The confident faith that machines would improve the lot of man, had its day. The Victorian Age, as the years of optimism were called, saw the world and thought it was good; saw the machine and thought the world could be bettered. Humanity entered the age of technology in high hope but rapidly passed into serious doubt.  Would the machine run away with Man, was the persistent question in all minds; and in all minds the haunting answer lingered that it was inevitable.

The flash at Hiroshima scared humanity out of its wits.  And Man was saved from the last act of folly by fear, fear not only of the weapons of the other side but one’s own engines of destruction.  In his extremity, Technological Man could only think in terms of the Machine.  If a sneaking thought persisted that much more was necessary, it was swiftly suppressed.  All men spoke in terms of mechanical adjustment ….. a tightening of a bolt here, and a turn of the screw there; from such devices was Peace expected to return to earth.

The answer, however, lay not in the machine, not even in that super-machine the State, but in the mind of Man; not in the fears of Humanity but in the hopes of men….What was required was an effort to create a radical change in outlook, to impress on the leadership of a divided world the feeling that united action was possible and even inevitable, to give voice and force to the hopes and aspirations of the peoples in both blocs.  There have been of late impressive proofs that this is exactly what has taken place; and in each one of the instances, whilst many others have contributed, the work of Indians is clearly discernible.  This is a matter of tremendous satisfaction for this country….

(EDIT, June 26, 1955.)

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal

www.freepressjournal.in