Tears and Whistles – Science and Technology – boon or bane?

We know that that progress comes with a cost. And the first casualty of progress is the relationship, basic values of sacrifice, and interdependence. With a geyser in the bathroom, an old father doesn’t need a young son to carry on the bucket of hot water for him and show the filial feeling of help; with a microwave oven in the kitchen the grandma can warm the food herself and the daughter-in-law could freely go to her parent’s home without leaving behind a need-based vacuum; with an automatic washing machine at house laundrette, the old couple can keep themselves clean, out of a bandbox, without the frowns of ungrateful children.

However, that progress would stretch cruelty to that extent was beyond my imagination until I read the following report in the newspaper today:

There is disturbing news from Saharanpur. In Fatehpur Dhola village of Thana Gangoh area here, a 16-year-old boy cut his elder brother with a shovel for not getting a mobile. Not only this, the body was cut into pieces and buried in the house itself. After 22 days, when the strong smell started coming, the villagers informed the police. After the search, the boy’s pole was exposed. The incident is being told three days before Eid. Farman of Fatehpur Dhola village had bought a new mobile three days before Eid i.e. on 18th July. Farman’s age was 30 years. The same night his younger brother Rahman, 16, also asked for mobile for himself. When not found, a fight started between the two. Meanwhile, Rahman shoveled Farman into the head. The shovel was very sharp. Farman died on the spot. Frightened, Rahman dismembered Farman’s body with a shovel and then buried a pit in a room in the house itself. For 22 days he roamed freely in the village. When the villagers asked, they said that the elder brother has gone to work. On Monday night, when a strong foul smell started rising, the villagers called the police, and then the secret of the murder was revealed.

Everyone was stunned as soon as the police opened the door of Rahman’s house. There was a strong odor coming from the room. People started vomiting. When the police interrogated the accused Rehman, he confessed to the murder of his brother. Later, at the behest of the accused, the police got the excavation done. The body was rotten. The police arrested the accused and sent the body for post-mortem.

There are three sisters and two brothers in the family. The parents have already died. While all three sisters are married. The deceased Farman and accused Rehman lived in the house. Farman used to work as a laborer to feed his younger brother.
Just until 20 years back, we, the middle-class gentry were comfortably living without mobiles. Mobile phones were considered a big luxury. Now they are a necessity.
Technology is an integral part of our everyday life. Today’s technology becomes outdated tomorrow. And the technological inventions have ensured maximum satisfaction of the demanding market. These achievements deserve accolades and reflect the capabilities of civilization.

But the cost is too heavy – a loss of human touch.

We deal most of the time with total strangers whom we would never meet in life. How often do we socially interact with our near and dear ones? Family interactions are slowly but surely becoming extinct. Video-conferencing is the order of the day.
Thanks, Covid – 19, we have a genuine excuse to back up for all our derelictions of distances.

The inventions and innovations would always be a boon if do not allow ourselves to be reduced to their slavery. Someone had said that these developments are welcome but there are two sides to every coin. Roads of Science and technology may be broader but there may the potholes also somewhere. Traffic may be smooth but accidents are inevitable.

Naim Naqvi

Naim Naqvi

Did his graduation in Science discipline from AMU in 1972-73. He was Secretary of University Ali Society in 1970 and M.M. Hall Literary Society in early 70 's and member of Tayyabji Literary Society. Did his Diploma in Bakery Administration from HTT College Oxford Street London in 1987. Worked with National Herald - Delhi, Blitz - Bombay as Trainee Journalist and in Production Department with 'Naya Sansar Pictures' of Khwaja Ahmed Abbas at Bombay in early 70's. Traveled for study and training purposes to Germany, U.K., Switzerland, France, Dubai, Oman, AbuDhabi, Bahrain and Philepines.

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