Επιμέλεια: Εύα Πετροπούλου Λιανού


Dr. JERNAIL SINGH ANAND president, International Academy of Ethics

Ethics and morality appear to be outdated concepts, lying unused in libraries, gathering dust. They appear to belong to  ancient Greece [Aristotle wrote on these topics, and Socrates suffered for his love for a higher abstraction called Truth] or to Treta or Dwapara Yugas, when Lord Rama talked of ‘Maryada’ [Righteous Conduct] and Lord Krishna brought down the Empire of Evil under the Kaurvas to balance the injustices they had perpetrated on the Pandvas. I call these concepts ‘outdated’ because we take everything from religious writings,  but leave these deeper issues of untouched. In fact, we disown these concepts. Let me turn to recent times when the great Guru Nanak Dev said: ‘Truth is above everything, but there is something even beyond Truth. And it is truthful living’. He was definitely talking of ethics and morality for which the Sikh Gurus laid down their lives, and sacrificed their families.  They stood for truth, and acted truthfully, and had to suffer. Did we not see Christ suffering for his truth? And Socrates too is an apocalyptic example of the truth being punished by the kings.

I am reminded of P.D. Ouspensky’s  Tertium Organum which talks of the third cannon. What is this third cannon? Aristotle’s ‘Organum’ formulated the laws under which the subject thinks, and Bacon’s Novum Organum focused on laws under which the object may be known. Is there nothing beyond the subject and the object? Who will think of the laws that determine the predicate?  Is it not important what they do, where they operate? Tertium Organum deals with this third space, the third cannon, which has been ignored, and often violated.


What is the status of truth and truthful living in our society? The society has scant regard for such ideals. In fact, ideals we have left behind, and this is a scary world of competition, survival, success and fame. Ethics and morality which elevate human conduct, have been pushed to the periphery and the centre of ‘operation living’ has been usurped by the passion for existence, survival, and beyond survival, the desire to live life luxuriantly. In fact, all the definitions of a good life stand altered. There were times when good life was living in the company of animals, birds, trees [all in the courtyard of the house], and open spaces inhabited by flowing streams of crystal clear waters. The school teacher was a torchbearer, the doctor, a god. People had faith in the village gods, and worshipped them out of faith. The village elders used to be people who believed in goodness, and honesty, and feared the wrath of gods if they went astray.

But now, the village has seceded to the city. Birds, animals, trees have been exiled from the home, which is now called a flat. Earth is missing from under our feet, we are living in the sky. Playing at cards and sweep has given way to drugs, and socially uplifting films have given space to OTT – on which even when not needed, cuss words are spoken with arrogant freedom. People have no faith in the teacher, nor the doctor. Even the visits to shrines are not an act of innocent faith.  

In the past, in four or five villages, there used to be one police station and one temple or gurdwara. Now, a village has more than one police stations, and more than one religious places. If there are hundreds of chemists shops and as many doctors in a town, it does not signify that the health of the people is very good. In the same way, too many police stations indicate the rising graph of crime, and too many religious shrines show how faith has degenerated into a vile passion. In spite of the great number of religious places and the presence of police stations, and thousands of schools – no one is listening to the voice of sanity. Where are scriptures? Has religion been reduced to a symbol, police stations to state fear and schools to numerical figures?


There is an all out decline in the institutions which upheld goodness and love for truth. Today, you can become an elderman in the city council with money. Money does not come by fair means. Money in itself is quite innocent, and entirely harmless. But, questions arise how it is amassed and how it is used. Now, we are very ordinary people, living in a very ordinary way. Who does not bear a tag? It is the sell-culture of the globalized world, which has made MORALITY, GOODNESS, ETHICS – a redundant creed.


It is not that the people who run the state and the way they run it,  utterly  lack morality. But it is a world of blind pursuit of power and passion for wealth. The talk of goodness and morality that we find in the writings of our great political leaders appear to be absolutely irrelevant today. Gandhi’s ‘Satyagraha’ if practised today, will be an absolute disaster and a self-goal. If you think some minister will resign after a railway tragedy, you are living in a fool’s paradise.


