Sanjib Kumar Sarma
Storytelling is an old practice. This practice prevailed in every society in every country all over the world. That is why several kinds of folk tales are found. Still now listening to stories is popular, especially among children.
How and why did the practice of story-telling begin among the people and when did it start? What was the purpose of this practice? I think when the people had enough resting time in earlier human society and they had to spend much of time after performing their needed work, they used to gather in a certain place and began to describe each other about their different experiences acquired by performing something themselves or caught sight some of the events. With time, such descriptions turned into the form of stories that were later regarded as beautiful literary creations with their valuable and moral subject matter. Later such stories were told among the kids who enjoyed much to listen to them much with great interest. Probably, the ancient people thought their children should learn necessary things as well as earn much knowledge which would help them in forming their moral character also.
The stories have much impact on the minds of children. The children have imitating minds. After hearing or seeing some interesting things, they try to follow them imitating the same way. It is often noticed that among the children that they try to imitate some of the characters virtualising the different cartoon pictures on television. In the stories, some of the ideal incidents done by some hones and ideal persons were included with the thought that the children could follow their ideology.
With the help of such stories, the children can be motivated who are uninterested to read and learn. Even the rude mannered and spoilt children can also be reformed by listening to such stories. For instance, the successful performance of Vishnu Sarma can be mentioned. He was able to motivate the rude mannered sons of the king who were interested to read and learning and turned them completely into good, educated and ideal ones. For this, he used to tell them stories full of morality and at the end of the story, he asked them questions over the story. The princes also had to pay attention to the story carefully as they must answer the questions. In this way, the interest in acquiring knowledge grew in them and later became educated and knowledge fellows.
Unfortunately, nowadays the elders do not tell such stories to their children. They think it is unnecessary and act of wasting time only. They try to make their children be a materialist. Due to a lack of good morality, the present generation does not hesitate to do any kind of crime, violence and such unruly things in society. A corrupt tendency automatically grows in them. Even they become inactive also.
In school, there is a subject on moral science. The students study this moral science with the view of earning marks only in the examination, but they never try to realize the morality in them. They regard moral science as one of the subjects. So it is often seen in the family that the parents cannot control their children and prohibit them from doing unsocial activities. Such children often go astray and lose their moral character completely.
Modernity has changed our view. In his twenty-first century, the notion and thinking of former countries may not be suitable or comparable. But it does not mean that we have to avoid or forget our ownness. To keep our ownness, we must follow the path of morality which will identify us as honest, notable and good citizens.
In the market, several kinds of moral books are found, such as Burhi Aair Sadhu, Esop's Tale, Jatakas, Story of Tenalirama, Story of Panchatantra, Story of Thirty two Puppets and so on. Though the story of these books is based on ancient thoughts and considerations, their moral value and usefulness are always contemporary. The story of the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Bible can inspire the children also. So the present generation should be given the lesson of morality, not at schools, but home. Otherwise, the future of the country is dark.