These days there is a lot of talk of discipline has gone down, and indiscipline being rampant in every feasible sphere of life. This is very true but, let us quite clearly understands what discipline really means. Discipline is in essence, the training of the mind to obey instructions. In the bygone days, this training of the mind to obey was found in all people and in every sphere of functioning but today it is missing everywhere, yes, everywhere. Let us now analyze why this has happened and can we find any solution for it, or they consider it a lost cause?
I feel that the reason is mainly in our education. It is a wonder though but it is true that we have started believing that we being intellectuals, need no rules to be laid down for us, and do not need any discipline. The obvious and simple result is that India today is a picture of absolute indiscipline. This is because we think that since we are educated we can do what we know or feel is correct. Here is exactly where we falter, agreed we are educated, modern and a lot more but, just think when every so-called educated person does what he/she thinks is correct, the outcome is chaos, and here it is. This is a very unhappy misnomer that has crept up in our attitudes that, we do not need to obey or obedience is foolish, or, still further we do not need any rules and we need not follow anyone.
We have to understand that all the confusion and chaos we see everywhere is the result of a simple thing-lack of discipline. A society that is really educated, in the true sense, must be a society that is absolutely obedient and thereby absolutely disciplined. However, our education has inculcated this awkward feeling within us and, brought us to the lowest ever level of discipline at the end of the 20th Century. Let us remember no matter how much we advance in any sphere, how much educated we are, if we lack discipline, we are just as indisciplined animals of the jungle, and we can never achieve any progress till we attain a high standard of discipline.
To look for indiscipline now let us move out, yes, on to the roads first. For one thing, just let us consider what the signal lights are fixed for. They are there to tell us to go when the green light comes but we the modern and educated Indians think that we know better than these lights, and here we jump the red light. Now, just before the red light, there is a row of white lines and the word STOP written in bold letters, but again, disobedient as we are, we always cross the STOP mark and then stand in the middle of the road. What does this show about us?
It very clearly indicates that no matter how small instruction is given to us we are here to flout it. Is this what we understand about modernity, education, and freedom?
From the road, let us go to an office. If the time for office is 10 ‘0 Clock, I say that it being a modern office it will never start functioning at least before 11 ‘O’Clock. Besides, inside the office also, there is no work seen as the boss is not yet in. This shows we do not work because we have to work or that, we are supposed to work, or because we are being paid for working, but we work only when there is someone to see our work or scold us for not working. Is this what discipline is all about?
Back home, we see the children doing what each one wants to for, after all, they are the children of modern times, children who took their first breath in free India. These children cannot be cowed down to any norms but they have their own ways of thinking and applying their minds, for are they, not an enlightened generation?
In the schools, colleges, and Universities, we see a wonderful scenario of absolute disobedience and lack of discipline. Let us now analyze why is it that we have just got to be, yes got to be indisciplined? I personally feel that this is all because we have developed in us very wrong notions of education and freedom and modernity. It appears that we believe that being able to do what an individual wants to do at any time, is the true measure of freedom. This may be quite true but to a very limited extent. For, if we all start doing what each one of us wants to do at any given time we will land in a state of utter confusion and chaos. This is exactly what has happened to us today, we have reached the zenith of chaos in every sphere of life.
Let us remember my friends that, rules and regulations are made for the good governance of any institution, big or small. We do not in any way become small by obeying any rules. It is a discipline that can work wonders with any nation. We being a highly disciplined society in the 60s and 70s have degenerated to such an extent that, today the right-hand does not know what the left hand is doing. This is because we seem to believe that each hand has a right to do what it wants, and also a right to its own privacy. This I daresay is taking freedom too far. Such gross indiscipline can take or is rather taking our country to the gates of hell. Indiscipline in a society can break it into smithereens and this is exactly what is happening.
Let us take a new look at our attitudes to discipline. Always remember that discipline makes a home, it makes a society, and it is just this magic that makes a nation. By being disciplined, we do not become slaves but we are just being good citizens, the pride of the nation. Let us take a pledge to develop in us the great force that is discipline. It is only this force that can bring us back to the old traditional cultural level which has been lost somewhere on our way in search of freedom. At one time we seemed to have an inbuilt system of obedience, where has it gone and given its place to an inbuilt desire to break rules no matter to what effect. Let us look for that inbuilt mechanism of obedience, and I am sure we will not be far from excelling in every field of existence extent.