Change is vital to the development and progress of any society. But in the name of change, a lot of what we see around us, is far removed from the concept of development and progress. And so often, it is a nightmare for many of us to watch this epidemic of self-destruction in the name of change.
Evolution is integral to nature. It is a key component of any dynamic system. However, evolution rests on the foundation of a past. It rests on a base of awareness and insight gained over time, discarding what is fragile and unstable, incorporating what is strong and stable. It is noteworthy that the process of elimination is more crucial here, than the process of incorporation. Only if a trait is time-tested and analyzed in terms of its utility versus futility and proven to be a strong limiting factor in survival, will it be eliminated. After all, a lot of energy, effort and creativity would have gone into the genesis of that trait. And so, nature does not eliminate it without the deepest analysis.
This process of evolution in nature should form a guideline for evolution of a society. A society’s tradition and culture are formed in the course of years, incorporating into them the geography, climatic conditions and so many features unique to that land and its people. However, it is not a static process. It is a current…a wave that evolves with time, to suit the needs of its people at any given time. As newer phenomena penetrate that land, as new knowledge is acquired, and as newer insights are gained, it evolves to a new equilibrium. However, here again, the process of elimination deserves importance. It must never be impulsive, thoughtless abandoning. After all, everything that we have in our tradition and culture is the outcome of numerous innovative minds, their energy, effort and struggle. Minds that belonged to different eras. Minds that symbolized the collective consciousness of that era. Minds that are our own past. We would never have the heart to chop a tree that we have painstakingly planted and tended to. Unless the felling was in some way vital to our survival. Likewise, it is tragic to impulsively and thoughtlessly eliminate aspects of our tradition and culture. Incorporation of new elements at the expense of existing elements must practise utmost rigidity in elimination. And this is the tragedy that has afflicted the Indian society. Overnight, we are unlearning all that we learnt over centuries, and incorporating a lifestyle, largely borrowed from the superficial aspects of Western culture.
We have a responsibility towards this planet. And so, we have a responsibility towards the generations that will succeed us. It is our moral and social responsibility to preserve the wisdom of the past and to deliver it to the future. At this, we seem to have failed miserably. We helplessly watch this process of discordance between man’s emotion, thought and act. We helplessly watch our children self-destruct in the name of change. It is high time we take a stand and steer them from this path of extinction towards a path of evolution….