Monday, December 19, 2016


Science in the Service of Man

The most valuable which science has rendered to mankind is that it has given it supreme self-confidence. It has given man the assurance that, instead of being slave to his environment, he can control and modify it to suit his needs. Before the scientific era, an agriculturist eked out a precarious existence, his livelihood depending upon the vagaries of the weather Insect pests, locusts and drought devastated his fields. Now we have built huge dams to supply waters through perennial canals, manufactured fertilizers which enormously increase agricultural production, produced effective pesticides, learnt how to prevent solid erosion, introduced multiple cropping and devised other ways to improve output. Population control would still be needed if food production is to keep pace with the growth in numbers, but the spectacular progress which scientific cultivation has made possible in the field of agriculture has belied all Malthusian fears in the West. Progress in the industrial field has been even more spectacular; thanks to the application of science to industry. The world, particularly the develop part of it, now enjoys a standard of living which in former ages was not even enjoyed by the wealthier-classes. The higher standards of living have made it possible for the illiteracy has been completely wiped out and most diseases have been eliminated in the industrialized societies. The machine has not only relieved man of heavy burdensome tasks but has also provided him with ample leisure in which he can engage himself in cultural pursuits, cultivate various kinds of hobbies and travel. It is through science that he has been able to invent new sources of entertainment and education, such, cinema, radio and television. The enormous are to mankind. Before the invention of the printing press, education was confined to a small section of the community and was of a predominantly religious character. The printing press revolutionaries the arts of publication and brought books, periodicals and news-papers within everybody’s reach. Democracy should have been impossible without the printing press. The modern media or mass communication is another fruitful source of education.
Science and technology have annihilated distance, brought the various parts of the would much nearer to each other, enormously increased international trade and integrated the economy of all nations. It is consciousness of the need for regulating the operations of the world economy to make it more orderly and stable that has led to the formation of international bodies to ensure order and stability in maters like tariffs, currency and labor. Foreign aid is being given to developing nations through the World Bank to groups of nations and nations individually because it is now recognized that economic stability and full employment in the world cannot be achieved unless two-thirds of humanity now living at the subsistence level is helped to attain economic maturity as expeditiously as possible. Yet it cannot be said that the material and manpower resources of the world are being utilized on a scientific and planned basis. This country, for example, could have raised the standards of living of its people to a much great extent that at present if it had not been thwarted in its endeavors by shortage of foreign exchange and inadequacy of foreign capital and technical skill. It is one more example of the bankruptcy of would statesmanship that, while astronomical amounts are being spent on manufacturing weapons of mass annihilation and space exploration, the affluent nations are not prepared to help developing nations on a scale which would make a significant impact on their lives. Only a world government looking at economic problems from the standpoint of human welfare can achieve balanced material progress. Many civilizations in the past perished because the people recklessly exploited natural resources, exhausted the sol and turned the lands into a desert. Impelled by the profits motive, nations are still recklessly exploiting world resources without giving any serious thought to what would happen a few hundred years hence. When we know that man hast to live on this planet for millions of years, this policy of exploiting natural resources and not judiciously conserving them is, to put it mildly, extreme short-sightedness. The same short-sightedness is being displayed over population growth. Science has rendered great service to humanity by finding a cure for most diseases. By preventing the outbreak of epidemics which formerly used to kill millions of persons and by curtailing the death rate in many other ways. But unless men learn to curtailing the death rate in many other ways. But unless men learn to curtail birth rate as well, we will, before long, be faced with a population explosion. Science has proved that for some time natural restraints on population in the form of wars, pestilences, and famines can be held back. This planet can be made a decent place to live in, only if man is wise. Science gives knowledge and power but not necessarily wisdom.
Science, it is said is creating problems faster than they can be solved. This is really not a criticism of science but of man’s inability to adjust himself to the changed conditions without delay. Scientists are primarily moved by curiosity, bye the passionate desire to know how things happen in life and nature, secondarily, by the desire to use this knowledge for human welfare. When scientist starts conducting researches on making weapons of mass annihilation, they are not moved by any diabolical designs. In a world divided into sovereign-states, self-defense depends upon power-equilibrium and no nation can afford to relax its efforts for military preparedness without a comprehensive agreement on disarmament. Nobody can deny that science has rendered invaluable service to mankind in various spares. It is due to the discoveries of science that we have been able to find a cure for most diseases and prevent the outbreak of epidemics, thereby vastly increasing life expectance and drastically cutting down infant mortality and mortality in child birth.

Science has given man various forms of power to replace the power of animals and that of human muscles. This has made it possible for him to annihilate distance, overcome the forces of gravitation and explore outer space and undertake production on a big scale. Never was the world so completely integrated as it is today. Only in a few days, we can flu round the world. Telegraph and telephone have also helped to destroy the distances and unify the globe, enabling immediate contacts to facilitate transaction of business or personal communication over long distances. Chemistry gave man-kind gun-power which resulted in the destruction of feudalism and the emergence of modern State. It also gave man the power to create new materials. The resources of the world in many things are very limited, and there is always the fear that, if they continue to be used on the present scale, they would be exhausted before long. This fear is no longer so serious because chemistry has discovered substitutes for them or made synthetics to replace them. Scientific breeding has already yielded highly satisfactory results in the case of animals and plants. It has produced race-horses who agility and stamina are a marvel. Given more knowledge of heredity and embryology, it would be possible to produce even finer specimens of the animal and human species. It is a fascinating subject to speculate on what physics, chemistry and biology would be able to achieve in the next few centuries. Men may be able to reach other planets, explore them and explore further the immense interstellar synthetics including food and out of the raw material of nature manufacture everything more refined, more developed, more lasting. There is no theoretical limit to what man can achieve through science and technology. What has hitherto been achieved would pale into insignificance before what would be achieving hence, unless, of course, meanwhile, man commits suicide.
Science has revolutionized life in the intellectual, social and material spheres creating a large number of problems for human race. These problems are not unmanageable. What is needed is revolution is the minds of men to ensure that the knowledge and power gained through science is used for a constructive purpose. The future of mankind cannot be left to be determined by old parochial passions, reckless competition among producers and the operation of uncontrolled urges. The future has to be scientifically planned. Our first and foremost problem is to ensure world peace and to banish from the mind of men the specter of a nuclear holocaust. It is everywhere recognized that a full-fledged thermo-nuclear war would destroy civilization built up after centuries of hard and sustained labor and endanger the very existence of mankind. Yet the stockpiles of thermo-nuclear weapons are everywhere mounting. Despite protracted negotiations, it has not been found possible to achieve an agreement on nuclear disarmament because the super-powers still distrust each other and apprehend surprise attacks. So long as we cling to the antiquated notion of national sovereignty and depend upon the antiquated concept of the balance of power as a means of preserving peace, the threat of war will persist. This threat will disappear only when all nations renounce war as an instrument of policy, surrender their sovereignty and establish a democratic World Government. Our primary loyalty should be to the human race and to the planet on which we live. We can make this planet a decent place to live in if we undertake to use all its resources through a common threatened with competition in nuclear arms, the alternative to a World State is too frightful to be contemplated with equanimity.
Science has made a most valuable contribution to the acquisition of knowledge and the development of a rational outlook on life. Not long ago, the masses were sunk in superstition. They attributed diseases to the wrath of gods. They believed in ghosts, witches, magic and sorcery. Human and animal sacrifices were made to propitiate gods and demons. The appearances of eclipses and comets were a regarded as most ominous. Astrology was accepted everywhere as a science. Mythological accounts of the origin of the universe and movements of heavenly bodies were believed even by the educated. Anyone who offered different interpretation base on scientific laws was severely frowned upon. Galileo came into clash with the inquisition when he made the simple observation that the earth moves round the sun. Newton himself believed in God and he held that a Creator was necessary to set the universe in motion, but once the process had stated, it required no further supernatural intervention. The law of gravity came into conflict with the view of Providence as omnipotent, kind and generous who responded to prayers, achieved miracles and set things right. Darwin’s biological discoveries banished purpose and moral design from the universe. His theory of Evolution and principles of the struggle for existence and the survival of the fittest leave no room for the view of the universe held by theologians. Modern astronomy does not inspire much hope and faith. Life, it holds, exists only this planet. Though the universe has millions of years of existence, according to astronomers, it is unlimitedly moving towards dissolution. In this country even now it is believe the earthquakes, pertinences, famines and other disasters are indicative of divine displeasure and call for repentance, prayers and self-purification. Science has helped man see the world and life in it really as they are. But in doing so, it is said it has deprived the people of their religious and spiritual faith. The principle of the struggle for existence and survival of the fittest has been invoked to justify imperialistic wars. Science has created a problem for mankind by taking away its faith. It has also given rise to philosophic systems which do not favor disinterested pursuit of truth but judge what is true by the severely practical test of how far it serves the ends in view. The indictment against science is not fair. Science has exploded fairy tales, mythological fantasies, irrational fears, unfounded speculations. It is for statesmen, religious teachers, humanists and social reformers to give a sense of purpose to mankind. Men ought no longer to live on myths. Instead of becoming determinists they must take their destiny into their own hands, and build a glorious future for the human race. Science and Scientific outlook open up infinite possibilities for man. What he must bring with him as his contribution is wisdom. This seems at present a rare commodity. 



