The Emerging Issue of Moral Degradation

Moral Values in Islam encompasses the concept of righteousness, good character, virtues, and are the foundation of a peaceful, balanced and organised society, as prescribed in Islamic religious texts. The principle and fundamental purpose of Islamic moral Value is love: love for God and love for God’s creatures. The religious conception is that mankind will behave morally and treat each other in the best possible manner to create a conducive harmonious society.

Moral values are the worthy ideals that one follows to distinguish the right from the wrong – the concept of ‘the Permissible and the Prohibited’. These ideals or virtues are considered worthy in building up the character of an individual. Moral values are something that teaches us good virtues including honesty, truthfulness, kindness, integrity, helpfulness, compassion, respectfulness, love, respect for others, hard-work, co-operation, forgiveness etc.

All Scared Books instruct us to adopt a morally upright character. On the other hand, lack or loss of Moral Values are the root cause of the dysfunction and degradation of society. All societal ills stem from the want of Moral Values. Degradation of moral values in our society is at present a blazing and emerging issue. Rape, murder, infanticide, incest, corruption, drug addiction, hoarding of illegal earned money, in recent days, are numerous testimonies that demonstrate a deterioration of society.  Materialism has taken over at the expense of Moral Values. The signs we see are not misleading. There is indeed a degradation of morals. Whether it is at the level of the youth or the elderly.

Loss of Values is particularly seen among the youth, for various reasons. The youngsters or adolescents are the future of tomorrow. Moreover, youth power is the driving force of a nation. But, nowadays youth is adversely diverted through different immoral activities. Therefore, it is duty to everybody to find out the solution of this crucial problem to establish a world of peace and harmony that depends much in the hands of the young generation.

  1. The causes of so much violence

Everywhere, we witness violence in all its forms in our daily lives. Our traditional society is overwhelmed by evolution. We see social inequality. People have a lot of aspirations and dreams. But they don’t have the means to accomplish them. Furthermore, our society is not open to discussion. We are afraid to express ourselves. We tend to suppress our feelings. And often there is an explosive release that is expressed in particularly through acts of violence, theft and rape. There is also the fact that we are a consumer society with little way to satisfy all our dreams and desires. We therefore use the means at our disposal, – more often immoral and illegal means – to achieve the desired objectives.

There are no more values, spirituality is lost and there are many people who practice religious rites without knowing why. We have several religions and socio-cultural associations that attempt every endeavour to act as a force of control over individuals but it is not working, in spite of our efforts. We are overwhelmed by events and we do not promote enough opportunities.

There is therefore a feeling of inequality, especially if a person close to a politician receives a contract, there is suspicion and doubt that the games were made in advance. There is this feeling that institutions do not work and that there is no justice. Even a lot of ‘let go’. Hence, the fact that in many cases people take the law into their own hands, and try to find an explanation to say that they are right. There is a lack of confidence in the institutions that fuel these suspicions.

  • The factors affecting degradation of moral values

There are several factors which are responsible for neglecting the basics or values for a good human being or a responsible citizen of the society.

a)  Influence of Nuclear family and materialistic way of life: These are very important factors for degenerating moral values. In a nuclear family especially where father and mother both are working, parents have no time to share with their child. The feelings and emotions of child remained un-entertained. So, the child finds some others places like T.V, peer group, bad literature etc. to share feelings and emotions and start behaving immorally as revolt.

b)  Breakdown of parental control of children in families: Nowadays, parental control over their children is decreasing day by day, as a result autonomy of young generations are increasing rapidly. Consequently, the youth are being diverted by external force and engage themselves in roaming in mall/shopping centers, unwanted discussions and so many undesirable affairs.

c)  Influence of peer group: Peer groups play a vital role in developing the concept of morality. Students of schools and colleges pass more time with them, discuss with them frankly and seek their support, guidance and advice; so, they readily prefer to accept views of peer group rather it conflicts with parents’ views which lead them to indulge in immoral activities like, violence, drug abused etc.

