Dr. Bhardwaj has accomplished a great job by looking into the causes of “Steep Fall in Character” without any fear or favour and documenting them in his latest book, “New Dimensions of Value Education.”
In spite of rich educational resources, educational growth in India especially in terms of moral values and professional skills has been very dismal. As a result, there is an alarming “Crisis of Character” and paucity of “Skilled professionals.” Why is it so? An answer may be found in the quality of education that is being imparted to the students. Big questions are whether the kind of education we impart meets National Economy and whether it goes with the Indian culture and its values or not.
Unfortunately, the answers to both is a big NO. Indian education system especially its moral part has been made completely dry in the pursuit of secularism and modernism. India has always been secular. History is replete with examples which prove beyond doubt that Indians have been living a very peaceful life irrespective of their castes, creed or religions since ages.
India is a Nation which rightly takes pride in its ancient multi-religious cultural secularism. It is the land which is proud of customarily sharing its Roti and Beti among not only in Hindus and Sikhs in northern India but with other communities also though a bit rare. Indian rulers had high officials like ministers and prime ministers in their courts belonging to all religions. Rani Laxmi Bai who had Mohammad Gaus as her chief gunman and Jhalkari Bai (a woman belonging to a low caste) as Chief of women’s army and as her aid, is well known. Other is Akbar who had many Hindus as Ministers in his court. Shivaji and Guru Gobind Singh had taken their soldiers to task for arresting enemies’ women, had ordered them to apologize and to send the women back to their homes with full honours; and had further ordered never to commit such a sin again. What the writer wants to say is that secular values were always protected and talent was always given its credit irrespective of the castes or religions.
Then what kind of secular education our leaders have chosen? Actually in the name of secularism they have deprived us of all Socio-religious spiritual treasure trove which could have been ours if education which indirectly used it to inculcate human and moral values among the students in the past, might have been provided. Dr. Bhardwaj gives his personal experiences of his schooling. He says that their books contained anecdotes of Haqikat Rai, Guru Gobind Singh, Shivaji, Maharana Pratap, Christ, Mohammad Sahib etc. and each one of them used to imbibe moral values in their growing age; thus implanting an indelible impression on their impressible minds. Not only this, their teachers used to gather concept-related anecdotes and narrated them before them thus reinforcing the values already learnt. For example when Guru Gobind Singh was taught, their teacher often told them about Hari Singh Nalwa, another Punjab warrior who revered women the most. The impact of that moral education remained throughout their life. It had strengthened already infused reverence for women by their parents. Thus, the parents and teachers worked on the same plane.
Today this phenomenon is also missing. It was the biggest mistake of our constitution framers they committed. Education sans religious-moral education is just like a body without soul. The results are before us. Today’s youth is too self-centered if not selfish. Senior citizens are leading a lonely life in their grey years when they need the help of their near and dear the most and the latter are completely oblivious of their duties and reverence towards their old parents; and also to the fair sex that is why the women are targetted daily all over the country irrespective of the victims’ age. The youths of today have become so lustfully senseless that they neither spare an old woman of their grandmother’s age nor a little girl of their niece’s age.
It is the evil effect of education sans religious-moral values. On its just opposite, the students are oriented on daily basis to be more and more materialistic. The parents, teachers, principals and managers coax the students to secure more and more marks by hook or by crook (a materialistic gain) at the cost of quality and morality. Do high marks guarantee success in life? History is replete with cases that world is ruled by not high achievers but mediocre. Coaxing students to get highest marks either by mugging up or by unfair means is highly immoral. Then how will the teenagers be moral!
As regard the other aspect of the education, it too is dismal. Even after decades of achieving independence, the education system still produces manpower for white-collar jobs. Technical education is in shambles. Higher education is poorly managed. Institutions of higher learning which lack academically and professionally qualified teachers are mushrooming. Teachers’ Training Colleges are churning out ill trained secondary teachers. Leave aside meager infrastructural and financial resources, even the available ones are not properly utilized due to scarcity of trained manpower and when the youths come out of the colleges/universities after passing out, he is poorly equipped with vocational/professional skills in spite of the degree he holds. It is unfortunate that the youth of today is not well-equipped even with language skills. They have neither command over the mother-tongue nor on the national or the foreign language. They cannot use any of the languages without mixing words from common languages. In place of Hindi or English, they use khichdi bhasha.
Why is it so? It is because the managers of education including Principals are poorly equipped with moral values, have poor language skills and lack effective managerial skills especially in vocational streams. So how and what could we expect from such ill-trained and insensitive educational planners, administrators and their product that passes out of their institutions?
Moreover, if they are well trained in managing academic matters, they will easily visualise the importance of moral, educational and vocational goals; and will try to achieve them. If they are very well aware of the significance of religious-moral education, they will certainly try to find ways and means to inculcate moral values among the students in their impressible age: The age when the child is like a sapling to which the mentor could give the right shape or direction to grow straight. If they are trained in management skills, they will manage imparting moral and vocational education with more dexterity and the scenario may change fast. According to the writer, the sole objective of this book are:
- To highlight the shortcomings of modern management in education.
- To suggest ways and means to overcome the existing shortcomings.
- To highlight the modern techniques of management.
I believe the book will help the managers in understanding the nuances of modern management skills in spiritual education. It will certainly bring the glory of Indian culture back and would ensure the senior citizens and women get the same honour and prestige which they traditionally deserve.
Good part of this amazing book is that it is equipped with projects. Almost each chapter has projects that will make the teachers works easy.