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Essay on “Modern Civilization” Complete Essay for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Modern Civilization

When we talk of modernity and civilization, a host of attributes come to our mind such as welfare states where the gifts of science have brought better living standards for the people, the fear of disease, poverty, housing, starvation and political injustice are greatly minimized and leisure is filled with a myriad forms of entertainment from music to cricket; where travel is quick and comfort and ignorance does not hold people in a fear of superstitions. Is modern civilization really like this?

A look at the spectrum-of man’s achievements both enthuses and disgusts us. The situation is ambivalent while we have better forms of democracies where public opinion counts and the right of franchise decides their own political fates, at the same time we have also noticed a misuse of freedom and vitiation of the electoral processes. The fight for human rights by Amnesty International shows how human beings have been tortured in public places or in detention and the poor plight of the refugees the world over is also highlighted by the organization.

Nuclear power has given us important discoveries in medicine engineering and agriculture. When harnessed nuclear power would replace all our needs which were met by fossil fuels and would be infinitesimally cheaper. Smallpox has been eradicated worldwide and TB is no more a serious concern for the doctors. Life-saving drugs have increased man’s life expectancy and nave brought down child’s mortality rates. Yet new monsters like cancer and AIDS have raised their heads. AIDS is spreading at alarming rate.

Modern cities are well-planned wonders of architecture. Today, world class facilities are available in any urban setting, for example, the telephone connections to any part of the globe and TV channels from both the hemispheres are possible and it is due to satellite communication. We speak to distant relatives and even watch them on video phone. One does not feel homesick while studying at Harvard in the USA as one can get in touch with parents any time one likes. In the cities, there are velodromes for sports as well as theaters. Everywhere, we have the efficient and ubiquitous computer. There is no need to rack our brains for collecting and categorizing information. We have the Internet always ready to furnish information sought.

And just log in for any type of data on your screen from delayed flights to from where you can get what in your city. While many enjoy the benefits of modem living, yet many live on pavements or in slums that burgeon on the horizons of mega cities. There are not enough houses for more than one third of the world population. Internet rules the roost in e-mail and e-com. This information super highway is the latest buzzword for business, leisure and social interaction.

Man has conquered physical pain to a great extent—painkillers cut oral sensations to the brain, painless child birth and laser-surgery of gallbladder stones and appendix without -the use of knife are now possible. Yet the mental pains of life have increased. Many more people die of heart attacks today. Tension is the biggest killer. Competition and rivalry have taken their toll.

Despite all the progress made in the fields of medical science and family planning, global population is growing by leaps and bounds, especially in the developing countries. China leads with more than 126 million people and India which is adding a whole Australia to its population each year, follows on its footsteps. While green revolutions have occurred in many developing nations, food is still in short supply. Drought and famine still stalk many landmasses. As there is a proliferation of specialized fields of activity, employment opportunities grow. Yet the number of unemployed even in advanced nations is increasing. Americans, Canadians and Germans look upon foreign workers in their countries as usurpers. The former USSR—now the Russian Federation—is undergoing a severe economic crisis.

The policies of Gorbachev towards free market economy unleashed the suppressed mania for luxurious living. Now there is inflation in Russia and they have very little money to buy even the basic necessities of life. In frustration they have taken to drink and child abuse is on the rise. Bill Clinton, the former President of the USA said in his speech that though America still had a lot of wealth, yet economy needed repairs.

Liberated thought and rationale could have devised international peace measures. But the political scenario is quite different. The United States which contributes 2.5 per cent to the UNO budget, thinks it should call the tune. It has always tried to use the world body for its own ideological warfare. In the cold war days, the USA established military bases in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean to create spheres of influence. Any resolution in the Security Council, which America thought to be working against its interests, was vetoed. The Israel-Palestine War, the Gulf War fought over oil hegemony, the plight of refugees from Yugoslavia and Servo-Crotia, the violations of human rights in Kosovo. all point to the fact that civilization today has to improve a lot in terms of moralities, economy and human values. Then we have the threat of nuclear holocaust.

With the growing insecurity, there is the generation of a renewed interest in religion. The West has given up its belief in the institutionalised religion of the Sunday Mass. More and more people are turning to the East, to follow the philosophies of Buddha, Gandhi and the Upanishadas to find the solution for human miseries. The East warns them that they must give up selfishness and materialism and must learn to harmonize spiritual qualities with material prosperity. Swami Vivekanand used to say that the philosophies of the East must blend with the material philosophies of the West in order to make a new brave world.


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