Society has always expected our educational institutions to play a vital role
in the task of preparing our children to help nation-building as they grow up.
But the pursuit of this end is being thwarted by the programmes and commercial publicity provided by T.V., and colourful projection of the female
form and consumerist culture offered by the daily newspapers. Through this,
our youth is being led, quietly but surely, into a fancy for needless multiplication of wants and sense-indulgence without any moral propriety.
Needless to say, all this is opposed to the traditional emphasis on the wisdom of keeping our senses and needs under proper check. All this is
being done with total disregard to our family decency and religious sentiments. Moreover, the youth is being alienated from the gross realities
and basic challenges of our society by the media.
The warning and protests against the cultural invasion by the media have
been coming from all quarters. Hon'ble Sri Ranganath Misra, former Chief
Justice of India judged the increasing obscenity in the media to be more
hazardous than even perils of war; and further warned that, if not checked, it
would lead to total destruction of the social fabric. Disturbed by the "horrendous impact of the media on the tender minds of the children and
alarming increase in the involvement of the youth in crime thereupon", Mr.T.R. Kakkar, the former Police Commissioner sent letters to all the
Principals, appealing that "we should all wake up before it is too late in the
day". The saints belonging to different religious sects made joint protest
against corrosion of values resulting from the ceaseless projection of vulgarity
by the media. School youth and women groups have defaced obscene posters and held rallies with the Azadi Bachao Andolan in a number of cities
The absence of any executive action, in spite of increasing obscenity and
growing protests clearly shows the formidable strength of the commercial
power that holds control of the media. Admittedly, our incentives to the best
of our science-potentials or literary genius is no match to the offered prizes:
air-tickets, cars, television sets, microwave ovens ... and so on for trivial
things by the advertisers on T.V. and the newspapers. Undoubtedly, school
functions, college festivals and events like Mr. School /Miss School contest
would never attain the glamour that the apparently benevolent sponsors made
possible. Yet the school library, sports items, playground or even the toilet
facility in the schools with inadequate funds does not interest the modern
sponsors. Even human suffering because of natural calamities like cyclone
and earthquakes etc., which have devastated parts of India in recent past, do
not qualify for their patronage. They must reach out the rich only and fool
them by alienating them from their own people and problems.
We, the Principals, looking after the rich or the less fortunate children are
duty-bound to prepare the youth for the challenges before the country in the
coming millennium. When else shall we inform the youth of the unfulfilled
task of total literacy (that alone brings population-control) primary health
facility, potable water and proper sewage in each village of India ! Dedication
to the Mother India, commitment to the task, and a firm resolve for a purposeful work-culture alone will restore our honour and self respect. These
goals are not achieved by beginning the year with the gyration of the waist
and the help by the youth, as is being made customary by the market-driven
media. Beware ! The media has already started reverberating with the ominous signs of market domination on the eve of the new millennium.
We assemble together on the Human Rights Day, near Gandhiji's Samadhi,
with a great sense of responsibility, to herald a new awakening of the Indian
Youth, on the eve of the new millennium. We express solidarity and promise
support to our youth in their resolve to uphold:
Family values against media values.
Work culture against consumer culture.
Freedom of the individual against market domination.
We appeal to the teachers, parents, socio-cultural organisations and women
groups of India, not to remain mute spectators to the cultural degeneration
and appeal to them to support the youth in the resurgence.
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