By Zahoor Dar
Physicists often remark that more energy generates more entropy. As a school going kid, I was not able to demystify this gospel truth because it was beyond my comprehension. I was taught about the historical inventions, discoveries, and theories that have changed the image and structure of the universe. The history of human civilization or origin of universe has not been a sporadic event; rather, the result of many forces and factors working in tandem shaping its evolutionary history. The role of energy is deemed to be a central element in defining the universal formation as well as the taxonomy of the anthropological history.
The energy is not only confined to peaceful uses. My awareness became more concrete when I came across the historical literature replete with the impacts of nuclear radiation on biodiversity. The whole genetic makeup of the species is mutated by the nuclear fallout. The nuclear energy, touted as the only alternative to meet the needs of the present burgeoning population, seems contested.
The whole universe is in fact composed of energy particles. But its forms are varied and various. Sometimes this energy takes the form of co-operation and sometimes it turns violent. Sometimes it integrates the world and then all of a sudden adds woes of disintegration. It takes different nomenclatures: somewhere it is called a benediction or magnus bonum; at other places it takes the character of nuclear holocaust. At the micro level, it represents stiff competition among microbial world where the rule of survival of fittest applies. Sometimes its allotropic form represents energy flow and sometimes metamorphic cycle of birth and death. When energy is disturbed, it wrecks havoc on humanity in the form of climate change and global warming. Reasons cited for such disequilibrium are anthropogenic in nature.
There is no doubt that the growth of economy has accelerated the pace of development but has decreased index of satisfaction causing resentment and morbidity. Right now, there are a plethora of challenges before energy similar to reduction and deficit in ethics and morality, degeneration of values, moral turpitude, and lack of accountability in public life and growth of cynical attitude. Today, countries are often at loggerheads just because their immediate concerns are not addressed in their favour. But simultaneously countries are facing gauntlets of poverty, unemployment, inflation, human rights violation, female infanticides, genocide, crime against women, mortality rates, and population explosion, shedding new light on the growing deficit of demand and supply equation in curtailing such menaces. However hard we try to fence the walls around energy, it has a tendency to escape and takes the name of freedom and rights. Somewhere, it takes the form of regional groupings like BRICS and somewhere it act as arbitrator like international court of justice. The recent inhuman torture to the people of Gaza is an uncivilized act of barbarism. The mother expresses her grief by wailing on the corpse of her dead son who had just returned from the school. Her wailing should not be deemed as her helplessness because she has indomitable faith in the Almighty that will turn the tide.
Dreaming of a pluralistic society is becoming a myth. The thirst for truth took prince Siddhartha to undertake meditation for discovering enlightenment which is energy, an energy which is caste less, creedless, colourless, and stateless. People like Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther king Jr, and Mahatma Gandhi have given different interpretations to the sacrosanct concept of energy. For Mandela, it meant struggle against apartheid, for Luther it meant relentless struggle for equality and justice as envisaged in American dream, and for Gandhi it meant Satyagrah and Ahimsa and fighting against the creed of tyranny.
The race for global arms proliferation has created a monster that seems hanging over humanity like the Damocles’ sword. If nuclear proliferation is designed to meet energy needs, then there is no jeopardy to mankind and there never will be. However, the primordial concern of states in international relations often disguises itself under the clout of national interest. Non-state actors are dubiously playing their part by promoting the interests of developed nations.
Amidst these imperatives, a developing country like India needs to harness the potential of energy. This can strengthen our national fabric by integrating people of different faiths, colour, region, religion, gender, caste and harness the dividends of diversity. The recent human development index of 2016 presents a gloomy picture of India ranking at 131 among 188 countries. Among these countries about 1.5 billion people are afflicted with ‘multidimensional poverty’, i.e., they suffer from overlapping deprivations in education, health and living standards. A further 800 million are on the brink of falling into poverty. Nearly 80% of global population lacks comprehensive social protection. About half of all workers – more than 1.5 billion – work in ‘informal or precarious’ employment. As far as gender inequality in the SAARC region is concerned, India shares the place with Pakistan, with both placed at 127th.
By producing Indian idols, reality TV superstars, soap stalwarts, we are but ignoring millions of marginalized people who still dream of school, nutrition, and health. I have a dream that humanity should come together to create global peace and ventures where justice, liberty, and equality are fundamental human concerns. Let every child dream and desire for a safe and secure future. But the big question that remains to be answered: what will be our legacy for succeeding generations, a conflicting future or pursuit of happiness? Energy needs to be harnessed for a peaceful, cooperative, and sustainable future.
Zahoor Ahmad Dar is pursuing Masters in International Relations at the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Email ID: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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