Gandhi an Outlook and Philosophy

If philosophy is wisdom, Mahatma Gandhi was among our foremost philosophers. He had the wisdom of Socrates, the humility of St. Francis of Assisi, the mass appeal of Lenin, the saintliness of the ancient Indian Rishis and the profound love of humanity of the Buddha. He was a revolutionary  who was committed to the overthrow of all forms of tyranny and social injustice but who never overthrow of all forms of tyranny and social injustice but who never bore ill-will towards anyone, who led a mighty movement against British imperialism but never allowed the movement to  be accompanied by hatred, rancor or resentment against Englishmen. He was not an intellectual in the conventional sense of the term. He was not an academic philosopher propounding his philosophy in a precise, dry and formal manner. It would not be difficult to find inconsistencies and contradictions in some of his statements but he was supremely consistent in his devotion to truth. He was like the ancient sages, an earnest seeker after truth, a spiritual explorer or a scientist experimenting all his life to discover truth and apply it to the practical problems facing man. His sources of inspiration were not confined to his country or to his religion. His receptive mind was open to various influence. From his very childhood he was brought into contact with religious and moral ideas. He studied the Ramayana, the Bagavata, Vaishnava poets of Gujarat and the popular writings of the Jains. During his stay in England he studied Buddhism and Gita, met Quakers and missionaries, road the Upanishadas in translation, Ruskin’s unto his last, theosophist literature and books of Islam. He was also profoundly impressed by Thoreau and Tolstoy. Thoreau taught him that it was more honourable to be right than to be law-abiding-a revolutionary concept which inspired his philosophy of passive resistance. Tolstoy’s “The kingdom of God is within you,” taught him now man could liberate himself and control evil through suffering.
Gandhi ji was throughout his life a God-conscious, God-fearing man. He never, passed through the valley of doubt and darkness. Nothing could shake his confidence and faith in God and his scheme of life. God with him was not an abstraction of a mere metaphysical concept, but an intensely felt reality. Belief in God was with him a question, of faith and conviction. He needed no arguments to establish God’s existence. His whole being was permeated with God-consciousness; his heart vibrated with it.  Gandhi ji was no mystic who communicated with God in his trances or in moments of ecstasy but a man of action not living in forests and meditating, on eternal verities but living amidst men, engaged in an epic struggle against alien rule. He had, however, the ability to withdraw himself from life of excitement and meditate even amidst actions. The Mahatama described God in various ways. God to him was kind just and loving, who always responded to prayer and love. He was truth and love. A logical corollary to this belief is that the universe is organized on moral principles and that it presents a harmonious design, there being no contradiction or inconsistency in the laws of Nature and moral and spititual principles. Gandhi ji’s faith in God was not shaken when he beheld Natural red in truth and claw, when he saw earthquakes, floods and other natural calamities overwhelming man and causing infinite suffering, Evil and destruction also had a meaning, a significance, a purpose despite appearance to the contrary. If God was truth , love benevolence and justice, Gandhi ji asserted, man too was fundamentally moral and spiritual – an image of God, not a naked ape, not one or a divided nature, not one with a divided nature, not being at the mercy of his subconscious being an dominated by his instincts, biological drives and passions. Society also was not a mechanical or biological organism but a fraternity of spiritual beings. Gandhi ji was no fatalist. He believed in the doctrine of Karma and in punishment for the wrongs done, but he asserted that man was fundamentally a free agent gifted with a moral will and that he made or marred his own fortune.
Mahatma Gandhi’s bold affirmations of faith in God, in the moral nature of the universe, inhuman society as an association of kindred souls and in free will may be criticized by the modern cynics on the ground that no valid intellectual grounds have been offered, but none can dispute the fact that his faith leads to a ways of life which is in complete harmony with the needs of the times. If God is love or truth, there can be no bar to the realization of God through diverse ways. Religion does not divide people, unless it is understood in the sense of universal love and tolerance, of profound reverence for all great religions which are so many ways of apprehending the reality and identifying ourselves with its purpose. Distinctions of race, nationality and sect have no room in Gandhian ethics. Patriotism is not enough. A truly religious man does not restrict his allegiance to any country or nation. His loyalty is to the whole of humanity. He acknowledges all great religious as embodying the truth and, therefore, worthy of deep reverence. Mahatma Gandhi was an admirer of all religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Islam, Christianity and others. This does not mean that he accepted everything, they preached. “He does not mouth the name of the Founder of Christianity”, writes Will Durant in his appreciation of the Mahatma, “but he acts as if the Serman on the Mount were his perpetual guide.” If God is truth and if truth is God, then there is nothing which stands in the way of persons of various religious affiliations coming together on the same platform as seekers after truth. Even an earnest atheist trying to explore the reality is a truly religious man. What is repugnant to the Gandhian way of life is dogmatism, fanaticism, intolerance, selfishness. Mahatma Gandhi was a secularist in the sense that he was against any discrimination between citizen and citizen on grounds of religion, sect and caste. But he firmly believed that a State or society would be stable only to the extent to which it was based on ethical and spiritual ideals.
A man so profoundly religious as Gandhi ji will never subscribe to the cynical view that in promoting ends considered desirable, the nature of the means employed is of no importance and that means are justified by the ends. Gandhi ji attached the highest importance to both ends and means. In all spheres of life, the Mahatma pleaded, to both ends and means. In all spheres of life, the Mahatma pleaded, “We must refuse to meet hatred with hatred, violence with violence, evil with evil, but must love even our enemies, for in reality there are no enemies”. He always preached Satyagraha---truth force, non-violence, universal love. Man, he argues, was a spiritual being; love and non-violence were part of his nature. Force, hatred, vindictiveness, were centray to it. Non-violence was not the weapon of the weak and timid but of a strong man, of a bold man who would not tolerate any manifestation of evil or injustice or tyranny but would resolutely fight it and willingly suffer the consequences of rebellion. What Ghandhi ji condemned most was cowardice, weakness of will, acquiescence in evil. He wanted man to create an ideal society by his soul-force, not to remain satisfied with things as they are. He was a great revolutionary, a great rebel, a great social reformer, but his weapon always was man’s defiant spirit permanently committed to non-violence and love. Gandhi ji was an apostle of non-violence and love because, while violence and hatred brutalized men, love ennobled them and brought out the best in them. Christ and Buddha liberated mankind form misery and tyranny. They achieved this liberation through their gospel of love, charity, gentleness and sympathy. Non-violence as a method of agitation, the Mahatma believed, was bound to succeed because there was no man, however tyrannical, domineering, and acquisitive, who could indefinitely hold out against Satyagraha, against the appeal of the fighter for justice voluntarily submitting himself to suffering and sacrifice. Those who were not moved by appeals to reason or by display of physical force would not fail to respond to the appeal to their heart and to their soul. Underlying Gandhiji’s faith in Satyagraha is his belief that man is fundamentally a spiritual being and cannot long deny the spirituality within himself. Satyagraha involves both the fighter for justice as well as the wrong-doer. Fasting, civil disobedience and non-cooperation with the tyrant aroused. They are not a kind of blackmail or pressure tactics. They are no intended to coerce a man or to intimidate him. They are not a form of exploitation.
Mahatma Gandhi was a great idealist, whose thinking was always on the highest level. But he also  claimed to be a realist. He did not think that “Satyagraha” as he conceived it was beyond man’s power. Nobody can say what man can and cannot do. Is man still at heart a naked ape or is he capable of being an angel? It was said about Gandhi ji that he had the power of making heroes out of clay. All great leaders in history had this gift to making heroes out of clay. All great leaders in history had this gift of making heroes out of ordinary mortals. Man has tremendous potentialities which can be brought out by dynamic leadership, by training and educations, by religious and spiritual discipline. The human race has become so used to the employment of force by rebels and men in authority, the appearance of great religious leaders with a spiritual message notwithstanding, that my other method seems utopian. All great ideas which are accepted as axiomatic today were once regarded as utopian and dismissed as unworthy of serious consideration. Force has come down to us form remote antiquity because our social order is oppressive and unjust. The philosophic anarchist believes that the need for force would be obviated if private property is abolished and society is organized in a voluntary co-operative basis. If society is organized on the Gandhian ideals and the people are educated on the right lines, force would disappear. It is now universally recognized that was is not a necessary evil which must periodically appear but something abhorrent, which can be ended if mankind organized on an international basis if individuals are educated to respect the rule of law. There is nothing utopian about Mahatma Gandhi’s ideals and techniques.
It cannot be denied that Satyagraha is a very lofty weapon and that even Gandhiji’s own followers had not fully imbibed his ideas. Congress leaders were not absolute pacifists. They accepted the Satyagraha technique party because they were convinced that it was a morally superior weapon. Indian tradition of non-violence associated with Upanishad’s teaching and Buddhism and Jainism is very firmly rooted in the minds of men---- and partly because it promised better results. Nehru publicity confessed that non-violence was adopted as a method of agitation because we have not the material or the training for organized violence and individual or sporadic violence is a confession of despair. He said that the great majority of Congressmen had judged the issue not on moral but on practical grounds, and if they had rejected the way of violence it was because it promised no substantial results. If the congress or the nation, he added, came to the conclusion at any future time that the method of violence would the conclusion at any future time that the method of violence would help achieve independence, it would have no hesitation in adopting help achieve independence, it would have no hesitation adopting it. The Congress would certainly have fought the Axis Powers shoulder to shoulder with the Allies if it had been won over by the British Government by an imaginative and generous gesture, whereas Gandhiji was prepared to extend only moral support to the Allied cause and would have fought Japanese with Satyagraha. The Mahatma was fully aware of these differences. As a man of action committed to the liberation of this country from foreign yoke, Gandhiji could not insist that his followers should submit themselves to the discipline of non-violence. The criticism that the Mahatma was deliberately deceiving himself by believing that his followers had faithfully adopted his technique is patently meaningless. It is said that Satyagraha was regarded by the persons against him whom it was directed as coercion, and that Gandhiji’s fasts did not melt the hearts of his opponents and the sufferings of the participants in civil disobedience movement did no impress the British. Tyrants are not easily moved. If they could be easily moved, consciously or unconsciously, when they find themselves using brutal methods against peaceful people protesting against exploitation. When men in authority with no pretensions to legitimacy talked of Gandhiji’s methods as coercive, did they realize they represented the forces of tyranny? Would they have responded if appeal had been made to their reason? Only in a democratic set-up where a peaceful social change is possible can we say that direct action should be abjured.
