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Friday, May 4, 2012

Science our Mother and Step-Mother

Science is a systematized body of knowledge which has enabled human being to unearth the mysteries of nature  and harness its wonderful powers. Science, is not some supernatural power which can be controlled like 'Jinn' and made to work wonders, but it is an offshoot of man's spirit of inquisitiveness, perfectibility and utility. History of human rise and fall, ebb and flow, is a record of science in its constructive and destructive fields. Science possesses gigantic powers and potentialities of good and evil. When the power of science rocks our cradle gently, science is our mother. When the power of science shakes our cradle violently, its depicts the step-motherly instinct.
From womb to tomb, science plays a dominant role. Every minor detail of our life is shaded by the technicolor-ed and multicolored achievements of science. Comfortable and civilized life is possible only in the lap of science. If a primitive man is brought from his grave into the wonderland of science, he will not believe whether he is dreaming or seeing the world of reality of the twentieth century man. In planning, decorating, protecting, maintaining and feeding the contemporary city life, science is indispensable.
The skies have been spanned, the space has been scanned, the unfathomably oceans have been measured, the Himalayas have been scaled, the dark abyss of earth has been penetrated and good many a treasure has been wrested from the bosom of nature.
Science has restored legs to the lame, eyes to the blind, the lungs to the T.B. patients and vitality to the emasculated.
Science has annihilated time and space, has controlled tides and facilitated rides. The aeroplanes carry passengers swiftly from place to place. Ships, trains, motors have all made human life comfortable. in case of famines, food is rushed and air-dropped. The telegraphic communications have mitigated the pangs of separation. Throbbing hearts meet frequently through letters, telephone and telegrams.
In the agricultural field, it has served a great deal. Artificial rain, artificial manure, electric heating and ripening have made man the master of his destiny, the captain of his soul. The aeroplanes sprinkle insecticide medicines on the locusts before they could attack the crops.
In the industrial field, machinery has made a great contribution. There can be traced a marked improvement in products, relief to the worker and general welfare. Human hands have got their limitations. the pins turned out in a machine may not be counted by an average mathematician. The production is very cheap. The worker has been saved from the nerve-wrecking toil the result, with that he can get more time for educational and cultural activities.
Leaving aside the necessities, there has been an addition in the comforts and luxuries of life. Air-conditioning brings the paradise on earth. No longer does a man feel the necessity to migrate to a hill station to save himself from the scorching heat. Electricity has various uses of lighting, cooking, dying and cleaning.
Atomic energy has tremendous potentialities for peaceful uses. The atomic energy also replacing other types of energy.
The recent Soviet advancement to launch "Sputniks" is a great leap forward. The mysterious planetary world will be known to the man within a short time. Journeys to the moon and the Mars are undertaken. Science driven out superstitions and lifted the people off the abyss of fate-ism. Science has broadened our outlook and widened the mental horizon.
Science is not, however an unmixed blessing. The Knife is useful to doctor in surgery, to a house-wife for domestic use and to a school boy to sharpen his pencil. The grim horrors of partition would reflect how bad the knife becomes when thrust in the belly of our own brethren. The mass destruction wrought by the atom bombs at Nagasaki and Hiroshima, the bacteriological warfare in Korea, Indo-China, the magnetic mines and torpedo in the Second World War, napalm bombs in Malaya, Middle East etc., are the living witnesses as to how the ghost of science dances on the heap of skeletons and charred bodies. The radioactivity has got its lasting bad effects. Who is not aware of the destructive powers of A--H--C--N bombs, paided missiles and other nuclear weapons?
Due to industrialization, dingy, and insanitary cities, over-crowded factories: slums and polluted atmosphere came into being. Labour-capital dispute took a new turn. The mounting capitalism is responsible for imperialistic wars fought with most ghastly weapons.
The fault, however, does not lie with science or the scientist. An ideal scientist discovers the hidden laws of nature and reveals truth dispassionately. The services of a scientist are utilized by the state, the business magnates and the financial-sharks. It is, really, a tragedy too deep for tears that science has become the maid-servant and the scientist a mercenary of the government or the monopolists. Modern scientist is helpless as he needs money, material and laboratory to do his research. His personal limited resources are quite insufficient. Time to time science has been prostituted at the lusty altar of political philanderers. Till the time, scientists of the world assert and safeguard their right zealously to explore concealed avenues of knowledge, the world is bound to suffer.
Scientist and mystic both proceed on to solve the riddle of the world. The former observes and the latter works by dint of his intuition. Scientist seems to win the race. If science has yet to march ahead, dive deep and soar high, the spirit of  "live and let live" has to be incorporated.
Wonderful powers are at the disposal of man. If he uses them wisely, the human life here would have the possibility of living in an ever-blissful atmosphere of high heavens. If he misuses them, he would sink deep into the burning cauldron of Hell. If science remains our useful servant, we prosper, if science becomes our bad master, we perish. Science as a mother is affectionate and kind, science as a step-mother is violent and cruel.

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