Dr. Farid A. Malik |
It’s the oldest fight in history.
The age old idiom, ‘The devil is in the detail’ holds good for all manmade systems. Divine networks have the luxury of self-correction as such the devil is contained. Humans have to deal with the devil for which detailed SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) are required. As technology develops, more and more complexities emerge. The application of science to solve problems of all kinds is being hailed as a big achievement of mankind but it has created its own challenges.
Despite its environmental impact, coal remains the most widely used fuel in the world. Perhaps its negative impacts were not considered.
Before the advent of science and then its application called technology, philosophers were tasked to lead in solving problems of mankind. Till today, the terminal academic degrees are termed Doctor of Philosophy or Ph.D. Philosophers were expected to understand the Divine mechanisms and their effect on humans. Galileo is considered to be the father of modern science who challenged the control of religion and divinity in solving day to day problems. There was no looking back, once science came out of the laboratory in the form of technology the world changed, and the advancement continues.
In pursuit of movement, the invention of the wheel is considered to be the biggest invention of mankind. This motion was then fuelled by coal. Steam engines and railways emerged followed by electricity generation. Despite its environmental impact, coal remains the most widely used fuel in the world. Perhaps its negative impacts were not considered. In search of rapid advancement, the devil took control and the details were overlooked. Today climate change has become a reality which can no longer be ignored.
The 21st century has come with its own challenges. Deregulation, Globalisation, and Privatisation leading to free market have become the norm. Uncontrolled freedom has its own negatives. The profits-before-people approach cannot work; it is the way of the devil. The wealth and resources of the world and its nations are now under the control of a few individuals which is very unhealthy. Immediate trickle down or re-distribution is needed otherwise, with bloodshed and famine around, the party will have to come to an end soon.
Surprisingly, while Pakistan is the home to one of the largest glaciers in the world, the French knew more about them than our own researchers.
A totally deregulated free market approach has now encroached on Divine regulatory frameworks meticulously worked out by nature. The heat of the sun evaporates water which then freezes in the form of glaciers which then melt at a certain rate to flow through the land to reach the oceans. I was once presiding over a seminar on glaciers. Surprisingly, while Pakistan is the home to one of the largest glaciers in the world, the French knew more about them than our own researchers. On questioning, I was told that there was a lack of funds. As the sitting Chairman of Pakistan Science Foundation, I gave an open invitation and funding to initiate research projects but no one came forth. The same holds true in other areas. Every year weeds are responsible for extensive crop damage and there is no game plan to contain them.
Biodiversity has been seriously compromised by man-made interventions. Every year we hear about a different infestation (Sundi) on the cotton crop and a new pesticide to get rid of it. It is an unending saga of mismanagement, exploitation, and corruption. Finally, the West has opted for organic farming while the developing countries struggle with the mess created by manmade systems based on half-baked solutions. The Devil must be very happy with the prevailing situation.
Nature is in total control of the universe and all living beings except humans and ‘Jins’ and ‘Devil’ is one of them.
Chief Washington rightly said, “Man belongs to the earth, the earth does not belong to him”. American Indians are today the world’s most subjugated race who have been confined to their reservations. Between wild development and preservation of nature lies the future course for humanity. The role of the devil has to be understood and contained in all manmade systems which can easily destroy themselves many times over. With hostile nations divided by manmade borders, a misadventure can prove to be deadly. A nuclear war scenario in the Sub-Continent was once discussed on the social media. If India decides to drop a bomb as the first strike, Multan will be taken out as Lahore is too close to Amritsar. Pakistan will then retaliate and attack Delhi. The madness poses threats of inhalation of the entire Sub-Continent that is why conflicts in the area are taken very seriously by the world.
Nature is in total control of the universe and all living beings except humans and ‘Jins’ and ‘Devil’ is one of them. The creator has allowed them the opportunity to decide their course of action. As a scientist, I believe in development through its proper application which makes me a technologist. In the absence of detailed SOPs and in-depth understanding of manmade systems, the world has become unsafe. The Devil has prevailed the only way to deal with it is through details.
It seems that the Devil has challenged the Divine forces in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and so far has an upper hand.
The very basis of the ‘Saaf Paani’ project is the work of the Devil. As a child growing up in the fifties and sixties I could never imagine drinking bottled water. The first we heard of mineral water was when rumors surfaced that Prime Minister Bhutto drank well water imported from France, no one else even knew about it. The washes in Islamabad and Leah Nullah in Rawalpindi had clean water and so did the canal in Lahore. To qualify to be called a Lahori one had to take a dip in the muddy cool waters that flowed through the city.
I remember the walks with my grandfather on the banks of Leah Nullah where I could swim while he walked. Tap water was potable and readily available to drink. Then the Devil moved into pump dirty sewerage water consumed by the humans in the pristine waterways that nature controlled. Instead of treating the sewerage water before disposal into the rivers the government decided to provide ‘Saaf Paani’ by spending billions on filtration units. While none of the sewerage treatment plants are functional in the country it is hoped that the filtration units will work and the filters will be timely replaced to control infections of all kinds. It seems that the Devil has challenged the Divine forces in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and so far has an upper hand. First, pollute the natures waterways and then consume it through man-made filters by spending billions, it is the methodology of the fools created by the active support of the Devil.
Dr. Farid Malik is a prominent technical and management expert in mining, materials, engineering and high-tech industry; he is a regular columnist for The Nation and Pakistan Today. He is ex-Chairman, Pakistan Science Foundation. This article was first published in Pakistan Today and is republished with the permission of the author. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.