Satyagraha is one way of eliminating injustice and oppression. The other way is to create a social order in which all forms of exploitation may disappear and the need for Satyagraha or for the employment of force may be obviated. Such a social order implies a World Government democratically elected a democratic national State, socialist economy and decentralization of power. The World Government would establish the rule of law among nations and exploit world resources on a scientific basis for the benefit of the human race as a whole. It would have some force at its disposal to deal with any act of aggression or with a recalcitrant nation. Nobody can object to the use of this force because it will always be employed to upload the rule of law. The democratic State will look after a people’s internal affairs and maintain the police to crush anti-social forces. Obviously there is nothing wrong with the use of force by a duly constituted public-spirited authority in defense of the rule of law. This force would be very sparingly used because causes of social tension and social conflicts are very few where every citizen is guaranteed the basic conditions of good life and disparities in the standards of living are not very marked. Force is reduced to the minimum possible in a healthy social order in which it is a safeguard against unruly elements. Mahatma Gandhi would have preferred the technique of Satyagraha for undoing wrongs not have objected to the use of force by the community in self-defense.
Mahatma Gandhi was a kind of philosophic anarchist in whose ideal society the coercive authority of the State would disappear; economic activity would be organized not on the basis of acquisitiveness and self-interest but on that of co-operation and service, and every individual would perform his duties and work for the common good. He distrusted the highly centralized modern State because, while apparently doing good by minimizing exploitation and promoting welfare, it destroyed individuality and thereby impeded progress. The State in this represented force in a most concentrated and organized form. With all his sympathy for the poor and the down-trodden, he was no socialist using the instrument of the State to relieve distress, ensure an equitable distribution of wealth and provide employment through planned scientific exploitation of the national resources. He was a decentralist who wanted all political and economic power to be decentralized who wanted all political and economic power to be decentralized so that the people might really feel free and not slaves of a centralized authorities in which the participation was only nominal. Gandhiji advocated village autonomy, each village, more or less, autonomous and self governing through panchayats, and a loose federation of villages for the satisfaction of common needs. As a spiritualist, he urged social reform, not through legislation but through self-discipline, moral restrain and persuasion. Gandhiji had no love for capitalism. Its acquisitive nature, its stress on self-interest, its exploitation of the poor was all repugnant to him. He did not, however, want to abolish capitalism by law but to transform it by moral force, by appealing to the rich to act as trustees of the national wealth. In his ideal society, the rich classes would use their wealth for the benefit of the people, taking as their share only the minimum amount necessary for a simple and austere life. Reform achieved through moral appeal, Gandhiji felt, would be more lasting and would be attending by no ill will or social tension. The best government’, he said, was not a welfare State with vast functions but a government which governed least’.
Mahatma Gandhi was thoroughly dissatisfied with the present economic system and the growing trend towards materialism. He was against the modern craze for multiplicity of wants and ostentations living and against ever-increasing mechanization of production and huge industrial combines relentlessly expanding their operations and pushing our small producers. He favored simple and noble living, production through cottage and small-scale industries, village self-sufficiency, manual labor and self-help. He wanted everyone to be employed and assured of the basic conditions of good life, such as food, clothing and shelter. He was not opposed to the employment of machinery, but he wanted machines to save man, not to enslave him. It would be wrong to call Gandhiji and conservative in his views. His views were conditioned by his knowledge of life in the country where the standards of living were deplorably low, unemployment had assumed staggering proportions and the privileged few were leading a most sophisticated life. Gandhi ji did not have any soft corner in his heart for the rich. His conception of trusteeship has often been misunderstood. Trusteeship is a means of property extent to extent regarded by the community as essential for its welfare. The State may regulate trusteeship, lay down minimum and maximum incomes, the proportion between them to be reasonable and just and the difference between them to be progressively reduced expropriation, he favored Satyagraha and non-cooperation with landlords and capitalists to persuade them to act merely as trustees of their wealth. Production, according to the Mahatma, should be regulated not by the whim or greed of the producer but to satisfy social needs. He would not hesitate to nationalize an industry if capitalists and workers did not function as trustees of an industry.
Mahatma Gandhi was a great champion of individual freedom, but while he conceded to the individual certain fundamental rights, he laid equal stress, if not more, on duties. Gandhiji was no individualist as the term is ordinarily understood, a man impelled by self-interest, working for self-aggrandizement and conceding to society the minimum right to regulate his conduct. He was an advocate of individualism in the moral and spiritual sense of the term---the sense of man whose nature made him an end in himself, who needed freedom to develop his moral nature and contribute to the enrichment of the corporate life of the community and who was always God-conscious, bound in his actions by Dharma. Gandhiji was against every custom the degraded man and made a mockery of his spiritual nature. He saw in the pernicious practice of untouchability man’s most deadly sin. He denounced intoxicating drugs and drinks as brutalizing men and doing violence to their spiritual nature. Gandhiji’s views on educations were also inspired by the consideration for forming a sound character. Education should not only help in acquiring knowledge and arousing intellectual curiosity, but should inculcate right ideals through knowledge of national social and cultural heritage. The Mahatma rejected the caste system based on birth as immoral. He wanted the organizations on the ground that they helped to transmit knowledge and skill to the succeeding generations. The Mahatma approached labor problems from a spiritual stand point. He was stoutly opposed to exploitation of labor but he also reminded workers of their duty towards their employers, their work and their nation. Neither, workers nor employers had any right to work only for their self-interest. With the Mahatma, society was neither capitalistic not socialistic. It was an association of noble men and women conscious of their duty towards their fellow men, living not in isolation but fully participating in the corporate life of the community---the village society, the nation and the international community.
Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of life has been criticized on the ground the independent India has completely repudiated it. Modern India is committed to the operation of highly centralized parliamentary government, the creation of a socialistic order, large scale industrialization on the Western pattern and modern science and technology. But the Mahatma’s views on autonomous villagers, his advocacy of cottage industries, Charkha and Khaddar, his general opposition to mass-production, big labor-saving machines and imitation of Western production, big labor-saving machines and imitation of Western production methods should be considered in the context of the conditions prevailing in the country. Besides, we must consider the spirit underlying his proposals. Mahatma Gandhi was not a philosopher or a metaphysical thinker, and a modern sceptic may legitimately claim that he has thrown no new light on the ultimately claim that he has thrown no new light on the ultimate reality, the nature of the universe, the existence of evil and free-will. But he has given the world a new way of life, a way which is also as old as civilization itself. His greatest contribution to modern thought lie in his insistence that main s fundamentally a spiritual and moral being and that society is an association of human spirits---an association which is not limited in any way by considerations of nationality race, creed or sex. This is a simple doctrine, yet how profoundly revolutionary. He wants men and women who are noble, public spirited, disciplined; who are always bound by the laws of Dharma, who are fully conscious of their social obligations and who think not in terms of self-interest and self-aggrandizement but of service to the community and its corporate life. He also wants a society in which every man would be able to live in freedom and achieve creative self-expression.
In this world, divided by nationality, race, religion, sex and caste and class, in the world where a large part of humanity lives under a totalitarian tyranny, in this world where man seeks only endless pleasure in the acquisition of the material things of life, in sex and drugs and drink, in new sensations and excitement, the message of the Mahatma has a significance which mankind cannot of village republics has not found favor with the farmers of our Constitution, but all eminent political and social thinkers are agreed that political and economic authority should be decentralized if man is to be truly free and is to participate in the democratic process of decision-making. One may dissent from the Mahatma’s extreme views on pacifism and may regard the use of force by the State as justified in dealing with anti-social elements or by rebels protesting against an unjust social order, but if war among nations is to be eliminated, Gandhism provides the only way. Science and technology cannot be rejected and industrialization on a big scale is unavoidable for a modern, viable and self-sustaining economy, but is it wrong to insist that the aim of the economy should be the promotion of human welfare and individual freedom rather than endless multiplication of wants, inhuman conditions of work, loss of craftsmanship, gigantic organizations dwarfing man and ever increasing urbanization which denies man any contact with nature? Machines to be sure, are needed, but must they make men their slaves?
The ideal society of Mahatma’s dreams may appear to be too utopian. His distrust of the State seems unwarranted. The modern democratic State is the agent of the community and represents the collective wisdom of the masses. There is nothing wrong with democratic legislation to bring about a social change. No coercion is involved in it. It does not violate individual freedom but promotes it. Gandhiji relied too much on persuasion, too little on the conscience of the community embodies in Parliament. But with all his limitations as a thinker, he represented a great moral force and a new way of life which promises to relieve the anxiety of the modern age and put humanity on the road to sanity and health.



