The Techno-Life

The first successful electrical computer, the ENIAC was designed almost 70 years ago, and especially in the last few decades technology has become an integral part of our life. We can’t even spend a single day without technology; right from the time we get up, where we use our cell phone as an alarm clock, till midnight, when we sleep after chatting on WhatsApp. Also, you are reading this on an electronic device and ironically, it has been written on the same.

Technology has penetrated so much that even our language has changed because of it. Today, ‘google’ has become more of a verb than a proper noun to refer to Google Inc. ‘google it’, ‘a photoshopped image’ and ‘whatsapp it to me’ aren’t uncommon phrases for us. One may argue that these terms are not officially allowed in English, and hence one must refrain from using them, however language is bound to change over time, just as we create new English words like ‘prepone’ and ‘pundit’, which find a place for themselves eventually in the dictionary and thus we get them ‘officialised’.

We are engraved so much into this world of technology that we’ve forgotten to live with the real world. Books are being replaced by e-readers, I-pads and tablets; blackboards by screens and mosquito nets by guards. The technology that we used ten years ago has also become obsolete; just as nobody today uses those old Nokia cell phones and the fat music players.

While technology has proven to be a boon for us, on the other hand we’ve got addicted to it. This generates the need for TV shows like Big Boss and people eagerly watching them. Many of us would have also developed health problems due to such a sedentary lifestyle. Though I am myself an engineering student, and that I’m myself addicted to using it lot, I do feel afraid for technology taking over our lives fully as the European powers over the small kingdoms and would jointly like to have a ‘Techno-Free Day’. What’s your opinion? Would you be able to celebrate this?

Vishal Khopkar.

Fake Patriotism

As a citizen of India, cricket is not an unfamiliar game for us. We all love to watch cricket, especially in the stadium; and if that’s an Indo-Pak match in India, no questions please! We hear people chanting ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘Bharat Mata ki Jay’ in the stadium but throwing empty paper glasses and snacks packets in the stands itself, and even after winning the match, people readily burst crackers on the streets at 12 am.

Do you all really think that such a manner of showing patriotism towards the country make you a real dedicated citizen? Such a form of patriotism for ‘name-sake’, show-off or simply boasting oneself is fake patriotism. A real patriot may not dance with the tricolour in the stadium, but surely won’t litter the public premises with empty glasses. He/ She won’t burst crackers after victory as he/ she knows the devastating effects of such anthropogenic unsustainable activities on our environment, especially in cities like Mumbai which have alarming pollution levels. Added to it is the effect of the garbage generated after bursting such crackers which is left uncleaned only for the municipal sweepers to clean it in the morning.

The mandate of this text is not only limited to cricket. Many politicians, not only today but historically all over the world have had such propaganda. When a dedicated Head of State is trying his/ her level best to upgrade facilities like industry, the digital and the startup sector, the opposition parties are trying to show their skills by diverting the attention of the government towards non-trivial issues under the pretext of patriotism. Under this ‘fake-patriotism’, many non-liberal rules have been imposed by not only totalitarian and communist states, but also democracies all over the world. Governments have historically acted in a manner which just showed their exemplary fake patriotic skills to the world. A good example for this is the renaming of the city of Léopoldville to Kinshasa by the Mobutu government, to show respect for Congolese names in the erstwhile Zaire, today the Democratic Republic of Congo while neglecting the mainstream problems like corruption and inflation in the country.

However, the motive behind this article was just to inculcate the true spirit of patriotism for one’s country ‘To Live And Let Live’ and to refrain from following the practices which under the pretext of being pro-national, leave behind several wounds to the nation.