“For the intrepid youth, who present themselves at this new dawn of history, there are other words which move them more deeply; these words are: Order, Hierarchy, and Discipline”.
Discipline is the most important sector in democracy. Where there is no discipline, democracy cannot long survive. Sooner or later it will wither away. Indiscipline and democracy cannot go together. Indiscipline invites mobocracy, dictatorship and foreign invasions.
Discipline is very necessary in the home, in the school and in the country. While entering a bus or getting our railway ticket or getting our rations or getting any other work done, where there are many others standing for the same work, we have to form a queue, such as while paying your bills or buying postage stamps in the post office. If we do not observe this discipline, then freedom is lost and we become the slaves of a dictator or a foreign invader.
“Discipline” is a ten-lettered word but it plays a great role in the maintenance of civil and national liberties. Without discipline no nation can really be free. Discipline contains its most precious meaning in those ten letters because often it is a matter of life and death for an independent nation. With discipline you have the free country. Without discipline you do not have any freedom. Observance of discipline is vital to the survival of democracy.
Discipline requires self-control and respect for others. The important formula of discipline is “Do not do to others what you do not want to be done to you”. If you do not want others to throw stones at you, the first and foremost thing is that you must not fling stones at others. If you want others to respect you, must learn to respect others. That is the fundamental law of discipline.
It requires self-control even forced control by others to ensure discipline, whether at home, in a school or the nation. When citizens fail to keep themselves in proper discipline voluntarily, they invite dictatorship. That was the origin of Emergency in 1975. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi declared Emergency in June 1975 because there was too much indiscipline in the country. That thing can happen again. It should happen again when discipline goes out of hand.
Whereas self-imposed discipline is a pleasant experience, discipline imposed by authoritarianism can be torturous and tormenting. So we must all try to avoid the political situation of 1975 when Jayprakash Narayan advised the policemen and soldiers to disobey their officers and the common people to refuse to pay their taxes. Such counsels prove dangerous in the long run, because people lose respect for law and order. Indiscipline creeps in and then anything can happen. Discipline means doing our duty simply silently, sincerely and seriously. If all people are devoted and dedicated to their dutifulness, there is perfect discipline and democracy marches forward from strength to strength. If people do not do their duty Is Bhagwad Gita advises, discipline is thrown to the winds and there is lawlessness and crime in which nobody is safe, as it is happening today. We have sown the seeds of indiscipline and now we are reaping the bitter fruits thereof.