Q.: What is the method by which the present lost generation of Hindus can be reclaimed in terms of religion?
HH.: What is most important is the raising of the moral standards of the people. In the absence of an inner urge in us to follow the path of virtue and righteousness, all legislation is bound to remain trivial and inconsequential. The children should, at school and at home, receive moral instruction in a form that makes powerful impact on their impressionable minds. Training in medicine or engineering can follow later. The pupil’s manner and morals should be treated as Priority Number One. When education becomes purposive and spiritually satisfying, as it was in my younger days, legal enactments for the social or moral reform of the people become unnecessary. The present tendency, on the part of our rulers, to promote morals through legislation will result in chaotic, futile Acts which will only act to the bulk of the statute book and swell the pockets of lawyers. In the past, moral text-books used to be compulsory for students. Prizes used to be awarded for students who did not steal, who did not tell lies and who followed the precepts of their elders. Nowadays the school offer prizes for proficiency in subjects which have no influence on the pupil’s moral development. Career has become more important than character and conduct. It is necessary that the noble ideals expounded in our religious books and not Acts of Parliament should regulate the behavior of our boys.