Misra Commission Report
CHAPTER – 20
A CODE OF CONDUCT
Writing the Preface to Professor Weeramantry’s “ The Law in Crisis”, Lord Denning has said:
“Civilized society appears to be disintegrating, Minorities openly defy the law for their own ends. Terrorists seize hostages and threaten to kill them.Workmen set up picket lines outside power stations and threaten to bring the country to a stand still; students occupy buildings and prevent the running of their Universities. Only too often their threats succeed. The peaceful majority give in. They surrender.
Moral and spiritual values too appear to be at a low ebb. The sanctions of religion have lost their force. Schools and teachers take much interest in social sciences. They explain how people behave. They seek to help the misfits. But they do not set forth standards of conduct. They do not tell people how to behave.”
Who must then tell the people how to behave? Scriptures have prescribed the codes of conduct. Different religions have different scriptures but interestingly most, nay, all the religions harp upon the same virtues for adoption in life and commend acceptance thereof. Like all the rivers that originate from one source carry the same water, all religions originating from Divinity carry essentially the same message. A code of conduct acceptable to all religions can be evolved without much difficulty and the same should be the code for the Indian society and every Indian must be required to fill in line with it.
Social conduct is not being enforced today on account of failure to identify what exactly it is. Again, the moral fabric having disappeared, this censure of either of individual or social conscience does not operate. The law still continues to be different on many aspects from what social conduct would warrant it to be and even in the covered field, enforcement is poor and ineffective. The code of conduct( including decency) should be universally taught— at home, in school, in the establishments— private and public — and everywhere in the community. Awareness is the first step. Most people would be abiding. Those who fail should be subjected to enforcement.
Without community discipline, no national character can be built up. And without national character, a nation cannot indeed progress.
The mass media has a large role to play in this regard and the commission proposes to deal with the same next.