Community living has been stressed in India for a long period, even when the social system experienced great changes. These changes appear faster in the recent past and a major section of the society is expressing concern over it.
May it be indifferent attitude towards others in the society, aggressive or arrogant approach towards minor issues, free use of abusive words or even accesses to rights of others. Usually young generation is blamed for any undesirable change. However, this is not restricted to them alone. For that matter the young generation cannot be blamed blatantly, as inculcating social values in them is responsibility of the seniors.
The housing pattern has changed from independent houses to apartments in the same buildings. The families came close physically. But this physical closure has not resulted in social bonding. Instead of understanding the responsibility of living in a closed small society, shirking responsibility as a member of this society, appears more prominently.
Dr Arun Kumar, retired teacher from a social work college; psychiatrist Dr Nikhil Pande, Social work teacher and mentor of NSS volunteer are positive on the issue. They feel that the children can be guided by the seniors to understand social living in its true sense.
During discussion certain issues came to the fore. Even those living in apartments try to encroach upon the space allotted or others or for common use by all residents. If objected these encroachers respond arrogantly and even adopt revengeful attitude. This includes encroachment upon adjacent courtyard, galleries, passage ways, construction of sheds disturbing privacy of others etc. This attitude is also reflected in unnecessary delay in contributing towards common expenses, arguments over any work done for common benefit etc.
Indifferent attitude of the younger ones is noted, when the age difference is greater, both are working and get less time even for each other and children. However, social needs are beyond these circumstances. The issues of degrading social and moral values are attributed to the loss of control agencies. These ‘agencies of social control’, as described in sociology, include seniors in the society, teachers, parents, social leaders, moral teachings in the family and schools etc. Although it is said that social values change with the changes in the society, certain issues are related to peaceful social living. These basic issues should not be neglected. They are usually realised during difficult times. They are being discussed now, particularly during the lockdown imposed for controlling the spread of coronavirus.