Dr. Bashir A Dabla
The close relationship between technology and society has been established by concerned experts at the global level. Technological advancement has generally led to social elevation and accelerated the process of social transformation in many societies in the developed world in the last few centuries.
Technological advancement resulted in the creation of new society, new horizons of knowledge and every individual and group was engulfed in this wider process, with it affecting day to day social life and patterns of social relationship.
In this context, the statement of an eminent religious scholar and political leader of Kashmir may be taken note of. According to newspaper reports he said, “I appeal to all that if some honour is left to us, we should collect these mobile phones and throw them in to the Jhelum river .After all, we were able to live, do our business properly before the advent of mobile.”
The religious scholar’s reaction to mobile telephony-the most important technological innovation of recent times has to be seen in the context of an extreme degree of moral waywardness among the Kashmiri youth in the present day situation. A significant number among them have been found involved in serious cases of deviance, delinquency, crime, drug addiction, violation of traditional values and norms and rejection of patriarchal authority. They represent a young generation which has lesser commitment to the ideas, ideals and principles of culture and religion. This social and moral situation has led to a ‘social crisis’ in the Kashmiri society, which is deepening and widening day by day. The conflict situation has intensified this crisis.
The extreme reaction shown by the religious leader was irrational. In fact, it is the emotional reaction to the violation of religious-cultural values and way of life and adoption of a modern lifestyle. It does not convey a mature, relevant and reasonable response. This response can also be interpreted in terms of ‘reversing the direction of social transformation’ which is very difficult in actuality. Lastly, this advice will never lead to the resolution of the problem but will add more complexity to it. Can the act of throwing mobiles in to Jhelum reduce the widespread moral degeneration in our society? The answer is no.
Sociologically, this problem of technology impact in the Kashmiri society needs consideration of two core points which follows:
[i] The problem of youngsters’ moral waywardness has to be seen in broader context. This moral decay must not be solely related to one technology factor. Other socio-economic , political-educational, and demographic-cultural factors have directly or indirectly contributed to this situation.
[ii] This advisory act will not solve the problem of immorality completely. It stands neither rational nor realistic. To think that somebody will do it stands for ignorance.
Thus this phenomenon needs entirely different treatment which starts with the initiation of systematic and organized efforts towards scientific and civilized way of life, especially among youth. The primary need is to change the mind, intellect and the hand which deal with mobiles.