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Are We Civilized?

While waiting for my dinner to arrive, I was casually browsing through the headlines of the Deccan Chronicle, a major daily in Southern India. Suddenly a headline caught my attention, which read, “Father arrested for sexual assault of his daughter”.  The details, which followed the headline, were astonishing (the father had intimate relations with her own daughter for continuous three years after she attained puberty and the FIR was lodged by his own wife). I asked myself, “If a woman is not safe in her own house, then where else she can seek shelter?” The extent of moral deterioration  which is confirmed by the heinous incidents presented by media on daily basis poses the question, Is man civilized in 21st Century?

Strictly speaking, man today is as much a beast as he had been in the age when victors used to erect mountains of heads, breasts and other vital organs after indulging in a massive carnage of subjugated civilian population. Or the age when slaves were compelled to ‘fight’ with hungry lions or were simply put to flames for amusement’s sake. The difference lies only in the saga of advanced technology of the modern age. Now instead of organizing a ruthless slaughter (though it also happens) powerful nations drop nuclear bombs, cluster bombs, napalm bombs etc. instead of burying alive the girl child (though it also happens) now they are killed in the very womb of mothers.

Man has gone from arrows to atomic bombs, from a loincloth to a suite/dress, from being bare foot to wearing shoes, from living in a cave to living in a flat/mansion, from walking to riding in a car, from watching the birds fly to making his own iron bird and flying & to the landing on the moon but what about the development of man himself. While there has been great advancement in the technology and innovations, there is a constant degradation of human morality and civilization on the whole. This is well illustrated by the famous Urdu poet Allama Iqbal in this couplet:

Unhe fikr hai ki sitaron ke par ja na sake

Hamen afsos hai ki zamee ko zameen bana na sake.

It can be put into English as they (scientists) are anxious that they could not cross the stars but We regret that we still could not make this earth a good place for living. The man of 21stcentury thinks that he has an edge over his ancestors who did not had access to the comforts, which are now just a click away from him. Isn’t it true that our ancestors lived happier life than we are now entitled to? They owned PEACE which we yearn for and which we are ready to acquire by the greatest possible sacrifice. They would have never come across news where a suicidal bomber blew himself to kill his own community of people or security guards or where doctors engaged in stealing the organs of babies or where the son killed his father to claim the insurance money or where man sliced his daughter into pieces for marrying a Hindu or a boy outside her cast (the modern term given to it is Honor Killing) or where police personnel killed the innocent life in fake encounter for merely earning good will of the minister at whom hands he is a puppet. I could go on but let me stop here and ask you what is civilized about all this? If we think we are civilized, we are living in the fools’ paradise. Isn’t it funny that we print pictorial warning that smoking causes cancer and at the same time promote its sale with advertisements? We understand that prostitution is a black mark for human race; still we leave no stone unturned to legalize the same?

Let us all join hands and take steps to curb the ongoing moral deterioration and make this earth a good place for living.

Categories: Society
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