The cynic who said that nothing is certain in this world except taxes and death, was indirectly admitting the primacy of controls in modern life. While death is the philosophical control that life is ultimately subject to, taxes mark the economic roadblocks which prevent an individual or a class from riding roughshod over the rest of the community. If these were understood, there may not be so much protest whenever a civilising Government introduces one more control. Indeed, the story of man’s civilisation is the story of controls; the problems of his arts and sciences are the problems of control in one form or another.  Man’s first step to progress was registered, when authority was centralised among the roving cavemen and individual plundering was abolished. The chapter of political control had begun. Social controls were applied to curb promiscuity. The family was founded and social relations were streamlined. With the establishment of order on the homefront, his venture to tame and control nature began. Swirling rivers, devastating storms, fathomless oceans and finally, limitless skies, all had to be subdued and controlled one after the other  With the advance of science and technology, even more than before, all problems appear fit objects for the application of control. Be it atomic control, cancer control, flood control un-American activity control, feminine figure control, the hardest of our crosses all draw controls to themselves. Even war and peace are but questions of control. War is the disparity between the control that man exercises over physical forces and the lack of it on his own mental faculties. Peace emerges when man’s self-control keeps pace with his skill to control natural forces or his desire for canals. Currently, the man who is worried to distraction about controls in this country is the Finance minister. Food prices, cloth prices, inflation, bank credits, millowners’ manoeuvres and the handloom’s fate, all these are waiting to be controlled by the Finance Minister….

(EDIT, September 16, 1956.)

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