In fact, the idea of morality and ethics has been long absent from our lives. We have started teaching ethics as a minor subject even in commerce and medicine. But, when the graduates and postgraduates come out of the universities, do they bear any moral standards?  After training in the academy, do we ever ask our civil servants how will they behave when the questions of morality and ethics are involved? In B.Ed. ETT, or any other training for teachers, have we ever checked their EQ [ethical quotient].  Is IQ [Information Quotient, or even the  Intelligence Quotient] enough to lead a good life.  Do we ever bring them face to face with the idea of leading a HAPPY, GOOD, TRUTHFUL LIFE? HAVE WE EVER BROUGHT TO THEM THE QUESTIONS OF ETHICS?

The answer is universal No.  Lying has become so natural that it is not discernible at all. Compromises that we make are also a part of the ethically incompatible behaviour. We are so obsessed with living, and then, luxuries, that we do not mind if ethics and morality  get perpherised. There is a crisis of morality in education, and  in medicine too. Was there any course taught to them during MBBS regarding kidney trade? No. But there are so many who know the dynamics of such a trade and are doing well in society. Our society too is very permissive. It loses its patience when one indulges in sexual aberrations. But, if they are committing frauds on the society, isn’t it  intellectual flesh trade? Why do we have a great stomach for all this?


Ethics in fact is like brakes on a fast running vehicle. Morality makes one think, before we take decisions. But if we look at our lives closely, we shall see that in most of our actions, we do not follow the ideals of morality. We believe in expediency, which is another name for indecent actions. In the same way, when you don’t find a morally upright solution to a problem, we go for a political solution. What is a political solution? To look right while you are doing a wrong. 

The society is conceived in immoralities. We are basically and essentially animals. Although it is wrong to compare human beings with animals, who never indulge in any immoral act. They know their ethics, their original intelligence is enough to guide them in their lives. But we human beings have created knowledge, AI and now cyborgs, robots – the time is not far when we shall make earth out of plastic.


There is something wrong in the way humanity is progressing. What we see is its speed. And we are taken off feet. Off feet is passe, but off head? No. we have to return to the earth, go back to nature, to learn the simple arts of truth, goodness, honesty, and love for the creation. It is a pity our scriptures, our shrines, and our religious men – including all our political infrastructure have brought us to the brink of an intellectual disaster. We wonder how human we are? Are we really human? How can we be human when we have no faith in humanity, in goodness, in gods, and finally in Truth?

We often say: Our tradition is great. Our past is golden. This past had love for truth. People believed in truthful living. Schools, family and shrines taught the people lessons in honesty, morality, goodness and love for mankind. Yes our tradition was great. Our past is great. But we have so messed up with our present, that our sons and daughters will never be able to say: We are proud of our great tradition.  What will they say when they grow up?  After 30 years, will our sons and daughters be able to say: Our past is great. Our tradition is great. Will they call this mess a great tradition? Our present will be their past, and on this past, what a civilization they will erect? Do they have any future as human beings? If goodness, truth, kindness, honesty, morality, ethics are considered abstractions, and obstructions in the fast movement of the civilization, it signals the  fall of man from grace,  unblessed, unwanted and unloved by gods.  We human beings at this stage are in dire need of a Tertium Organum to guide and govern human thought henceforth with extended focus on the predicate, the truth of the situations which builds meaning into words, which has long been ignored and often violated.

Author: Dr. Jernail Singh Anand is Founder President  of The International Academy of Ethics, a think-tank of Poets, Philosophers, Thinkers, Scientists and Social Scientists.  He is Honorary Member of the Serbian Writers Association,Belgrade and Professor Emeritus at the Europen Institute of Roma Studies and Research.  Dr. Anand has authored 150 books which include 9 epics which are considered  world classics. He has innovated the theory of Bio-text in critical theory. The Univ. of Neyshabur, Iran has conducted a Research Project on his Poetry comparing it with Iranian Poets, under Dr. Roghayeh Farsi. His works have been translated into 20 world languages. Contact:  [email protected]







International Academy of Ethics: ethicsacademy.co.in worldliterature.in