Date : 21-12-2011
Many times a thought comes in my mind that in which matters do we find thedifference between the western world and us? For example, hygiene - personal hygiene and social hygiene. We have such culture and tradition that in the personal and health matters, there is a lot of awareness in our social life. Not to touch certain things, not to take certain things, follow this during the meals, all such rules we have observed in our house. We have also seen norms about usage of water and utensils. Every household follows such tradition and these customs have been in practice for centuries. Insistence for personal hygiene like taking bath religiously is in our genes. But in the matters of social hygiene?There is no awareness about littering anywhere. Whereas in the western world? It is not necessary to take bath before going to office and majority of people there bathe in the evening after returning. In our country, we take bath, offer prayers and get ready as we are going for some auspicious work. I have not come here to criticize the west, just using it to explain the point of view. But they follow all the norms for the social hygiene and because of this, we feel that this cleanliness, some other things and their norms should be adopted. Now, if both of these are combined, then the personal hygiene and the social hygiene both can be preserved.
As this is one aspect, similarly it’s about discipline also. We may be very particular about discipline in our personal life, but we are very different while in a group. Just two days ago I was in Surat, the programme of ‘Sadbhavna Mission’ was going on. One other programme was also going on at the opposite side. It’s their style, there might be some parallel book release event going on today also. Vijay, I am telling this to you- Perhaps nobody would have arranged this time. There was some 47 kg cake for a minister’s birthday and the scene of looting I saw on TV, I felt that what a way with birthdays! What is the reason?Hadn’t there been this indiscipline, the scene would have been so nice and proud, but the same event acquired such a strange shape. Look at thespecialityof the place in our country with religious matters. There are very few temples where you would the find the sign ‘Remove your shoes here’, in very few temples. Now when the time changes,it has to be written, same way as before 50 years, at least I never came across a board saying ‘Pure Ghee Shop’! It was not like this 50 years ago, but today we have to write ‘Pure Ghee Shop’ because its alternative is available in the market now. So, writing‘Remove your shoes here’ was never required, but now the situation has changed. The reason behind that was culture. No norms were written.Just think, ‘KumbhMela’ is held in our country and during that ‘Kumbh Mela’, crowd equaling to whole Australia’s population gathers on the bank of the Ganga, Just imagine! In spite of this, we never hear about any major chaotic incidence. And at the bottom of it is the religion. That something inspires, binds and unites them and because of that,the organizers are only catalytic agents in the entire arrangement, the society itself carries this arrangement. And where there is a capability to follow the arrangements, it spreads and develops itself. However large may be its scale, the arrangement progresses and develops.
In our social life, we often say that though many countries got freedom later, yet they are ahead of us. So, what is the reason? The main reason is that they have discipline as a society. Recently I met a friend, who had returned from Japan. As he was from an affluent family, his booking was in the most expensive suite in an expensive hotel. But there was a notice that the room could not be cooled below 26 degree temperature, irrespective of any payment. Why? They informed that as a country they had decided to conserve energy to tackle the problem of power generationafter Tsunami and earthquake. So, for this reason no energy should be used to bring down the temperature below 26 degree and therefore you have to live in 26 degreetemperature only. And the whole Japan follows this. I am talking about the recent incident after Tsunami. You can imagine the condition, if by any chance such a decision is taken here. All other news will be secondary, this will become the headline. Black flags, agitations, protests and all such programmes will start. The reason is that the discipline as a society comes only when responsibility is the chief essence of any society.Nobody will find social discipline necessary without social responsibility and so, there is a need to create an atmosphere of social responsibility. Unfortunately,the element of civic rights got more importance after independence.The atmosphere of our country till we got freedom was of duty. To serve the nation is our duty, Swadeshi is our duty, education is our duty, to wear Khadi is our duty. Gandhiji had imbibed this in the minds of people that all theseare a part of our duty,we have to liberatethenation.But, after the independence we felt that now the phase of duty is over, now it’s the time for the rights. And because of this, our whole thinking is around the rights and as a result, in everything we think that‘What about me?’ The whole system has become such that whatever happens, the first question arises in our mind that ‘What about me?’ And if we don’t get any positive reply to this question, the mind responds immediately that ‘then why should I bother?’ As long as he gets positive reply of the question,‘What about me?’, he has patience, but the day there is a negative reply, the very moment his soul soughs back, “Why should I? Leave it brother, it’s yours…better do it…” and this triggers indiscipline.
