As the country is moving up the ladder of economic growth, there is also a gradual erosion of social values across the country. Economic growth is clearly and statistically visible, not the social values. So, it may be difficult to establish any causal relation between the rise in economic growth and decline in social values. Nevertheless, it is not possible to ignore the erosion and distortion of social values taking place in the country.
Over the years, economic growth has become the prime benchmark of the country's progress and prosperity. It is also the main mantra of development. The core thing of the growth is materialistic advancement. For individuals, being better off in terms of financial and tangible assets is outcome of higher economic growth. For the country, it is being better off in terms of physical infrastructure and other assets. No doubt that these are essential. Higher income increases people's purchasing power and enhances better access to education and health services. Improved infrastructure also improves the mobility of people. As a result, society becomes more affluent.
At the same time, it is also important to improve social ties and uphold social values which form an integral part of the culture of a society. Social values include respect for each other, respect for human dignity, sacrifice, equality, fundamental rights and democratic practices. To put it simply, value is a 'belief that something is good and worthwhile' and also a 'measure of goodness or desirability.' For society, values are 'standards of social behaviour' and those are usually 'derived from social interaction.' Sociologists also argue that the values are 'accepted as constituent facts of social structure.'
Nurture and practice of social values are essential to make the social bonding vibrant. It provides a safeguard against negative forces and evil deeds. It also helps maintain social harmony. Unfortunately, growing obsession with materialistic gains coupled with rapid commercialisation is eroding values and ethics in society. Rise of greed, corruption and abominable acts clearly indicates the erosion of social values. Disrespect for seniors and growing violence against women and children turns society insecure. Mutual respect and cooperation are disappearing. Injustice and discriminatory application of law make more and more people vulnerable. There is a rising trend of intolerance and hatred on different counts. Selfishness is spreading everywhere. Chaos and indiscipline on roads indicate the growing insensitivity in society.
Not that everyone in society has become immoral, selfish, greedy and corrupt. A good number of people are still struggling to maintain social values. Sadly, they are mostly scattered and divided. As a result, negative forces are getting the upper hand and eroding or distorting values. Undue backing or patronage from state in some cases turns things dangerous.
It is thus important to contain erosion and distortion of social values. Chasing for materialistic achievements only will not be sustainable in the long-run. Without human dignity and social harmony, higher economic growth can't bring peace and prosperity.