Why Younger generation has lost moral values?

International School (Patliputra Colony) students formed human chain fight against corruption at Kargil Chowk in Patna (File Photo)
International School (Patliputra Colony) students formed human chain fight against corruption at Kargil Chowk in Patna (File Photo)

By Soroor Ahmed

On June 26, 2016 evening (around 5:50 PM) something very unusual happened in the life of Amrendra Kumar Pathak, an auto-rickshaw driver, who plies his three-wheeler everyday on Patna Junction-Ganadhi Maidan route of Bihar’s capital city.

On that Sunday evening he could not get any passenger till we––I and one of my young friends–– boarded it near LIC office on Fraser Road––somewhere opposite to Hotel Rajasthan.

Hardly had the auto moved a furlong it stopped again to take two girls––may be in 20s. The auto-driver asked my young friend to take the front seat beside him so that the two girls could get seat.

As it was Sunday the traffic was not much. Within no time the auto reached Regent Cinema Hall, a few paces from Kargil Chowk, where there is an auto stand.

The girls asked the driver to stop. One of them got down, while another, still on her seat just beside me, asked the driver how much to pay and then whether he had change of hundred rupees. After rummaging her expensive purse she asked her friend who was standin outside: “Do you have Rs 100. Pay him.”

In between the driver handed over coins of six rupees to one of th girls. Then he started searching in his bag tucked to the handle of the auto for the rest Rs 80. As the driver and my friend, sitting beside him, had their faces in front, and I have hardly any vision, we could not notice what had happened in a matter of a few seconds.

When the driver turned back to take Rs 100 and pay Rs 80 he saw the girls have disappeared. “Arrey kahan gayin dono ladkiyan.”(Where have the two girls gone). For a moment he could not believe. Not knowing how to react the driver reluctantly got down from his seat and went a few steps but found the girls nowhere in the dense crowded––perhaps they had crossed the road towards Apna Bazar. The driver might have found them had he not been indecisive. Perhaps he had the reason to be so as he might have been pondering how to approach these girls.

The driver, Amrendra Kumar Pathak––whose name later I asked––was a gentleman. He did not abuse the girls, nor use any foul language against them or cursed them. He was struck dumbfounded.

As I and my friend, Akhlaque Ahmed, a college lecturer, were returning from a seminar “Attack on Ambedkar’s Legacy” organized on the 41st anniversary of Emergency we were still engrossed in what the speakers said on that  occasion in Bihar Industries Association’s conference hall.

But this incident shattered our thoughts. As the driver started off his vehicle to reach the auto stand at Kargil Chowk my friend, apparently to console him, told the driver: “You lost Rs 14.” No Rs 20

as I gave them Rs six in advance expecting them to pay,” he gently replied. When the auto reached the Kargil Chowk I offered the driver Rs 20––besides our own money. I thought this would compensate him. He politely refused. I was helpless as I do not know how to soothe his feelings.

I just asked his name. “Amrendra Kumar Pathak,” came the reply. Apparently, the incident involves only Rs 20. But it will go down in the minds of three men––myself, my friend and the driver––for whole life. Is this what the parents or the society have taught their daughters––no need to discuss sons here. Or what they have learned in their schools or colleges––possibly a good public institution as the girls appeared to be from a better-off family as they were well dressed. Or is it the misplaced perception about women’s empowerment––the feeling that nobody can harm them as they can raise false alarm––which prompted them to act like street smart boys?

If this is so, it raises a big question as I still wonder what would have happened had Amrendra chased the girls and caught them––not physically. He might have landed in jail, possibly charged with molestation or attempted rape. May be this would have caused a law and order problem.

Opposition parties would have got an opportunity to sit on dharna at the same Kargil Chowk.

A point to ponder, especially in the era in which women/girls are increasingly feeling unsafe. Amrendra may be a gentleman, but there are no dearth of wolves in the society waiting for their prey even if not provoked.


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