16 February 2011

Surviving the 21st century

The impact of the internet, the mobilephone and air travel is beyond doubt. Technology has indeed changed our lives: helping us to connect with our family and friends, to conduct business speedily, to have access to education and healthcare which were beyond our reach earlier.

Today, in urban India, we can learn about a socio-political uprising in Egypt, spread the news to our friends on our social networks, post opinions on our blogs, comment on online news sites, and show our support for the cause with thousands of people across the world... from the comfort of our homes.

What this means is that technology has liberated us to an unimaginable degree. Now we can hear what’s going on, and be heard, in all corners of the world.

But, technology also binds us. It locks us into believing that what is provided on our platter is all good. Good for our consumption, as food and as thought. So subtle and yet so powerful is this belief that we seldom question what is offered to us. We take it for granted that what’s offered to us is pure and safe, and will improve our lives and lifestyles.

This is not always so. If we think the global financial crisis of 2008 was a shocker, taking away what’s most sacred to us, then we are aware of only half the story. There is a deadlier crisis at bay; a deadlier conspiracy at play. What I’m talking about is the danger of genetically modified food that is served on our platter every day.

From health hazards to environmental hazards to failure of crops which affect our food supply, technologies that propagate genetically modified food are killing machines. Yet, and in spite of volumes of information available on the internet, worldwide, awareness of the risks of genetically modified food is low.

In India, where genetically modified crop failures and farmer suicides are rampant, educating the farmers and the public at large are uphill tasks. Who could or would provide this education? And, at what cost? How does one reach out to over a billion people, most of whom are illiterate?

Added to this is apathy in the media and among policy makers and the government. With the Food and Agriculture Minister preoccupied with cricket, construction and his other interests, who’s going to chalk out a strategy for us to survive the 21st century?


Ruth said...

Way to go bish! love your lost paragraph! :)

Nisha said...

Thought provoking.
May this post be read by the concerned people. :-)

Biswajit said...

@Ruth @Nisha
Thanks for visiting my blog. I do hope people read posts like this one, and try to make this world a safer place for everyone.