Insat-4A

ISRO’s latest satellite. INSAT-4A communication satellite, was successfully launched on December 22,2005 by the European Ariane-5 G launched vehicle of Arianespace, with 12 high power kuband transponders. INSAT-4A is the first satellite to meet the requirement of Direct-to-Home (DTH) television service apart from carrying 12 C-band transponders to augment the INSAT capacity for communication and TV services. Weighing 3080 kg at lift-off, INSAT-4A is the heaviest satellite of ISRO so far.
The 169th flight of Araine (Ariane 5G) with ISRO’s 3080 kg INSAT-4A and the co-passenger, meteorological satellite, MSG-2 of the European EUMENTAST, lifted off at 4:8 am Indian Standard Time (IST) form Kourou, French Guyana About 30 minutes after lift-off, INSAT-4A was placed in the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) in 3-axis stabilized mode. INSAT-4A is now orbiting the earth with perigee (nearest point to earth) of 622 km and an apogee (farthest point to earth) of 36152 km and an inclination of 4.02 deg with respect to the equator. The orbital period is about 10 hours 46 minutes.

Successful Launch
The Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan in Karnataka acquired the firs signal from INSAT-4A. The initial checks on the satellite indicated normal health of the satellite. MCF subsequently issued commands to the satellite to make the earth-viewing face to orient towards earth. The calibration of the gyros on board the satellite was also carried out. INSAT-4A is being tracked, monitored and controlled from MCF. During the initial phase of INSAT-4A operations, MCF also utilizes INMARSAT Organization’s Telemetry, Tracking and Command (TTC) ground stations at Beijing (China), Fucino (Italy) and Lake Cowichan (Canada). The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (15 TRAC) ground station at Biak in Indonesia is also monitoring the satellite. The satellite’s orbit is being precisely monitoring the satellite. The Satellite’s orbit is being precisely determined by continuous ranging from the participating ground determined by continuous ranging from the participating ground stations. INSAT-4A has maneuvered to its final geostationary orbit, which is about 26,000 km. above the equator, by firing its 440 Newton Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM). When the satellite reaches near geosynchronous orbit, deployment of its solar panels and the two antennas will be carried out and the satellite put in its final –axis established mode. This will be followed by trim maneuvers to take satellite to its designated orbital slot. INSAT-4A positioned at 83 degree East longitude along with INSAT-2E and INSAT-3B.
INSAT-4A measures 15-16 meter when its solar arrays are fully deployed in orbit. The spacecraft propulsion system employs a 440 N Liquid Apogee Motor with 1500 kg of MON-3 (Mixed Oxides of Nitrogen) and MMH (Mono Methyl Hydrazine) to take the satellite from GTO and its final geosynchronous orbit. The satellite will be 3-axis body stabilized in orbit using sensors, momentum and reaction wheels, magnetic torques and eight 10 Newton and eight 22 Newton Reaction Control Thrusters. The satellite has two solar arrays together generating 5,550 watt of electrical power backed up by three 70 Ah Nickel Hydrogen Batteries. The satellite has two deployable antennas and one fixed antenna for various transmit and receive functions.
With ISRO Satellite Centre (SAC), Bangalore, as the lead centre, INSAT-4A was realized with major contributions from Space Applications Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad, Liquid Propulsion System Centre (LPSC) at Valiamala and Bangalore, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) and ISRO Inertial System Unit (IISU), Thriuvananthapuram. Besides, several industries in both public and private sectors have contributed to the realization of INSAT-4A. MCF is responsible for initial phase and in-orbit operation of all geostationary satellites of ISRO. 

