Thursday, December 9, 2021

Can we go back

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Technology can of course show as something that we cannot do in our life. Now in cinematography there is a technology to rewind or move backward. Suppose if we shoot a person’s life from childhood till old age, when it is played backward, it will be interesting to watch grey hairs give way to black hair, long pants fade away into nickers and in the background shopping malls change into petti shops etc. Hearing about uncontrollable pollution threatening the world, complexities of modern problems looming over human life, I sometimes ask to me the question, can we go back? If the answer is ‘yes’, then I will ask, should we go back? If the answer is again in the affirmative then the next question will be, where should we go back?
Some human problems and sufferings are eternal, for instance, old age, disease and death which moved the inner soul of Lord Buddha is still moving people to ponder, meditate and search for the truth. But unlike Gautama now we not only witness the degeneration and death of human beings but also the degeneration of the whole eco-system and the world.
Like Prince Gautama’s first endeavor to know the world I too want to know. But the world around two hundred years ago was comparatively quite small with less population and activity. He had to simply stand by the side his palace to learn the sufferings of life. But interestingly even though the world is so vast, alive and complex now I can know the world at my finger tips even without stepping out of my home. This is an example for the advancements we have reached. For those who have money there are more than enough pleasures to pursue. But on the other hand when I browse through the internet alarming cries pop up from around the world. So many species of living organisms are becoming extinct, world is becoming warmer because of pollution, terrorism is spreading like forest fire, world economy is dancing like jelly bean and old diseases give way to brand new. Can all these make me a modern Buddha?
Buddha claimed that he found out the root cause of all evils and it is greediness. But he frankly admitted, abandoning greediness is not a solution for old age and death. But surely giving up greediness would be a solution for various other problems that the world is facing today. The modern over consuming, aristocratic, techno-savvy humans have to give up their present practices and take a reverse journey to simple life. But as a middle aged Indian, living in the new millennium, I am confused. If I travel from Idukki hills to Ernakulam city in Kerala what I witness is mere contrasts and paradoxes. In one side there is a spectrum of natural beauty at its untouched virginity enclosing extreme poverty, illiteracy and poor health within it. But on the other side the city which is manufacturing all pollution and environmental problems but enabling people to live with all conveniences and comforts.
Now as an Indian what I have to do, should I say ‘no’ to development and urbanization when India hasn’t got light so for and when a major percentage of Indian population is reeling under poverty and poor health? Or should I say ‘yes’ to globalization and urbanization, having learnt that these modern devils are destroying the eco-system and they are not real solutions for poverty?
The new generation Indian has to be careful now. India has to develop, there is no alternative for it, but the development should not be rich becoming richer and poor becoming poorer or Ernakulam rising up and Idukki falling down or corporates building empires and farmers getting suicide. The development should not be in a rocket pace killing all the eco-system built up on greediness. The development should mean that all Indians have enough food to eat, clothes to wear, roofs to stay under and they lead a healthy, happy life with proper education and healthcare. The development should be moderate, steady, balanced and sustainable. It should not become a threat to the eco system instead it has to protect it.
As far as I know even today Gandhi is the solution for India, for that matters not only for India but for the whole world. Not globalization but village development and self reliance can be the solution. His principles of simplicity, truth, non violence, village level development and self reliance will be solution to most of the problems the world is facing today. Gandhi was not simply a freedom fighter who played a pivotal role in India’s liberty. He was and is a way of life, way of government that India has to follow, the world has to follow. To realize it, at least we Indians have to take some detour to restart.

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