Collapse of the social order

The incident of May 31 last where a father killed two of his children aged 4 and 2 years respectively and left them in a bush nearby is both shocking and outrageous. This action defies the very ideals that society holds dear which is that parents have a natural love and bonding towards their off-springs. Something appears to have collapsed in the carefully constructed Khasi ethical-societal norm and there are many reasons for this erosion of social values in a society that is guided by robust standards of right and wrong. However, in every society there are individuals that retreat from the universal moral standards for a number of reasons. One of the reasons is the rejection of accepted values either because of a person’s upbringing or because the person’s state of mind is compromised by substance abuse which then pushes the human mind to inflict unspeakable cruelties on another human being because of the state of mind the perpetrator of the crime is in.
Khasi people irrespective of their religious affiliations are known to have a common ethical standard of behaviour. But with time and the clash of civilisations the behaviour of a person is now guided by his/her independent view of the world with society rapidly losing hold on individual behaviour. This is why we have a legal system to assume the role of a moral guardian.Commonly held value systems of society are collapsing, not only globally but also within the fabric of individual societies. Unfortunately, there is very little introspection on this because Khasi society is itself divided by faith, politics and class. The current reduction of values to personal likes and dislikes and personal rights have brought with them a certain unhelpful personal hedonism.
It is true that traditional value systems have been challenged because of their inability to adapt to the necessary changes. The youth regularly question accepted values and express frustration and distress at being imprisoned in a cultural trap. That’s because there is none to engage with them and to honestly answer their questions in a language they understand. The youth are aware of their own influence in the life of society and they want to be a part of that but parents and educators are resistant to allowing them that space. The institutions, laws and modes of thinking and feeling as handed down from previous generations are not always well adapted to contemporary times hence the upheavals in society. The collapse of the moral fibre is evident everywhere but is more pronounced in politics. It is futile to expect other institutions of society to remain untouched by this ugliness.

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