(Essay) Contest Essays for Jan 2008 : As civilization advances culture declines (II)

As civilization advances culture declines : (Pradeep B.V.H.)

Any civilization advances in a very gradual manner and it takes a turn very gradually.There cannot be a specific period that we can mention to say that civilization advanced during this year.It transforms very gradually and unnoticeably.The economic reforms of 1991 is the latest example for this.We are feeling the changes of globalization,privatization and liberalization from the year 2000 onwards and every year we are seeing some drastic changes for which those economic reforms were the background.

On the basis of culture we can classify civilizations as three sections : first is before the British period,second is during the british period and third is after the economic reforms.There were many changes that took place in culture during these periods and its pace has increased since the past 7years.Before the British period ,culture got a recognition or definition, i.e. it is the people in the society who defined the meaning of culture.New traditions,customs,living style etc entered into the society.People defined for themselves how they should live.People learnt many things from the Vedas,gita,bible,kuran etc. and they planned their lifestyle i.e. traditions,customs accordingly.Some new rules used to come everyday and some superstitions of our illiterate elders turned into standard customs and traditions.For example, if somebody sneezes or if cat comes in the way when we are going out we come back.Nobody knows why?In the same way ,things like sati system,purdah system.Nobody knows what they are meant for,but everyone followed the sati system and still following the purdah system.So before the British period the birth of culture took place and it was also propagated.

During the British rule,with the help of western education introduced by the British and the Indians who had western education awakened the people of India.Social reformers like Raja Rammohan Roy,Swami Dayanand Saraswati,Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa etc brought a cultural reform in India.They were successful in abolishing the sati system,religious superstitions,polygamy etc.Thus they brought a random and irregular system of society into an orderly system.

After the economic reforms in 1991 and with globalization, world has become very small and modern thinking has entered into the minds of the people.They became very fast in thinking and they have no time to think about anybody.Everybody is thinking of self-sufficiency and nobody is bothered about others life.Women are slowly replacing sarees with modern garments and girls are completely dependent on western garments.But there are exceptions always.But I am talking about the majority of the population.People have no time to spend with their family members and they show their love through computers.They have no time for a 1 minute prayer,no time to celebrate a festival or any function of their loved ones.In India ,we have great family sentiments, respect for relationships,many traditions,customs,regional festivals,wide diversity of cultures etc..All these are getting faded due to the advancement of civilization.

Everyperson has his own perspective regarding culture.For one, abolishment of sati system may be decline in culture and for somebody else it may be an inclination in the culture.During the British period everyone was angry with the British for abolishing the sati sytem.How many women would jump into the fire now if their husband dies.Thus our attitude towards certain things changes with time.In the present situation, many people are not bothered about superstitions and misbeliefs and on the other hand many people are encouraging "babas" who spread superstitions among masses(not all "babas").Who can say which is wrong?Its our own perception and it is the way we look at things.

Thus I conclude that as civilization advances ,culture is declining in some fields and inclining in some fields.We are slowly adopting American culture in India and some may feel that our culture is declining ,but, on the other it is inclining as far as Americans and its supporters are concerned.

Pradeep B.V.H.,
Engg. Final yr.,
B.I.T. Mesra,Ranchi.

Courtesy : civilserviceindia.com