d)  Attraction of change or modernization: Advent of modernization has spread over the younger generation of the society. Consequently, our youth have disassociated themselves from their own identity, tradition and cultural heritage.

e)  Influence of mass media: Undoubtedly, Television, media, internet, TikTok and websites cinemas, celebrity as role models play an important role in shaping the personality of the youth. Many Medias, images, movies and games, that not only neutralize violence but often glorify it. There is so much violence, vulgarity in all these entertainment avenues and if a majority of youth watches these, the impact of the same on the next generation can’t be positive.

f)  Lacking of learning positive atmosphere in school: The main aims of educational institutions are to modify, enhance and strengthen the learnt believes ideals and behaviours of the students in right direction. But, now education institutions are unable to provide such positive atmosphere because the administrations of such institutions are not properly directed.

g)  Lack of academic syllabus related to human values:  Nowadays, children are educated but they are not aware of the ways of its practical application. Present education system is making our students such type that they can easily fulfil their basic needs and earn money but they don’t find any importance of values in their lives. At present, schools and parents give great importance to materialistic achievement of students. They more emphasised on academic results and high paid jobs rather than the development of values. So, this is a factor affecting degradation of moral values among young generation.

h)  Lacking of co-curriculum activities based on moral values: Co-curricular activities are a necessary part of school life. But now the scope of co-curricular activities has been limited to only sports, literacy competitions, quizzes, few games, dance or musical events only. Our Education system is devoid of Moral Values, it is ONLY a racing towards certification.

i)  Desire of self-exhibition: Adolescence is a time period when youth begin to analyze issues, develop viewpoints, rationalize and struggle to develop a personality of their own. Self-exhibition is rampant on the platform of Social media, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Desire of self-exhibition often takes a youth towards crime and immoral behaviour like smoking, drinking, delivering abusing words, quarrelling etc.

3. The consequences of moral degradation

  1. The moral degradation in our society has reached such a level that calls for concern. Youth is getting increasingly inclined towards violence, social evils and lack of respect towards elders and teachers, which can break down social harmony as well as national integration., Crime, armed robbery and drug addiction have become a serious matter in today.
  • They engage in all sorts of anti-social behaviour injurious to the society. Moral values are found in our religion, culture and traditions yet our youth, for one reason or the other are not that religious. They consider our indigenous culture outdated and our traditions barbaric. Therefore, they queue up to embrace westernization in its totality; abandoning our indigenous culture and tradition entirely, thereby losing their identity.
  • Moreover, creative mind of youth diverted towards unsocial activities like smoking in public place, misbehaving in class, drug addiction, misconduct in the household and juvenile delinquency etc.
  • Invention of new modes of scam and frauds are being emerged which denotes that youth are tending to get more interested into easy way of attending wealth, power and frame etc. giving least consideration of human values.
  • Suggestions to reduce the moral degradation among young generations are as follows:
  • From the childhood onwards, parents and teachers should give proper guidance.
  • Child has the great quality to learning bad things first and parents must be careful about that.
  • All schools should implement suitable programmes to make students aware about the importance of value education that should be inserted in to the curriculum, as compulsory subjects from beginners to all stages of our formal educational system.
  • We must not blame the children for their rash behaviour. We too are to be blamed for why they behave badly.
  • Moral values can be developed both through formal and non-formal systems. Organizations of various activities such as boy’s scouts and girl’s guide can greatly help in this regard.
  • Group discussions should be conducted in the classroom. Students should be given a situation and asked for their opinion on how they will react, that way they will learn when they hear each other’s opinion.
  • Peaceful atmosphere and essential infrastructure should be provided as much as possible to the younger generation society.
  • Children should practice and learn rituals, tradition, religion and activities as well as modernization should be simultaneously maintained.
  • Political organizations should think about their activities and directing youth energy in positive ways.
  • NGO and other social volunteer associations have to be strengthening to coordinate youth to bring stability among them and proper planning has to be introduced and implemented accordingly their potentialities.

By Bashir Nuckchady