The Morality Factor

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“The Empire is deteriorating” says R. Daneel Olivaw to Hari Seldon in ‘Prelude to the Foundation’. Not in the exact same words I think, but I’m pretty sure about the zest.

I think the same applies to us. Not so much in a word-to-word fashion as in a metaphorical fashion; after all that story was set many thousands of years into the future on an imaginary planet.

Daneel’s issue was with the scientific slowdown, the decline in the development of newer technologies or that’s how he illustrates his point. I on the other hand have my issues with the morality of the society, the civilization in large.

An event happened which triggered the thought. I mean the thought was always there, this particular event cause enough force to actually make me write. Then as I cooked up the title to the post, I couldn’t help stuff with similar theme so to say. And hence, here are the three events/discussions.

Event A:

I was late. It was raining and Delhi in rains is a bitch: the traffic that is! The rest of the parts are awesome. Okay maybe the clogging is not awesome!

I had to get to the substation at which I had done my intern to calculate my attendance. I had messed up a few things, and hence the rush. I had decided I will take the Metro from Vaishali, a decision I was to regret later because of the number of people who had the similar thought.

Two middle aged women were walking rather slowly ahead of me. When you are in a rush, everyone and everything seems to be happening in slow motion. Hence, when another woman who was sitting at the entrance called the women towards her, I took the chance and overtook them. I had slowed down a bit myself too, and hence I could make out the reason: something about this woman not having cash to go home.

This is a classic method used by cons around the place for getting some sympathy money out of the willing population. Well, I usually am not willing and hence I picked up speed soon after. This happened right outside the entrance.

A few moments later I stepped inside and onto the escalator. Once on it, I realised the deterioration. My mind started making up excuses then: She was a con; I was/am in a hurry and so on.

This was also when I came up with the title: ‘The Morality Factor’

This was also when I realised, how much we have deteriorated as a society.

This was also when I realised I should go back and get her a ride back home.

This was also when the escalator reached the second floor and I realised no more.

Event B:

A few days later, I come across this post by a person on CNN, where she mentions her harrowing experience on her trip to India, my nation. I am moved, I also remember my trip to Agra a few days back, before Event A; the primary reason behind this post.

Agra is famous for a few things: the pagalkhana (mental hospital), the Taj Mahal, and Peda (a sweet dish). The only reason I was going was because I hadn’t been on the Delhi-Agra Expressway yet; well at least the whole of it. I had previously been to the BIC.

It was the Independence Day, the fifteenth of August. I was waiting in line to get inside the Taj Mahal premise. The line was long, and had bends at multiple places. When I was in the inner queue, I was surprised to find the bend alongside the one I was in to be empty. Surely, people hadn’t just vanished. It was just then a couple of females, foreigners passed and it was also then I saw men not moving, but clinging on the railings looking at these women.

I felt disgusted. I felt sorry. I felt the degradation.

Later, my driver exclaimed, pointing at a group of middle aged men clicking pictures of some Asian girls: “Yahan ye log yahi dekhne to aate hain!” (These people come here not for the monument but for ogling at women)

I felt disgusted again. I felt sorry again. I felt the degradation again.

Event C:

This was supposed to be a two event discussion, but as I reached the end, I realised I just couldn’t end the discussion about morality, without mentioning the world as a whole.

It’s weird really that breakthrough technologies are invented because they are supposed to have or have military applications for one nation or the other. Our history is filled with such examples; the web is one such example. The amount of money we enjoy spending on devising new and innovative methods to engage in man-slaughter is really quite bizarre. I wonder if any man in a position of power will ever think about the waste or if he’ll be allowed to do something about it!

As I was thinking about the degradation, I could not help but think of the current mood in the nation: the pre-election-who-gets-to-rule mood. I believe in a united world: the pros are just too many and too awesome. As I was thinking about my country, it somehow made me realise that our civilisation as a whole is in a developing phase: just like my nation.

I wonder where we are going.

I shudder at the thought.


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