were armed with power to ‘change’ the government if need be, but this power should not be used to ‘harm’ the country and its very social fabric.

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