New Generation of Communication

The launch of the Indian Space Research Origination’s INSAT-4A telecommunications satellite inaugurates a new generation of domestic communication spacecraft. INSAT-4A will be used for Indian domestic governmental a commercial telecommunications. Its 12 Ku-Band transponders have already been sold to direct-broadcast television companies serving India, an illustration of the surgeon demand for satellite television in the subcontinent. The satellite also carried 12 C-bands transponders. It is a demand that several commercial satellite-fleet operators would like to serve. But India has a policy of obliging direct-broadcast satellite television companies to use India satellites unless those satellites are full. The Indian Space Research Organization plans three more INSAT-4 A satellites for launch by the end of 2008.
After the launch, ISRO chairman Madhavan Nair stated that the satellite ”will revolutionize” direct-to-Home (DTH) broadcasting in the country.
He said that launch is a milestone. “India spreads across 3,000 km (1875 miles) and to reach each and every village, satellite technology is the only possible way”. Mr. Nair hailed the spacecraft as the “most advanced, heaviest and powerful satellite” built by ISRO so far.
This is the first satellite in the INST-4 series. Although ISRO have its own launch vehicle, it does not have the technology to launch three-tone satellites. The organization had faced US sanction after India carried but a series of nuclear test in 1998. The sanctions have since been removed on all except three organizations attached to ISRO, which continue to face the restrictions. The 12 transponders on INSAT-4A have already been booked by Tata Sky to provide DTH services in India. Tata Sky proposes to provide 150 channels to its transponders provided by Indian satellites will increase to 150. Apart from Tata Sky, several other Indian players like Anil Ambani’s company and the Sun TV group are waiting for space on INSAT series of satellites to start their DTH service that have been announced earlier. 
The satellite, which has design life of 12 years, itself, cost Rs. 230 crore, while the launch and insurance added up to another Rs.300 crore. The Ariane rocket also put into space MSG-2, a weather satellite for the European Organization Eumestat. ISRO is a long-standing client of Arianespace and used the agency way back in 1981 to launch its experimental satellite Apple. INSAT-4A is the 12th satellite to be launched by Ariane and ISRO plans to use Arianespace to launch INSAT-4B as well.
Eumatsat
The launch of the Metosat 9 stellite called MSG-2 before launch for Europe’s meteorological satellite organization, the 18 nation Eumatsat, will give Europe a backup satellites to join its twin, Metosat 8, which is already operational. These two satellites are the first of the four Metosat Second Generation Spacecraft, which provide imagery from 12 spectral channels every 15 minutes. The four Metosat Second Generation Satellites will provide climate and weather data through 2018.The total program is valued at 2 billion euros ($2.86 billion), including the production, launch and operations of the four satellites.
The MSG-2 platform is a spinstabilised spacecraft developed by Alcatel Alenia Space to provide high resolution images of the earth’s weather activity for the European Meteorological Satellite Organisation (EUMETSAT). The 2,084 kg satellite also will measure the planets radiation balance for information on climate change.
Indian National Satellite (INSAT) System
The INSAT series consists of --- INSAT-2E,INSAT 3A,3B,3C,3E, KALAPANA-I, GSAT-2 AND EDUSAT. The system providers over 140 communications transponders working in the C, extended C and K bands besides metrological instruments.
The Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) Satellite System is the world’s largest constellation of civilian remote sensing satellites providing series at the national and global level. Our forthcoming satellites are OCEANSAT-2,RISAT-1 SERRIES 4B,4D,4E and Scientific Satellites ASTROSTAT and Chandrayan-I.




Robotics

A technological revolution is taking place in the area of machine tools, inspection devices and handling equipments. This new revolution has been triggered off by electronics and sustained by ever-increasing capabilities of computers. This has led to emergence of a new technology called mechtronics symbolizing the synthesis of mechanical aspects. 
Robotics is the study of the design and use of robots (Czech: ‘robota’ meaning compulsory service), i.e. the machines programmed to carry out a series of operations without human guidance. The word ‘robotics’ was invented by the science fiction writer Isaac Asimov. 
In the field of robotics, we stand at the bottom. The robots that exits are by no means the seeing, speaking, thinking, humanoid types that we find in science fiction. So far, they are only computerized levers equipped to do a particular simple task over and over, thought the rapidly will be made more complex, versatile and able. The kind of work they can do makes them more important. They can do dangerous work or withstand dangerous conditions, which human beings would much prefer to avoid. Robots can work in space, in mines, use water-active materials, pressures, heights and so on. Besides, replacement of human beings with robots may be impossible. The human brain is not easy to match, let alone surpass. The brain contains 10,000 million neurons and 100,000 million supporting cells. Each neuro is connected to anywhere from 100 to 100,000 others to make up an ON-Off switch, but is itself an ultra complex physical chemical system that we are not even on the brink of understanding. The human brain is built of proteins and nucleic acids as a result of 3500 million years of evolution by hit and miss mutation and by the force of natural selection operating under the push of the necessity of survival.
Industrial application of robots is favored because of their untiring nature, predictability, precision, reliability and ability to work in relatively hostile environment. Besides this, robots frequently increase productivity improve overall product quality, allow replacement of human labor in monotonous and, of course, in hazardous task.
Computer-controlled robots are used in industry for welding. Assembling and machining, and to handle various materials. Non-industrial applications of robots include marine work, space work, bionomics, farm work, mining, nuclear work, security guarding, sheep-shaving, simulation, warehouse, micro-surgery, etc.
Robots for space:--- Computer scientists have designed an intelligent flying robot to carry out a wide range of tasks on Mars, if it is visited by a possible future European Space Agency Mars Lander Mission in 2005. Named Altair-1, the craft has been designed primarily to carry science packages, micro-robots and other equipment from one part of the planet to another. It will also perform important reconnaissance works like mapping the terrain, taking aerial photographs, and working as a weather balloon.
Being a flying machine Altair-1 can only operate on the planets and Moon which have an atmosphere, such as, Mars, Venus, Titan and Jupiter. It attempts to remedy the problems suffered by vehicles such as the Sojourner micro-rover in the Mars pathfinder Mission of 1997, which could not wander further than the limited vicinity of the landing craft.
Altair-1 will run on solar power in conjunction with rechargeable batteries. This would ensure a sustainable power supply to it. But, in the case of power dipping low, the robot can simply be used as a Martian winds while still feeding back invaluable data. Geological exploration in inaccessible areas, high-altitude surveillance and atmospheric monitoring are just some of the potential applications of its capabilities.
Polymorphic Robot:--- Recently, the scientists have developed a polymorphic robot, which can change is shape according to the job. This thermoplastic farmed robot is being developed by Hod Lipson with Jordan Pollack. The basic idea is to assign the robot a particular task, and then a computer would attempt to design a specific body which would facilitate the robot to perform the task efficiently.
This development has immense potential in space research. Robots, with the capacity of shape-shifting, could be used in futuristic rescue missions or planetary explorations as then they could change their shapes to meet a new challenge and could adapt to unpredictable environments.
Robots Soldiers:--- In wartime, the most perilous assignment is to take the lead on patrol but soon soldier taking lead could be robot. A company named ‘Robo Trix’ has developed two robot prototypes for the US military nicknamed Gladiator and Spike, about the size of washing machines. Gladiator and Spike are armored engines guided by computers and can travel unmanned into the most dangerous situation. Earlier, robots handled dangerous situations like bomb disposal, SWAT mission, gas leaks and collapsing mines.
Now likely assignments of robots include surveillance, clearing land mines, responding to chemical weapons release, exchanging messages during hostage negotiations and a Kamikaze role guiding weapons to target.
Robotics in India
In India, a few research groups have been working on development of robots, but a breakthrough is yet to be made in the field of robots for large-scale industrial application. The groups working on robotics include R and D of the Hindustan Machine Tools (HMT), the Central Machine Tools Institute (CMIT), the India Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras, the Indian Institute of Science (IIS) Bangalore, and the Hyderabad Science Society, Hyderabad.
The public sector defense production unit, Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) was the first Indian industry to introduce an indigenously developed robot in its production line. It introduced ‘pick’ and ‘place’ type robot with a three axis movement in its television tube production plant at Bangalore. The pneumatically-operated the productivity while maintaining quality in the semi automated plant, eliminating operator fatigue and other health hazards.
The robotics laboratory at the school of automation of the Indian Institute of Science (IIS), Bangalore has developed a microprocessor-base robotic arm. The arm has four joints, each of which is actuated by a stepper motor. The robotic arm can be controlled manually form a front panel or automatically through a video terminal and a key-board. The microprocessor has been programmed in such a way that a lay man can control the robotic arm. It can be commanded to pick up an object from a specified location or to search, locate and then grip an object within the work area.



