Essay from Dr. Jernail S. Anand

Older man with a white beard and a turban on his head and reading glasses and a gray suit and white coat and blue tie holding up his hand in front of a microphone.
THE LEGACY OF GREAT AUTHORS: 
THE FAULT-LINES OF MODERN CIVILIZATION  

							Dr. Jernail S. Anand

The world still basks in the glory of great scholars like Aristotle and Plato although the books that celebrate Socrates for being the greatest man, who loved truth over his own life, have failed to inspire the modern man. Life was not easy in those times, nor people so learned, there were not so many universities, so many books, and so many institutions which imparted knowledge, still those people loved ‘learning’ and the idea of being human. As the civilization has progressed, and man has known more and more,  it appears the law of diminishing returns has gone into operation. Writers look upon civilization itself as a great challenge to manhood. We need not go far to see that the man that we meet today has dwindled in his humanity, he is smart, but lacks grace, he lives on his wits, not on truth. Did we really bargain for such a situation? Did the great authors dream of a man who loses his manhood, his humanity to gain physical affluence? 

Self-obsession, self-love, selfishness – these are human traits which foreground  movements like individualism, and liberalism,  and we had no idea the modern times, in spite of the fact that Google and X connect people across continents,  will hasten the process of alienation and finally, man would shed all that is imaginative in him, and remain only a disc of desires. 

FAULT-LINES   

The niceties of life which should have been a part of our living, down the ages as we have been studying great masters like Aristotle, Plato and Shakespeare, are absent from human behaviour and thought. We have developed a coarse life style in which the physical has got the better of the inner life of man. Civilizing processes have moved into a danger zone, and man, instead of getting sensitized about his spiritual relationship with the cosmic reality, has acquired a blatant lifestyle glorifying only his self.  Our civilization has moved into a domain, where we have lost not only our language, not only our feelings, and our sensitivity, and most pathetic, our legacy too. 

POVERTY: THE CRADLE OF GREATNESS

All is not lost though. Adversity has saved mankind from itself. If you want to see the best specimens of mankind, go to poor homes where men and women have to work hard to survive. Here, you will find parents who have time for their kids, and siblings who love and die for each other. Only here you will find dreams which are human in intent and divine in content. If the daughter of an autorickshaw driver dreams of becoming an IAS officer, here you will find the mother and her brothers and father all engaged in a super human fight to support the girl. But move out of the poor locality. You will find the rich of this city, their bloody boys, waiting in their cars, to abduct young girls, violate their bodies and destroy their dreams. The jungle that we see rising among the rich and the wealthy sections of society is an alarming development of the present civilization. Not only young boys, even their fathers and mothers have lost their sense of balance. And the most dangerous thing is: this jungle is growing fast. 

AUTHORS AND THEIR LEGACY

The world of today, which has absolutely lost the legacy of great authors, - you will not find anywhere the message of Leo Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Gorky. Don [the great river of Russia]  shakes its head in despair, and cries at the falling stock of mankind. The world that came up reading Shakespeare, William Wordsworth and Donne, will turn so insensate, who could imagine? King Oedipus, who faced in most inhuman situations, has left nothing behind. No lesson. No legacy. The civilization that took shape around the Vedic effulgence of the Ganges is now drying up in utter neglect by its inheritors. Dr. Faustus, however, is still in great demand. We don’t find any takers for Aristotle and Plato. And if we have absolutely disowned any author, it is Socrates.



RAVANIZATION OF MANKIND

Human mind has acquired super powers so that it can masquerade like the elemental forces. ‘Some’ men have overgrown in their size, and, in their hunger, turned  Ravanic. The Ravan of Ramayana was an demon with a huge physical embodiment. But the Ravana of modern times ‘looks’ most human, you will find him visiting the shrines donning  a particular dress code which makes him look quite normal.  Physically he looks like just another man. But just descend into his mind. You will see a Lanka, a city of Lust, a city of Passion, a city of Ambition, a city of Illusions. These are the men, the Ravanas, who rule this world, they are few, but too powerful for the poor masses even to understand the reach of their powers and their discrete designs. 

AUTOMATONIC HUMAN BEINGS 

These ‘demonic’ people have created a breed of auto-matonic human beings who do not think, who do not feel, who have no sense of good and bad, except achieving the ‘target’. The young men of today, who have no time for breakfast, no time for lunch, no time when they will return ‘home’, [have they any?], who have no family, young office girls who don’t marry for the sake of career, and couples who don’t want babies for they have no time – and they have no time for their mother and father, they have no understanding with their MIL and DIL [mothers in law or even daughters in law] – we are not living in an advanced society, we are living on the ruins of a great civilization, which has been, and is now in the throes of extinction. 


[The author is winner of Charter of Morava, the great Serbian Award in Creativity, and his name adorns the Poets’ Rock in Serbia]. 

One thought on “Essay from Dr. Jernail S. Anand

  1. I appreciate this essay’s explanation that if we condition people to only strives for quotas and benchmarks, then those people will exist like machines instead of like people.

    The pressure, here in Canada, to surrender our personhood and instead strive for quotas, comes from high rent from landlords with no restraints on what they can charge! We must hit their monthly rent number each year, so we must quantify every moment as income or as a cost.

    If we want to live, instead of merely exist, then we need some kind of control over how we define our own time. Assuming, of course, that our lives belong to us, and not to our managers and not to our creditors.

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