Science and Man
The TV alarm switches on automatically in the morning belting our breaking news that stirs me out of my slumber. I lazily go about my ablutions, the electric shaver, and a hot water bath followed by steaming hot coffee from the percolator. My cornflakes and breakfast are ready within a minute thanks to the microwave oven! Without a thought to spare I am a slave to the inventories of science. Be it the flicks of a light switch, the oscillation of the ceiling fan, the automobile I drive in are all the boon of science that has made life easier to live in.
One needn’t go all the way to a pilgrimage to pay ones tributes. Today it’s done on-line by our personal computer. Be it booking of travel tickets, paying of bills, sharing a comfortable conversation with a friend in another city or country, science has given it all to man. Innovations in transport and communication have shrunk global boundaries making it easier to communicate within no time. Rivers are harnessed by dams, hydel-electricity being generated. Food grains are grown self-sufficiently by reducing the risk of pests and diseases with drought control. Textiles are produced with much modernization bringing a revolution in fashion and designer wear,
Scientific remote sensing predicts weather modulations more accurately thus giving us a timely warning of earthquakes, floods and tornadoes. Cultural exchange has become possible, where one can listen to Pundit Ravi Shankar’s recital in London or anywhere in the world with the flick on a TV remote or even listen to Michael Jackson back here in India. Tabla maestro Zakir Hussain can delight viewers sitting in their drawing rooms all over the globe.
The heads of nations may even conduct political affairs, formulate policies and process their execution whilst away from their national capital. He may be in a remote rural area but never once away from matters of state thanks to science. There are tractors to till the land, pumps to irrigate it, fertilizers to increase output and profitability in agriculture. Pipelines that supply gas and petrol. Sewage is disposed scientifically. Garbage is carefully sorted out and recycled. The railways and airports traffic are managed by scientific radars to ensure smooth uninterrupted flow of traffic.
The housewife needn’t toil endlessly with household chores. She has a host of appliances, the dishwasher, the washing machines, the vacuum cleaners, microwave, gas, mixer grinder, juicer blender. Science has given me every opportunity to improve my life to the maximum. I can now air condition my room to the temperature of my choice before I even reach home. I can open my doors, switch on fans and lights, by remote control have my TV going and set my washing machine to a pre-set mode at my convenience.
Science bonds man by birth, without man even realizing it. Right from the hospital incubator to the electronic crematorium where man takes his last lap of life. Science intersperses and bonds him. Mechanization of industry has widened the gap between the rich and the poor. There are class wars between the have and have not’s, between colonialism and capitalism, socialism and independence on the other.
The mystique of nature no longer befuddles man. In fact he is in a position to question and interfere with nature. A classic example of this is the invention of artificial rain. Also the naturally formed icicle Shiva Linga at the Amarnath shrine in the Himalayas is fast melting due to global warming. Man has erected air-conditioned freezers to avoid the melting of the icicle Shiva Linga. Man can now create life in a test-tube and destroy everything with the press of a nuclear button. Science has freed man from the shackles of environment, but man has to still has to free himself from the shackles of his own nature