3 Oct 2016 | GS4 | Since ancient times Indian society has concentrated more on the duty of an individual than his rights, in contrast to western society. Is this attitude changing in India today?

GS4 (Ethics and attitudes)

Since ancient times Indian society has concentrated more on the duty of an individual than his rights, in contrast to western society. Is this attitude changing in India today?

Best answer

Aman Chauhan wrote the best answer for this question and got a score of 5/10 (if the best answer is an image, it cannot be uploaded here, hence scroll down to see those). The answer is being reproduced below for everyone’s convenience. Of course these answers can always be improved. (Best answer  of a particular only involves those given on that day, later answers may not have been checked)

Since ancient times from Ramayana to Mahabharata we have been ushered by the stories of performing duties of an ideal son (Rama) ideal ruler (Yudhisthir) ideal wife (Sita) ideal brother and so on. This had helped at establishing a value dominated society yet sometimes it trumped the reason and produced inequalities by strengthing the Chatur varna system. It sidelined humanity and reason for eg. Preventing of access to temples to all . But , inspired by French Revolution ,American struggle ,etc we became wary of our rights .
Constitution of independent India gave certain rights to all and named them fundamental rights (I.e fundamental in realising and optimising true human nature ) for eg. Freedom of movement which was essentially driven by religion earlier now became a right to all . Similarly ,Today women unlike the past are increasingly becoming bread earners ,they are wary of there rights and are taking up various professions unlike before where they were confined within the walls of the house . We are again and again seen to be touting of slightest injustice to us in taking away our rights but our duties are fading away in this hassle .
Here lies the danger ,like the ancient times focussed more on duties ,now we are focusing more on our rights .Students on one hand are choosing professions of their choice ( increased freedom ) and on other hand are forgetting the duties of respectful behaviour towards elders ,taking care of parents in old age as can be seen in increasing old age homes then ever. Similarly , we have right on natural resources like water but in the meanwhile are forgetting our duties of empathy, compassion and brotherhood towards other as seen in Cauvery water issue (denying to discharge water at same time adopting violence against our brethrens) . Similarly, we are demanding better services,better infrastructure from our government but are not performing the basic duty to pay taxes .
We have to remember that unless rights are balanced with duties ,our behaviour will become increasingly unethical and we won’t be able to realise a value rich ,progressive and inclusive society based on our preambular vision.

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