By Iqra Arshad
Discipline means abiding by, or adhering to, certain rules or norms of social life. Discipline is what a person imposes on himself taking it as his duty to God, to society, or to some other institution. It remands a strict control over an individual’s rights and privilege, which if allowed swelling uncurbed and unregulated may result in disorder and anarchy in social and political life of a country. Disciple¬line is vital to a successful life. Without discipline army is reduced to a disordered mob, democracy degenerates into monocracy and social life becomes chaotic and anarchical.
Nature provides the best example of discipline in life. In nature all the planets move in their orbit; the seasons change in accordance with a set order, day and night follow each other at regular intervals, Man must take lessons from Nature. Our life should be punctuated with discipline. It is in this sense that K. Santhanam defined National Integrity as the conscientious and faithful performance of duties and obligations by every section of the people,
Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation, has greatly stressed the need for discipline among people. According to Turn, if all the citizens observe certain moral restrictions on themselves, the social, and political life of the country will improve.
Discipline is of prime importance in every sphere of man’s life. In a family, members have to work as a cohesive team under the charge of the ‘pater familias’ i.e., the father or the bread-winner. But if the sense of discipline is not instilled into the minds of the members, each going his own way in his own manner, life in the family becomes a living hell, in our social life, we are required to follow certain norms of behavior and make a harmonious adjustment between our rights and duties. Without this our social life will become a mess and will soon go out of gear. Even in small day-to-day things like walking along the road, boarding a bus, baying a ticket from the counter or doing, or getting a work done in a govern¬ment office, citizens must show a sense of discipline.
Discipline is the backbone of the political life of a nation. If a political party is torn by internal rife or differences, or if it suffers from groupism or indiscipline, it cannot commend any prestige or following of the common man. If a leader is himself undisciplined, he cannot even dream of becoming a beloved leader of the people. Discipline and democracy go hand in hand. Democracy necessitates a balance between rights and duties, between ‘self-regarding actions’ and ‘other regarding actions’. But if in a democracy discipline is lacking, it will function like a fast running auto-mobile without brakes. It is bound to result in chaos, and be replaced by a dictatorship or a totalitarian government sooner or later.
Discipline is necessary both for the teacher and the students. A teacher is the leader of his charges, He must possess and main¬tain an intellectual and moral discipline of a high order. However learned and scholarly a teacher may be, but if in his personal life he leads an undisciplined life, he will never be able to win and com¬mand the respect and obedience of students. Similarly, only dedi¬cated and disciplined students can carve out a brilliant career for himself and serve the motherland. Wanton indulgence in indiscipline, strikes, demonstrations, drug-addiction, beating up of teachers in examinations, molestation of girls, boycotting classes, defying the authorities and fighting pitched battles with the police, which has become the bane of student life in free India of today are, in a way, the negation of the-very theme and purpose of the student life. Dis¬ciplined students are the pillars of a nation’s strength and with their strength of character they can lift a nation to the great heights of progress.
“Discipline is the cement that binds an army.” An army is as great and powerful as it is disciplined and united. Oliver Cromwell and Shivaji could force a mighty foe bite the dust with the help of only a handful of disciplined and iron-hearted soldiers. Even a massive army will crumble like a house of cards in the absence of dis¬discipline, as did the Egyptian army under Antony. Army without discipline is no army, it is a mob. Police without discipline is even worse than armed bandits.
Some people entertain the erroneous belief that discipline is a constraint on liberty and self-fulfilment. They are averse to disciplined and they reach very sharply whenever some restrictions are im¬posed. This is not correct. This type of freedom degenerates into license. We must realize that discipline alone can ensure all-round progress and advancement of the country.
For the last few years, India has been a helpless victim of growing indiscipline in all walks of life. Certain political parties and selfish political leaders have been creating indiscipline among the masses in order to gain their ulterior motives by fishing in troubled waters. We have been noticing a very disturbing phenomenon of strikes, demonstrations, agitations and bandhs and vociferous proces¬sions and rampages. Unemployment, economic disparities, cultural erosion, intellectual lethargy, crisis of character and erroneous con¬ception of liberty are among the chief contributing factors of indis¬cipline.
Infact, discipline is the basic principle behind the progress and smooth working of an individual and a nation. It is essential for the preservation of social values. But discipline should be inborn and self-imposed rather than externally imposed. It should be a tenor and mode of life based upon moral basis rather than an exter¬nal compulsion caused by an unscrupulous and power-hungry autho¬ritarian government. It should be taught by education and enlightenment.