Role Of Mass-Media In Present World Affairs

Means of mass-communication or the media, has assumed large dimensions of importance and responsibility in the modern world affairs. TV, Radio and News-papers play a big role in shaping the public life and improving the awareness of the world affairs among the masses. News-papers have become almost as necessary as the food and clothing. The modern educated man cannot enjoy his morning breakfast unless he has the morning paper before him. But the world moves so fast and events happen so quickly that one cannot wait for the morning paper for fresh news. The TV and the Radio, keep us informed and alive to the current world affairs more promptly. The TV has revolutionized the world of media. It has achieved huge dimensions in the world of news and information. It gets the important events- social, political and sports, live before us, besides the interviews of the important persons related to some current events. The video strips of the events, shown along with the news, make thing very clear to the viewers. Radio is not anyway less important in keeping people informed about the world affairs, especially in the rural areas where the V has not yet been able to replace it totally. Besides the informative character of the media regarding latest developments in the political and social sphere, it caters to the needs of the businessmen, sports-person, cinema fans, lawyers and unemployed youth equally.
The media has gained manifold importance in the recent years and has become a huge industry employing a great number of able journalists, writers, photographers, statesmen, correspondents and a train of film producers, writers, musicians and actors etc. With the popularity of TV and cable-culture, the importance of news-papers and news-journals has not diminished but gained further strides for their distinctive character in the world of media.
It is a world of competition. Business, sports, politics and education, including media are flourishing very fast as a result of sharp competition among the partners. Everyone in the field, be it a news-paper or a TV channel of the state-sponsored radio, is trying hard to give the best information to the masses and gain popularity and thereby make money by the commercial advertisement which sponsor the programs on the TV and radio or through news-papers. The media-men are the most sought after people these days. In the world of diminishing values today, the politicians, businessmen, hoarders and black-marketers, even the people related to the underworld are in permanent scare of the media. They do not know when their evil-doings are brought to the open public notice through media. The media has become quite an effective watch-dog for all the anti-social elements not only in India but throughout the world, so leaders, academicians, teachers, students and lawyers speak up for the people and voice their grievances against the mismanagement of public affairs at various levels. It serves as a link between the government of the day and the people. The government’s policies and actions are conveyed to the people, and the latter’s views are forcefully expressed to make the authorities aware of the public feelings. The opposition leaders get an ample opportunity to criticize the policies of the government and set them right whenever the occasion demands as such.
The media can perform its true role as guardian of the public interest and a source of all kinds of information, only in a democracy, where it enjoys the freedom of expression. Indian media, for that matter, enjoys the freedom of expression and is greatly envied by the people of other countries of Asia where there is military dictatorship, autocratic rule and prolonged spells of emergency during which the fundamental rights of the citizens are blatantly denied. Of course, all journalists and news-papers must functions within law and must not infringe the regulations regarding libel and defamation; otherwise they would make themselves liable to penal action. In spite of the limitations of law, the media has wide field which they can fully cover and exploit.
All news-papers and other forms of mass-media do not, however, play a positive and constructive role expected of them. A section of news-papers in this country, unfortunately, steadily increasing in number, indulge in sub-standard journalism. They distort the truth, fan up the fundamental religious sentiments, exaggerate juicy news-reports and violate all ethical standards. They use their columns for exploiting vulnerable people and do a lot of damage to the public cause. Television, which has a very powerful appeal in audio-visual communication, is not also utilized fully for the gainful purposes. Bedside working successfully in highlighting some social evils of the society through its popular serial plays and other programs, the T.V has gained much notoriety for its showing some obscene programs of fashion shows and dress competitions along with western movies which do not suit the traditional cultural background of this country. The crime, horror and violence included in the programs have encouraged lot of crime and violence in this country. Such use of media for petty personal gains for themselves, is a great betrayal of society and should necessarily be treated the black sheep in the profession.
The media in an advanced society should perform a noble mission of enlightening people, broadening their vision and discourage sectarian, communal and divisive trends. They should not resort to sensationalism and distortion of truth, incite sensitive people to take revenge against those who are their enemies or who act against their interests. It is pity that many news-papers fail to perform their duty towards the masses especially in this country where the unlettered many have an implicit belief in the printed word and tend to take as truth what they read or hear. In advanced countries, such as U.S.A. and Britain, the press and the TV is a great power. In India too, some papers hold an exalted position and are popular worldwide for their honest opinions.
The power of media is especially very great in all the democracies of the world. News-papers are said to make and break the governments, but they can perform this duty only by being the real mirrors of the society. They can mould public opinion only by their honest dealings. They cannot pressurize the public to go by their own views. Thus they can simply defame themselves and lose their mass popularity. Some national news-papers, the giants, as they can be called, enjoy a great deal of influence on governments and the people alike. They command ample resources and are greatly patronized by the masses. The people connected with these papers, especially the journalists, correspondents, cartoonists and columnists enjoy great respect and popularity among the masses. Their word has a big say in the echelons of power and business. These people gain this popularity because of their honest dealings with the situations in and outside and country. But this is not true with all such cases. The news-papers, the news-channels and other private forms of the media are usually owned or dominated by the big industrial houses and capitalist. Consequently the interest of the masses is often sacrificed at the altar of capitalism and business.
In the Constitution of India, Right to Freedom (Article 19-22) is a vital part of the Fundamental Right enshrined therein. The written word, or the Press is the essential forum of expression. A free Press is, therefore, an essential instrument of ensuring openness in society, as also for reforming it. In a society where overwhelming millions are mute, because of illiteracy and lack of interest, the responsibility of the media increases manifold and the access to a forum that reaches them must be viewed as a trust to be operated on their behalf and for their larger good. The media is, no doubt, only one of the instruments of change in the modern world society but nevertheless, it serves as an important source of information to different sections of the people and has far-reaching effect on government policies and plans. The press-men have a responsibility towards the common-man, as such; the press cannot be completely free. Even the greatest democrat cannot allow it. Liberty of thought may be complete, but the liberty of expressing that thought, is bound to some restriction, not only from outside but from within also---within your heart. There would obviously be chaos in the would if everybody were allowed to say or publish what he thought or felt. There is a very wise saying “your freedom ends where anyone else’s begins”, applies here also.  Freedom of expression should not be allowed to degenerate into freedom of abuse.
Freedom of Press is a sacred privilege, but it requires great tact and patience to exercise it properly. Man is generally governed by passions and prejudice and the media-man is no exception to it. In the world of shifting values today, people with influencing sense of character and honesty are things of rarity, so curbs on the activities of media are indispensable as no country can allow blasphemy and personal liberty. Avoidance of mischievous and malafide criticism of government and its agencies to source some of the personal ends is not justified. The political leaders or other persons at the helm, also not justified. The political leaders or other persons at the helm, also have their limitations and it is the duty of the media to look into the facts and intentions equally and closely too, to form an opinion to publicize, so that the people, at large, are not mislead and misgivings about the events are not publicized in a wrong direction.
The responsible media is the stronghold of the democratic set-up. Democracy is based on the mass-participation of the people in the affairs of government. The masses are to be kept well-informed about the developments going on, as a consequence of the policies of the government. The achievements and the failures of the governments in power are to determine its future continuance or a change. Thus the role of the Press and the Media comes in. it is the duty of the means of mass-communication that the masses are fully and honestly aware of the realities. It is here that bad Press and other media can do a lot of damage to the cause of the people as well as the government.



