IT is only to that rare breed of a person who, in this age of information explosion, has remained cut off from the main currents of society, cocooned from the violent streak that has spread like wildfire, that the title of this editorial would sound too alarmist. For someone even mildly exposed to the outside world, it might, perhaps, be an understatement One has just to pick up a newspaper or switch on one's favourite TV channel to realise how strongly the tensions of the time have frayed the nation's nerves, including of the educated classes, and how deeply the militarisation current is running in the country. Every second headline or the TV ticker would either tell the tragic tale of a targeted killing, a brutal murder to avenge a minor wrong, bloodletting in an incident of daylight robbery or show of sectarian intolerance. The shooting down of a principal of a college in Quetta is not an isolated act of a madcap nor should the lawyer slapping a judge in his face right in the court come as a surprise. These callous outbursts of violence and intolerance have become, sadly, the order of the day in our care-torn milieu. No show of violence could ever be condoned, irrespective of who commits it, whether it is an organised institution, an agent of the state, an influential person or an ordinary citizen. But when the victim is an educationist and innocent too, the loss is greatly depressing, especially in a society that is overflowing with illiterate people. Unfortunately, Balochistan where, one would assume, a teacher would be most respected has witnessed several of them being gunned down. Principal Fazal Bari, who had earlier served as Chairman of the Balochistan Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education and at the time of his murder was Principal of Tameer-e-Nau College, was a reputable educationist but, to his bad luck, came from the 'wrong' place: Faisalabad. How precipitous has been the fall in values can be gauged from the fact that not long ago a teacher was universally held in great esteem, but now he has only to be an 'outsider' to be shot down The case of the lawyer manhandling a judge because he could not have his client released without the required documentary evidence is no less shameful. Following the judicial crisis, the legal community had been held in high regard, but certain black sheep are showing it in a poor light. The society continues to drift. Neither those holding the reins of power seem to be serious about eliminating crime and providing security to the citizen, nor a private institution is seen in the field devoted to re-instilling the cherished values of the times past. The Herculean task of reversing the trend, however, cries out for a collective as well as individual effort from everyone in society.