All technological advancement that replaces human labour and work cannot be termed progress.
India is a nation suffering with mass unemployment, underemployment and meaningless employment. We have millions and millions of poor people sitting idle in our villages and cities. Above this, frequent droughts and self created water crisis converts millions of agricultural labour unemployed awaiting some work. While MNREGA provides some relief it is only a relief and not a solution to chronic unemployment India faces.
In this current dire situation, by creating technological advancement that replaces human labour we are performing a great crime against our nation. We are creating a situation where for the sake of technological progress and hidden capital interests, millions are thrown out of employment and are added to the existing large group of unemployed.
India should invest all its energies in creating technology that assists human labour and help our millions unemployed perform some work and not ease the burden of their work. We need machines that create work for us and not replace our work. We need to decentralise our production from concentrated factories to cottage home based industries. The handloom or sewing machine which employed million weavers and tailors to produce cloth for hundred million people was replaced by power loom which does the work of million by employing thousands. In this situation we have technologically progressed but societally regressed creating poverty and unemployment. We have millions of cleaners and sweepers but new sweeping trucks perform the work of thousands alone with two driver and little fuel. We cannot let these middle aged sweepers become unemployed or expect them re-skill themselves in advanced learning branches. We don’t want human labour to compete with machine which is relentless, works 24*7 and has no emotions attached to it. We need machines that assist us in our work and enhances our capability to work.
This continuous technological advancement that renders millions unemployed should be controlled by our government if they really are ‘for the people’. If they cannot perform this duty of which they are very well aware, they are an illegitimate government whatever election result they may present before me. Elections with participation from millions of illiterate ill informed voter makes no government legitimate, especially when people trying to get elected are creators of false information. The question of controlled technological progress must be discussed at all level of power and within the wider public discourse.
The views expressed are personal and inspired from Gandhiji’s views on technology. All criticism is welcomed and celebrated.