Problems of Urban Life

Modern urban life has produced entirely a new environment, a new standard of life and a quite changed circumstance with the new inputs of technology. It has created lots of new problems which were quite unknown to the people of yesterday. As the world today is changing rapidly, more rapidly than most of us can imagine or are at least prepared for. Till recently men lived in village communities, and their culture, mode of living food and social organizations were adjusted to their surroundings. Modern urban life has created new problems of adaptation. Small old cities expanded in their jurisdiction and accommodated vast surrounding areas. The glamour of urban areas attracted people from rural areas in large numbers. Comparatively inadequate development of villages pushed the unemployed people in large numbers to cities in search of work, students for better opportunities of education and businessman to expand their business and finding better markets of their goods. Unfortunately most modern cities gew haphazardly as the effects of living in huge cities were not fully anticipated and the social, economic and psychological consequences of industrialization were not fully considered; and the steps which should have been taken to bring about an adjustment between man and his new environment have not been forthcoming in ample measure.
Much has so far been said and written against urbanization. The critics of urban civilization regard it as a social decay. They deplore its artificiality, its sophistication, intellectualism and loss instinctive activity, its denial of family life and blood ties, its loss of vitality and the will to live manifested in the decline in birth rate and in the high rate of suicides. They also point to the growing evils of urbanization Juvenile delinquency, prostitution, addiction to alcohol and drugs of the most injurious kind, slums, crimes and suicides. To crown this all, the critics of urban life, point to the loss of moral values and deteriorating sense of brotherhood among the people living there. There is no biological or sociological evidence to support the theory of decay. Most of the evils to which the critics of urban civilization draw attention, are not inherent in it, but are the result of a lack of social planning and foresight and also the wide exposure to western culture as a result of improved communication links in the form of cable T.V. and easy access to the advanced life styles of westernization. 
Rapid urbanization has created a very large number of highly complex problems, particularly in underdeveloped or developing counties. The most noticeable evil associated with over-urbanization is marked deterioration in the environment of the cities and the appearance of slums. The cities in developing counties have become overcrowded as a result of migration of people from the countryside and small towns over decades and natural increase in population. As a result of unplanned industrialization, the employers in the cities are not bound by law to build horses and provide all civil facilities to their employees as a result, the workers who are not well-paid, are driven by necessity to living on footpath or in slums under most intolerable conditions as they along with petty tradesman is not able to pay high rents which a housing entrepreneur expects. In the new industrial towns which are springing up, there is not problem of slum clearance which is so acute in our big cities like Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi. Slums are a disgrace to the community. They are unfit for human habitation. All kinds of people learning their bread by dubious means--- beggars, prostitutes, pick-pockets and thieves, chronic drunkards, vagabonds, and the like come to live in slums. Since the poor peoples’ do not generally have any notions of hygienic and sanitary conditions of living, the slums, often single-room tenements degenerate into something even worse. They breed all kinds of epidemics.
Consequent upon industrialization in developing counties, urbanization, besides creating slums, has also denied to a large section of people even elementary civic amenities---pure drinking water, electricity, proper drainage system, hospitals and well-built and well-run schools and pucca roads. Over-crowding has become a serious problem as large additional population is bound to complicate matters. Good medical facilities, day-to-day requirements of life, proper schooling and the like, have become very expensive and only the upper crust of people are able to afford for them. The masses including the middle class are only able to maintain themselves upto the level of subsistence and the things of comfort have become things of luxury for them. The educated youth, in spite of having good education and professional knowledge cannot stand the competition and are usually an exploited lot at the hands of affluent industrialists and company owners.
Another vital problem created by urbanization is that of the pollution of environment Pollution is the direct outcome of fast urbanization. Unplanned expansion of urban areas has put crowds huddled together in areas where the roads cannot bear the load and the haphazard industrialization has put industrial units scattered inside residential colonies. All these things have increased pollution. The number of vehicles on roads is rapidly increasing, so are the sources of noise and water pollution. Thus, the urban people bear the brunt. Very few planned urban areas, where the highways are very wide and the roads run through green areas and the industial areas are quite away from the residential colonies and also strict rules and regulations are observed for development of new areas for residential colonies, the problem of pollution is not intense, the cities like Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai are worst examples of pollution the atmosphere to the extent that human life is put to great risks. Man has learnt to turn deserts into fertile lands, harness the forces of nature for his benefit, add immensely to production in all spheres so that the rapidly growing population may be well-fed well-clothed, well-entertained and well-provided withal sorts of luxuries and comforts and overcome the gravitational pull of the earth and conquer space, but has not learnt to life in peace with nature and preserve the balance has not learnt to live in peace with nature and preserve the balance which has made life possible and given it such richness. The air is being polluted by all kinds of poisonous gases and fumes from being polluted by all kinds of poisonous gases and fumes from industrial plants and automobile exhausts. It is estimated that 60 per cent of the air pollution in American Cities, is cause by motor-cars. Scientists predict most Disastrous consequences for the human race if the atmosphere continues to be fouled. Chemical wastes contaminate rivers and seas and poison drinking water and fish. India has not yet reached that degree of industrialization which would pose a serious threat to the environment but he danger signals have appeared. This does not mean that we have to stop applying science and technology to production and remain content with old methods, but we have clearly to recognize the dangers inherent in unplanned industrialization and take sufficient measures to stop the increasing industries pollute the environment. how foolish it would be to rudely disturb the delicate balance which nature has struck to make life possible and support it.
The world is presently passing through a period of acute international anarchy. The big powers are piling up huge piles of thermonuclear weapons and other engineers of vast destruction. It is possible that the instinct of self-preservation prevail upon these suicidal tendencies and these weapons are destroyed, but the possibility cannot be ruled out that these dangerous weapons are used in consequence of some instant circumstance and the nations will have to face catastrophic consequences of their folly. The counties which are highly urbanized and which have millions of men, women and children living in cities are more valuable than those in which people live mostly in villages and small towns, where industrial production is highly decentralized. The defenses of a country are very much handicapped when the armed forces are to consider the safety of people living in metropolitan cities with high concentration of population and industry. The big stakes in war will have to be exchanged keeping in view the safety of the urban areas.
Keeping in view the circumstances that prevail in big cities in underdeveloped counties, along with further development of urban surrounding areas, some steps are necessary to be taken for the decentralization of urban areas. Since the main motive for migration to already thickly populated urban areas is economic, the most effective way to discourage them is to make the economy of the villages and small towns fully viable. The Government can undertake a massive program for rural development so that the economy of villages is fully vitalized. Improvement of Agriculture, setting up of small industrial units along with the facilities for good education, hospitals and recreation and full employment for villages and small  towns can be achieved with a full-fledged development plan in a matter of a fixed period of time as the populations does not exceed the facilities which nature has provided there. If all the resources, available in villages are tapped properly and in a phased manner, the thing which seems impossible can be achieved very soon. The surplus rural labor can be absorbed in villages themselves or in neighboring towns where there is no over-crowding and the civic amenities are ample. Mahatma Gandhi quite held that we should be able to make villages self-sufficient and autonomous as far as possible. The developing nations have fallen completely under the spell of western civilization and technology and mode of large-scale production through huge industries, forgetting the fact that they do not suit the developing economies with vast expanding population. The result is before us. The urban areas are madly expanding despite all hazards of urbanization and the rural masses continue to live in sub-standard, below poverty standards with very little or no hope of any ray of development reaching to them.
No-doubt, the village economy is undergoing rapid development and conditions are being created in which rural pursuits will become viable, but also so rapidly is population expanding and so readily are our well-to-do agriculturists taking to agricultural machines and electric power that there is little possibility of rural unemployment being reduced to any appreciable extent except through migration to towns and cities. Towns and cities are centers of trade and commerce. Factories employing thousands of works are set up in them. It is in cities and towns that courts and universities and colleges are established, films are produced, newspapers are published, radio stations are built, government offices employing thousands of men and women function, restaurant and hotels are started and thousands of persons cater to the tastes of men and women in fashion. Men of taste who patronize works of art, lawyers, doctors, teachers, artists and other intellectuals live in metropolitan or other big cities. Ambitious men determined to make their mark in life make towns and cities the seat of their activity. Migration from towns to villages is insignificant partly because those who are used to the amenities of urban life are reluctant, despite attractive government offers to induce educated classes to go back to villages, to settle in the induce educated classes to go back to village, to settle in the countryside where civic amenities and modes of entertainment are of a very limited character. Migrations to cities have been vastly a very limited character.  Migrations to cities have been vastly facilitated by the rapid means of transportation. Traders move from small towns to big cities because the urban people have greater purchasing capacity and consequently provide more opportunities purchasing capacity and consequently provide more opportunities for making big profits. Delhi is today the most densely populated city in the country because of the influx of refugees, large-scale expansion of central bureaucracy, the establishment of new factories, diversion of wholesale trade from neighbouring towns, and the fact that sis the seat of government and Parliament.
Thus the need for the government and municipal corporations becomes paramount to realize their responsibility to ease the situation prevailing in big cities. They cannot allow themselves to be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the problem involved. There is no warrant for the belief that urban life is unhealthy, unnatural and harmful, that the people in villages live longer, are free from ailments common among city folk and life more naturally. The fact that urbanization is accompanied by various evils and involves certain undesirable consequences down not establishes that they are inherent in it. It only emphasizes man’s inability to plan his life intelligently and create an environment congenial to him. The objection is not to urbanization but to indiscriminate expansion of city boundaries and overcrowding. Unfortunately, in underdeveloped counties, municipal corporations and town planners cannot raise enough money to satisfy all the requirements of expanding cities. The State cannot compulsorily acquire land under the slum dwellings and bulk healthy, well-built, spacious houses for the poor on subsidized rents. There need not be any legal or constitutional difficulties in the way of compulsory eviction of land, illegally occupied by elements. The urban areas should be places full of all the modern amenities including well-ventilated and well-built houses, parks and gardens, schools and hospitals, not only for the affluent few but for the poor as well, then only there will be an equitable distribution of nature’s bounty.



