Decaying manners and protecting our social values


Mir Mosharref Hossain Pakbir

MNA Editorial Desk: We always judge a person by manners whenever we meet him first. The character of a man is portrayed by the manners he conveys during interaction with another human being. We often think of a person good or bad only considering his manners though he might be just opposite of that by heart.

Not only in the view of a personal interaction rather in every aspect of societal, communal, national, political or professional interaction, we must nurture manners so that, we convey a good message to our audience from every angle. But, it is very regretful that, we are continuously losing our manners in Bangladesh and that is also at all levels of the society.

As soon as we step out of our home, we find several examples of bad manners all around us. Everyday we find so many people setting examples of bad manners on the streets. The people are getting more and more arrogant and aggressive in recent years.

There seems to be no respect for the elders in the society now-a-days. A great example of ill manners is the drivers of different vehicles. With so much traffic jam all around the Dhaka city, they seems to be getting short tempered and continuously practices a culture of calling bad names while in argument with others.

They have lost manners in terms of following the traffic rules and whenever they encounter a problem from the law enforcers, they tend to solve that by bribing which is another ill manner. The law enforcers also lack manners on the street as they seem to be always ignoring their duty of controlling the traffic of the city rather they are always looking for some illegal earnings. While interacting with others, they show no manners accept if the person he is interacting with is backed by any strong political or government background.

No one shows any manner on the streets as everyone is violating the laws constantly. Similar has become the situation in our families. Respecting the elders has become an extinct tradition in today’s Bangladesh. With dissolution of joint families, the children are exposed to very few elders when they are brought up. Along with that, modern system of nurturing the kids in a friendly manner has so many positives have much negativity in terms of teaching manners to the children.

We have adopted the western culture and of course those are required to compete and sustain in the modern world but we lack in providing the facilities or environment that is appropriate for that sort of culture.

Moreover, with no scope for outside sports or recreation, the children are getting aggressive in nature and reacts badly in a situation unfavourable for them. All these are contributing towards losing manners. They are now less respectful to the elders and also often adopts several bad habits when reaches the teenage period.

Now-a-days, we find many teenagers who become members of anti-social groups like; biker gangs, terrorist groups or other small groups of classmates which usually gets involved in anti-social activities. They have lost manners to interact with the parents, the relatives, the teachers and others in the society.

Not only in the cities but also at the villages we find the similar situation. Even a decade ago, the young people of rural areas were very respectful to the elders but the situation changed since then as they are involved in so many ill practices. With huge spread of drugs and internet, these youths are being destroyed everywhere. Incidents like; drug abuse, eve teasing and gang violence has increased significantly all around the country.

Not only the youth, every generation in the society is forgetting the manners. In social functions, we do not honour our elders now-a-days. While interacting with each other and faced with a conflict, we often forget the manners. Very easily we start shouting, calling bad names and other disrespectful acts very frequently.

For example, while riding a bus, we often scold the bus driver and helper in an ill manner and they also return the favour with their words and body language. There are few seats reserved for the women and disabled persons in the front of a bus. But it is out tendency to fill up those seats and act unwilling when a woman or disable person requires that seat. It is an example of our attitude of breaking the rules.

Women often face disrespectful behaviours from the people of the society. Incidents of eve teasing and rape are at the highest. From availing a public vehicle to working in an office, life has become more difficult for the women of Bangladesh due to bad manners of the people.

We tend to think that they are inferior to men and often behave in such a way that hurts their dignity. Specially, the young generation is getting highly disrespectful towards women in spite of so many campaigns on women’s rights going on all around the world. There have been several brutal attacks on women in Bangladesh and our neighbouring country India and many other places in recent years. This depicts the decay of our values and manners and is very alarming for us.

In corporate world also, we observe degrading values. People are getting more aggressive in their professional life not in terms of being competitive but rather in terms of abusing others. There is little respect for the peers, superior or competitors today. We often see people demeaning their colleagues at different places.

Almost at every government offices and also at many private firms, bribing has become a common practice. It has become an open secret and a growing public headache. Abusing political or special identity has become another trait. People do not identify themselves by their names anymore rather they identifies by which political party or special groups he belongs to and that is very annoying but becoming a custom. Unreasonably we are getting harassed in the professional environment and this is becoming a new trend of the corporate world.

Our politics has also gone out of manners. Political parties and their leaders have forgotten the term of constructive criticism and always try to bank on others’ shortcomings. They are very attacking to their political opponents and that often gets very personal.

Rather than debating in the parliament, the fight has moved on the streets or at different functions. Both the government and the opposition are continuously attacking each other and the politics became very dirty. While speaking of senior politicians who are in opposition, the political leaders show no manner. They are always throwing mud at each other.

The top most leaders of both the ruling party and the opposition also forgot all social customs which needs to be practiced. It seems our national politics have gone out of manner completely.

We are concerned that what our future generation will look like in terms of behaviour and manner. A child who is learning from his family, society and country is getting everything wrong. Like; when a child sees his parents crossing the streets without following any rule, behaving rudely to the maid servant or quarrelling with relatives, he will learn those to be okay. These children will grow up with no respect for the law or rules.

They will become very aggressive, arrogant and ferocious when they become older. And they will not be able to teach anything good to their future generation. And a vicious circle of ill manners will be formed. At a point, we will not be able to control this situation with mere practice of few lame laws. It is very ugly to live in a society which has forgotten manners.

In light of the situation, our leaders should immediately acknowledge this change in the behaviour of the all Bangladeshi citizens. Now is time to take some drastic steps to save our children from ill manners.

Like in many developed countries, we should train the children on manners in the school. Our teachers obviously tries to do that in most of the schools but the children do not feel bound to practice good manners only by that effort. There should be a subject at the junior schooling level to teach the children good manners.

They should be taught how to behave with parents, elders and youngers, on the streets and in the society. They should learn the societal values at a very tender age. The curriculum developers should focus on values and manners at each level of schooling as this has become a crying need for our country. Mental development should be the prime focus at kinder stage.

The guardians must also participate in this process. If we can do all that, then we might be able to save the future of our children at least. Otherwise we will jeopardize the fate of the next generations. And to avoid that, we must act now.

The writer is the Chief Editor at Mohammadi News Agency (MNA)


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