Discipline is not only a matter of your mannerism. Discipline is a part of view point of the society towards the journey of progress. It depends on how you look at the whole development process. Behavior of a child depends on what values parents want to inculcate. If parents are at home, a phone ringsand even if the father is present and still he tells his son that, “just say that Papa has gone out”, and then if Papa expects that his son does not speak a lie, it is expectin the impossible. But when I do this, at that time I don’t think about my child, but it is the phone call of that person, and because of this self centered – one sided thinking, I can’t even imagine what will be the impact of this on the entire situation.We must have seen many people traveling by bus. If a passenger is all alone, what does he usually do? Some look out of the window at the natural beauty, greenery. But what the most of them do? I don’t think anyone is exception here, they scratch out tiny bits of foam from the seat of the bus.Friends, by the time he gets down at Vadodara,he makes two inch hole in the seat. Did he intend to damageanything? No. Was there any special entertainment? No. But it’s only a lack of character, culture. He never felt that it was his property and therefore he didn’t have any hesitation while damaging it by making a two inch hole.If a brand new bus is deployed, even the driver feels proud and drives it carefully, but when he reaches the depot in the evening, there are many such scratched seats with two inch holes. This is very usual. I often tell the youth that Friends, we shout slogans ‘Bharat Mata ki Jay,Vande Mataram’ at thetop of our voice,but then? We immediately spit out. Immediately thereafter we spit on the same Mother India after eating Gutka. He doesn’t realize that I am spoiling the same Mother India whom I was praising. Do I know this? But if someone explains in this range, he would definitely realize.Such minor things do matter and patriotism can be expressed this way too. It is not necessary that one should follow the footsteps of Bhagat Singh to express patriotism. Even by taking care for these small deeds, I can show devotion towards my country, society, father, mother, guru (preceptor), can do everything!
Once I went to attend a programme in Mumbai some 10 years ago. And to my utter surprise,one of my childhood teachers was standing at the entrance and I saw him after 35-40 years. I recollected that yes, it was him only. And asa very natural gesture, I bowed at him and touched his feet.It was spontaneous,notsomethingIthought about. But it became a news that day. Now touching the feat is any news, Gentlemen? Well,in a way it pleases me that look at the modesty of the CM and all that. But a question arisesin my mind that is it reallya news? In this state or country, when a citizen meets his teacher, bowing down is a naturaltradition. But when it becomes a news, we realize that all this has been stopped now. This normal rituals that should be practiced, have as if become a crime this days! I remember,Shri NavalKishorSharmaji was our Hon. Governor. As such he is a Congressman, but whenever I meet him, I feel like touching his feet.Just as a normal routine. But I had to be very careful and wait for the photographers to leave for this ritual. Today I am disclosing this secret. Otherwise it may be like committing a crime. The CM of the state, how can he bow down like this? Friends, all such matters have taken such a distorted course that it appears that efforts to crate hurdles for our culture, discipline and tradition are going on in an organized manner. And then we become distracted, we also feel scared. Discipline is very useful for the journey toward development in public life and also progress in personal life.
Another form of discipline is– to be organized. Usually most of the people are disciplined but not much organized and owing to this, their discipline annoys us at times. Our discipline should not be such that it creates problems for others. What will happen if you start parading in a fair? Immediately you would be asked to leave and advised to go to a parade ground. In the fair, you should walk casually, very lightly. So Friends,to be organized.And the form of discipline that is followed is just a small portion of it, only a part of the complete viewpoint of life, how is discipline considered in that form.
Friends, if you have studied tribal people, it is worth taking inspiration. These days discussion about the use of Jatropha as bio-fuel is going on. In science, this discussion is recent. Just go to our Dang area. It’s worth seeing how beautifully tribal use Jatropha while walking during the night and how systematically! That discipline is worth watching and still today they follow this tradition. Firstly, when tribal migrate, they all walk in a line, they walk together but not like us talking and rubbing shoulders with one another, but one after another. I asked one of them, how this style might have developed? His answer was worth to be understood. I haven’t inquired whether it was right or wrong, but I am telling you his answer. He said, “Sir, if we pass through a forest and if there is a snake or anything else, only the first person has to face it, the others can remain safe. If we walk in a group, it is possible that many people might get harmed. This might have come in to practice through our traditions“. How do they use Jetropha? They take a hook, fix a Jatropha seed in it, ignite it and walk in its light. This lasts up to 5 to 7 minutes distance. No sooner than it finishes the second person lights his hook from the first one. If 10 people are walking, one after the other, in such a disciplined way that they systematically complete the whole journey using only one matchstick and light of Jatropha seeds. This means that they developed a formula out of their need, disciplined it and preserved it for years. Many times it all depends on how we accept all these things in our social life.