The Problems of Modern Youth

Unrest among youth has been a problem since time immemorial. It was so in the past and it shall be so in future as well, howsoever glamorous and glittering the social fabric might become and however secure and stable they might feel under the new dispensation. The young have never rested on their past laurels nor have they felt contented with their present possibilities. The chords of their impulse, instincts and intuitions have been always vocal and vibrant. No doubt the problems of youth in different parts of the world under different socio-political systems differ in contours and contents. But one thing is almost certain that the modern youth is up against problems, the like of which did not exist in the past. “”youth in turmoil”, “Unrest among youth”, “Youth in revolt”, “Angry young man”, ----these epithets are not just literary coinage or journalistic flourishes, but a vociferous voices of protest of vast segments of populations that have seen and suffered the all-round erosion of values and the wreckage of their dreams.

Having been influenced by the philosophies of “individualism” and “existentialism”, the urban youth is in state of defiance against the old order, whether that order comes from the “elderly generation” or the “power that be”. If they find themselves in a state of “alienation or estrangement” in the present set-up , the fault lies as much with their socio-economic milieu as with the education system. Deprived of the opportunity to develop intellectually, many suffer from the problem of subjective isolation and self-estrangement. Among red-tapism and bureaucratic control over the strings of both private and public sectors, the cream of the country finds itself uncared and un-solicited for. It is under this trying and turbulent circumstance that the best brain of the country starts draining out. This country does not seem to provide for the youth what they wish for or what they are capable for. They are seen exploited here and not given their due inspire of their putting in the best efforts. This treatment starts with the educational institutions, where the teachers and the curriculum both seem to him quite contrary to his tastes and aptitudes and his enthusiasm seems to get blunted in the start of his career and he feels alienated from the world around him. Once out of college he feels the whole world not ready to accept him and he starts to become rebellions in character. His parents start complaining about his behavior and during this crucial stage he is prone to some bad habits, like smoking, drugs etc. Many youth at this juncture seek market for their abilities and capacities but they find, their capacities least respected in the market. Those who succeed in finding jobs or some means of subsistence in this country do not find life a sweet-song or a care-free comfort. A host of problems keep staring them in their faces-inadequate, houses, transport and sewerage, poor medical and recreational facilities, neurotic noise pollution, shortages, dust and smoke, crimes and ever-expanding slums and what not. The most creative and colorful period of their lives is consumed and swallowed by activities most profane and abject in the ever exploding towns and cities. The bosses for whom they work are their targets completed, which is always out of their roach. They want to get rid of this servitude and start something of their own to make use of their talents independently but the constraints of finances and other problems bar the way and to keep the ball rolling, and wishing for a divine opportunity to cross his way, they continue with their present unfriendly job merely to make their tow ends meet.

If T.S. Eliot’s prufrock measured his life by counting the sips of coffee cups, the modern youth in India measures his life by standing in queues, jostling and pushing in buses and finally by removing the grey hair from his head. His problems are social, economic and psycho-emotive but there is none around who can share his sad and solitary existence. Compounded with his lonely state of life, the urban youth have remained immune to the profundity of spiritual heritage of the land, mysticism, the philosophy of Vedas and their formative years in schools, colleges and universities. Fed on scientific data and attuned to economic, political and social theories, the Vitim finds himself rudderless and utterly hapless when caught in the tempests of some personal crisis or jolted by some inexplicable tragedy. Even the telecast of two great epics on the television has failed to change his outlook because the symbolic and spiritual import of these epics have no penetrated through the thick layers of ‘rationalism’, ‘materialism,’ ’nihilism’, etc. Which like crumbs; he picks up from here and there and then flourishes them as props of his pseudo-scholarship.
Difference in class and social background contribute to the disparities among youth. It leads to the accumulation of tensions, which have an explosive potential. Youths belonging to the lower class of society, after attaining good academic and technical efficiency became angrier as the join the army of job-seekers and no more prepared to adapt the level  of their aspirations are not fulfilled. They want to earn the fruits of their toil they have put in to get their degrees through educational and technical institutions. They do not find people with whom they want to work, as friendly as they expect, so they turn rebellions to their society and their anger finds outlet through a behaviors which turn to be anti-social, at times.

The rural youth who comes to towns and cities in large numbers to seek employment after completing their courses of study seem themselves freed from the cramping controls of traditional institutions of rural life. The freedom gained and the energy released thereby does not find satisfying outlet, in the urban areas where they have to of adjustment in cities, in the case of language, manners, speech in the first instance and subsequently inadequate foods and residential arrangements. They feel suffocated in the city crowds and pollution and are unable to accommodate with the routines and life-style of the town. They cannot withstand the glamour of the urban areas and face psychological tension and insecurity generated by the more competitive, individualistic and impersonal environment which result in their inhibited socialisation. It has a direct impact on their prospects of employment and the become a soft target for the greedy employers of the city who take an advantage of their simplicity and exploit them for their personal gains. Many of them fall into the traps of some anti-social elements, who take them very fat into their network of evil-doing where from they do not find any route of escape and their life and career is spoiled. Despite their outnumbering the urban youth, opportunities available to the rural lot are qualitatively different. Here the inequalities that divide the educated and somewhat affluent urban and the unlettered and the underprivileged rural people, come in the way and the realities are denied opportunities as compared the urbanities. The condition of the rural areas has been deteriorating for lack of development there, and the development of real India which is in villages, does not seem to be on the agenda of development agencies, as such, the number of job-seekers, both educated and uneducated, goes on increasing day by day and their march towards cities and towns also increases day by day. Therefore, the deteriorating economic conditions of the villages and the more extensive development-cum-job opportunities of cities is the primary cause of youth migrating from the countryside to the slums and squalor of cities.

This influx of rural people to the urban areas signifies kind of “brain drain” towards the cities and calls for an urgent and immediate program for rural resource development of these areas so that the rot is halted and the problems that follow un-planned and haphazard urbanisation are put under check.
Independence was once an inspiring social ideal and the struggle for independence brought to the free ground some of the finest qualities of the Indian youth. The nationalist struggle was undoubtedly associated with a moral ferment, it did throw up a leadership which had strong bonds with the people and which rose to the great heights of moral courage and dedication. In the person of Gandhi, India did throw up a leader who became a symbol of Indian awakening. But Indian leadership in the period following independence has not been able to transform the challenge of national development into such an overpowering cause; the program of planned development has not caught the imagination of the youth nor has it released spiritual ferment and energy to any appreciable extent. The fundamental causes of this weakness are socio-political they lie in the ambivalent attitude of the leadership’ failure to inspire the youth with their ideal thinking and action has made the Indian youth either cynics or snobs, unable to cope with the day to day problems and predicaments.
One of the big failures of the Indian models of development and the State has been an inability to realize that we are dealing with a very different kind of society comprising many linguistic and ethnic groups craving for recognition of their rights to preserve their ethnic identity and linguistic entity. Having been exploited and neglected for long, the young blood among these groups took up the cause of their communities and thus came in direct conflict and confrontation with the state authority. In recent times, many movements led by the youth, have been going on in different parts of the country and the only problem that the youth have highlighted is their assertion and reiteration that their separate identity and cultural entity be respected and restored back to its pristine glory and grandeur. The failure in doing this, alongside the deliberate provocations coming from interested quarters has resulted in the growth of both communal conflicts and sub-national assertions and movements that are greatly straining the authority and legitimacy of the Indian State.
In the West, the dilemma of the modern youth is born out of factors that are alien to the youth in the developing countries. If property, ignorance and unemployment are our curses, affluence and permissiveness are the bane of their homes, most of which are shattered as well as broken. The cult of Hippism, Drug addiction, violence, aimless murders etc. proves beyond doubt that mere material prosperity is not the end of all problems. The largest number of psychologists and psychiatrists flourishing in America point to the widespread enigma of neurosis-cum-mental sickness most prevalent among the youth there. In the countries of  Eastern Europe, the problems of youth are that of transition from a “Closed Society” to the “Open One”.
All said and done, modern youth, particularly Indian youth, can again contribute towards a big push to Indians growth and progress. Thinking and dynamic elements among the youth will have to organise themselves for serious self-education before they can organise the participation of the youth in this vital, national task.


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