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Can the Human race sustain another 100 years?

With the cloud of grenade smoke mixed with smithereens of human bones, hovering over the skies of Israel, Lebanon, Iraq, India and at some point of time hovering over almost every part of the world has lead to Stephen Hawking’s recent doubt, “Can humans survive another 100 years”. With our collective effort to destroy our shelter and its inmates, Mr. Hawking’s doubt might actually be a negative reality.

Had the question of human survival been on biological and medical grounds, there would be no worries because the laboratories around the world are busy to immortalize humans, so much so that they are growing human organs through stem cell technology. However, our survival is jeopardized in the present social, political and economic scenario. Human history is stained with blood and replete with killings induced by the passion of power, wealth, vengeance or pure sadistic pleasure. But over the centuries, we survived them all, the barbarians, Vandals, Goths, Alexander, Hitler, Napoleon, British colonialism, etc.
Despite physical and mental frailties of the plundered masses, they stood the test of severe and several internal and external invasions. So had the threat of survival been posed only by Hizbollah, Hamas, Al Qaida or LeT (Laskar-e-Taiba), there was a fair chance of our withstanding them and living through it. But the tragedy of our times is that, invasions and attacks are not the only mammoth problem we are living with. The vulnerability of our survival is further increased by the invincible personal, social, political and environmental issues.
The irony is that, today we cannot differentiate between our heroes and villains. Politics has turned into a filthy game of unabated selfish manipulations. Walter Bagehot’s statement, “A parliament is nothing less than a big meeting of more or less idle people”, never seemed more apt. The promises and policies of our leaders are prejudiced and idle because they are influenced by personal selfish motives.
While we are so equipped to wage wars, why do the initiated peace processes never result in anything concrete? The reason is because we have lost the basic honesty of our character. Peace and harmony is never intended, it is just a trick on the minds of the gullible masses and take advantage of their underlying ignorance. The rockets, grenades and bombs will be a part of our life till the killers are killed or there is no one left to be killed. In such circumstances, our survival even with a steady population growth rate of 1.14%, representing a doubling period of 61 years, is a question mark.

But we cannot hold others solely responsible for our endangered climate. Our social fabric is crumpling under the weight of our own growth. Our susceptibility to emotional breakdown is vastly increased in present times. There is a growing intolerance between partners, family members and our children need psychological help at an age when they cannot even pronounce and spell psychologist. The chutzpah and glitter of the conspicuous lifestyle has made us oblivious of our natural calm and equipoise mental state. Forget world peace, when we are not at peace with our own self. We might survive but will certainly not be living life with emotional restlessness plaguing the serenity of mind. The number of people ending their lives in sheer desperation is ever increasing.

However, the biggest challenge is that even if we somehow survived the political indifference, social seclusion or terrible terrorism, can the earth survive and sustain for the next 100 years? The forests are disappearing, glaciers are melting, ozone layer is depleting, soil is polluting, water level is rising and yet we are going about our activities with the same irresponsibility. Should if we feel proud of ourselves, that we could disrupt even the impeccable nature?
We had always been fighting for land and ladies, but now even water, the basic necessity of life is a matter of dispute. First there is scarcity of water and more scarcity of drinking water because our water bodies have been egregiously polluted. Next the frequency of natural disasters that our world has been through in recent times looks like signaling the ensuing biblical Apocalypse.
I do not doubt man’s intelligence and ability to device means and methods of surviving on another planet after the demise of Earth but for how many planets do we wish to write the same fate as the falling Earth. Wouldn’t it do better justice to human sensitivity and rationality to work towards preserving and conserving our Mother Earth than shifting to other planet or letting the human race perish bit by bit?

Robert Zend’s words sound like biting sarcasm when he says, “There are too many people but too few human beings”. Do we live in a jungle where the rule of “survival of fittest” applies? Certainly not, we are evolved beings and need to live so. It is time that we turn humans from mere people and let not our evolution go to grave. Our survival doubts will be ill found with just a little soul searching.