Today also how high is the level of morals and manners here? Very few people can imagine. If you are standing in a queue for boarding a bus, people are pushing one another and amidst this someone keeps his hanky on a seat from the window. You enter the bus after a lot of struggle, with torn clothes, perspiring and that person asks you to vacate the seat because he had kept his hanky there, you simply stand up. You must have experienced this!He just kept his hanky through the window, did no exercise. Reason?The moral values are yet intact within us. Friends, if we observe our social life,so many wonderful examples are found and so to be organized is as important for success as being disciplined.
Discipline can never add to burden, it always simplifies things. It you move around with a straight face all the time, it does not bring discipline.Discipline should not become a burden, discipline which is exhilarating and enthusiastic and the one who holds this form of discipline can only form a team, can only get the work done by team.One who binds the discipline in strict rules can never form a team. And therefore discipline in the public life also requires some limitations.It must have some value addition in it. And this value addition is possible only when there is a depth in moral values and ethics,otherwise it’s not possible. Discipline is not just limited to observe whether somebody is finishing his task on time.
Many people are such that iftheir mothers say, “Son, now you should go to sleep” but the son replies, “I have exams tomorrow”. Mother insists that “you are not well, you may become more sick, last night also you were awake.”Now on one hand, it is indiscipline but on the other hand it is the devotion for his work, which is probably on higher stature than discipline and so these two can’t be compared and can’t say that you disobeyed your mother. Mother may have prepared delicious food, and son says that I don’t want to eat. How come? Because if I eat, I’ll feel sleepy at night and I want to study. So even by hurting his mother’s feelings, not taking the food, if he remains engrossed in his studies then it is his commitment. And if we look at it from the height of discipline, it can be brought. But if mother takes the stand thatsince you have not obeyed me, you are useless then neither mother nor son will be satisfied and they will not be able to help each other in their journey of progress. And therefore, we can relate to discipline depending on how we consider human psychology. You can’t take discipline in this way. Igave you an example justnow, I don’t remember exactly what had happened because I may have to do such things so many times in my routine. But Friends,it’s not muscle power. You can’t do it with muscle power, it is established through an atmosphere of love and affection.
Friends, the first condition for discipline is affinity, the sense of belonging. Only the sense of belonging can bring in discipline. Unless you get to feel the sense of belonging, you just can’t bring discipline.If the discipline is to be brought into social life, the sense of belonging is necessary, feeling of affinity is necessary and where there is sense of belonging, discipline is natural. Sometimes aim binds a person. You don’t have to instruct to maintain silence in a theatre. What is the reason? It’s a common interest to maintain the silence for the benefit of all, so it is maintained and if any one disturbs even slightly, 15 people will start staring at him. This means that disciplinebinds a person where there are natural expectations, taking care of self interest or even a confined personal desire. No matter how undisciplined a person is, but that binds him in discipline.And thus, it depends upon the circumstances. So Friends, we may not be able to evaluatediscipline in a specific frame.
Friends, as a society, we have lots of strength, a treasure of immense strengths. Our entire family system, though it has not been studied much yet but the institution named ‘Family’, perhaps there would not be any better structure of discipline anywhere else. It is a wonderful system.It is not the system defined by any law, but still it is amazing. Yes,wherever it is washed out, it might have been disturbed. But where it might have been intact, there must be happiness. There is a need for expansion of certain matters which is lying within our family institution. The discipline, which has been the reason for the progress and happiness of my family, should expandfrom my family to my society, from society to my village, from my village to my state and finally become a part of my country. And if we carry this trend forward, I believe that it can then become thefoundationto fulfill the fundamental requirementsfor our dream ‘21st century, India’s century’.
I congratulate Mr. Rajiv Gupta, especially for writing the book in Gujarati, though it is not his mother tongue. He has narrated miscellaneous experiences from his routine daily chores. I will definitely read it as and when I get time, I suggest you to read it too… I am not telling this for myself but see even the publishers are pleased!