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The Portrait of a Lady
By- Khushwant Singh
Value Based Questions and Answers of The Portrait of a Lady
1. It really pained the grandmother that the schools did not teach anything about God and the scriptures. Should moral education be taught in schools? What do you think?
Ans. Our present education system has miserably failed to uplift the students’ moral, ethical and spiritual values. We require religion and morality to keep men as civilized human beings. We are raising the standard of living but not the standard of life. Performance of duty, consideration for fellow men and compassion has taken a back seat. The crisis of character looms large. Our lofty civilization is becoming hollow because it lacks high values and character. Value education is the need of the hour.
Morals are a set of principles which teach us the difference between right and wrong. Morality is religion in practice. Social evils prevail and their roots are due to lack of moral and spiritual education. Morals train man to be good and propagate goodness. if we do not impart moral education at the primary level, we will have a whole new generation of misguided youth. If a section of this misguided youth indulges in loot, arson, robbery and if they do nothing for their family or country; then we have only ourselves to blame. To inculcate discipline and values in the children of today, the older generation has to guide them by setting an example before them.
2. Aged people should not be left behind and every effort should be made that they live with their children and grandchildren. This will inculcate a proper understanding between the old and the new generation. Pen down your views.
Ans. The aged people feel the need for physical. Moral, financial and emotional support from their children. They are left alone by their children quite often to lead a lonely life. Even their virtues become major vices.
When the aged are left alone, a fathomless gap appears between them and their children. The temporary separation which may be the outcome of circumstances is good as it enhances love and respect. The elderly live in their own world and it is difficult to change their lifestyle. They want nothing from the new generation except love and respect.
It is true that our new generation has its priorities but they must not become indifferent to the needs of the aged. When the aged live with their children, there comes a change in their outlook. Being experienced they try to adapt themselves to the new environment. A solution of old age problems lies not in building old age homes but giving them a little care, affection and love. We must remember that we, too, will be like them one day. A thorough change of attitude is needed. The new generation can enrich itself by listening to the experiences of the elderly and they, in turn, can learn a lot about modern gadgets and things from the young. This will help in bridging the generation gap and give way to a healthy and happy society.
3. Parents face a dilemma—English education or no English education. Still, they go in for it. Discuss.
Ans. Parents want their children to study English as they know that if it is not done their children would lag behind in this competitive world. They fear that western culture and education can also take their children away from their own culture. So, they speak against English education but in their hearts, they feel somewhat satisfied. We are facing a strange dilemma. What is the way out? A balance must be struck between English education and native culture. For that our children should be given moral education. The positive points of our culture should be inculcated in their minds. They should be told that unmindful and blind aping of the Western culture will make them disoriented and lead to an identity crisis. English education without lessons in ethics and morality will do more harm than good. Generation gap will go on widening and materialistic attitude will be all pervasive. Thus, we can say that while English education is important to keep pace with the rest of the world; it is equally imperative for the young generation to be connected with their roots and culture.