New Directions

Ever since the introduction of science man has never failed to progress in this world. From sun-dials to digital watches and LP’s to iPods we have come a long way. We have made life much easier and yet at the same time extremely difficult.

A few decades ago when the radio was as cool as an iPhone is today, people lived a completely different life from what we exist now. They followed a fixed schedule waking up early in the morning, completing their household chores, having their supper by eight in the evening and went to bed by nine. There was time for the family, time for prayer and time for entertainment.

But today we live in another world altogether, a world where life begins after nine in the evening and goes on until six in the morning, where ownership is greater than fellowship. Where harshness and power go hand-in-hand and where science and technology are usually synonymous with destruction. We are too caught up to change and too scared to go back to our roots.

And for this I have nothing but science to blame. No doubt, it has been a good friend many-a-time but how often has it proved to be an enemy? Had we never known what an iPhone was or for that matter a cell phone we would never be wasting time talking about things that do not matter, health concerns regarding radiation would have never arisen and our relationships would be about much more than just ‘texting’.

With every invention that man has created we have had to create ten more to get rid of the side-effects of that one invention. For eg: man invented the car and has been using it since then only to find out that harmful gases coming out of its exhaust are depleting the earth’s ozone layer. This blunder has caused man to come up with not only a solution for an eco-friendly car but also a solution to halt the ozone layer’s depletion.

I do agree that that science is all about trial and error but how many errors will it be before people realize that these drastic mishaps are killing our planet? Undersea oil spills killing oceanic life, urbanization killing nature and modernization killing mankind. It’s time we stop coming up with new ways to make life easier and in the bargain kill what is most important to us and it’s time to start thinking of how we can help ourselves and the planet we live in.

I am aware that people have begun to realize this and are working on eco-friendly inventions but how far has India progressed. If you think ‘quite far’, then think again? I will simplify for you at what I am trying to get at. Centuries ago man practiced yoga for his wellbeing, as the years progressed allopathic medicines and exercise equipment were created. People began to see quick results and preferred the latter in comparison to the former. As the years passed by, the side-effects became stronger – addiction, allergies, burnouts – but people continued on until a wise soul rediscovered yoga. More and more people began to make use of its techniques and soon realized that it was a better option. The same goes for transport and a number of other things.

Man begins with simplicity (in this case yoga) moves on to new inventions and creations only to realize that the ancient art was the best and then later comes back to it yet unaware that it is something as ancient as the planet’s existence.

In a country like India man is just beginning to discover modernization, sure you may say that Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkatta and a number of other cities are modern enough to match the standards of the USA and Europe but then, is it only these cities that make up India?

By the time the average Indian realizes the dark side of modernization, something that the average European has already realized a couple of years ago, it might just be too late. The country is ranked amongst the top 10 most polluted countries in the world; rivers are drying up and the Himalayas that were once ‘snow-clad mountains’ cannot be called so anymore, forests are vanishing and those that still exist will be soon gone, all this because we want to be what the USA once was. But currently the USA is going back to the beginnings, back to riding cycles, using public transport, buying reusable items instead of throw-aways, etc. India on the other hand is doing just the opposite trying to be what the United States once was, you see, the Indian government still haven’t realized completely why the US are doing all this and if they have then they don’t believe it to be important.

We have great Indian scientist and inventors, but what are the creating and researching? Our government has a lot of money but where is it all going? The need of the hour may be education for all and eradication of poverty but then, when is one going to realize that saving the planet is equally important?

When will people in this country that are so influenced by the West realize that science is not just about being modern but about using one’s mind to help create a better world, not just for you and me but for the millions of species out there who struggle to survive on this planet which man has ruined?

When will you realize that being rational does not make you greater than the rest?

Roseann Murzello

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