Friday, January 2, 2009

The Question!

It's the question that drives us, Neo. It's the question that brought you here. You know the question, just as I did” –Trinity (Matrix Trilogy)

Then Neo retorts back with his question- “What is the Matrix?!!” Trinity might have been expecting this question inevitably. Similarly many people confront this question in jobs/exams interviews: “What do you think is the human-kind’s greatest achievement till date”? Most people would answer “Landing of man on moon”. This answer is so common that even the interviewer would raise an eyebrow if the interviewee gives any other answer. Other common answers would be computers, nuclear fusion, telecommunication, cloning, stem cell research (not now but may be in not-so-distant-future) etc etc.

But this question in its true sense has intense philosophical overtones. And following is my take on it- Given the exponential developments in the field of technology and science and human’s core urge to make life more convenient (I am philosophizing laziness here :P) these milestones were inevitable. I think most people would agree with that. My answer to the question, as an individual, would be- the greatest achievement of human kind is Fall of Berlin Wall (fyi:I just finished watching The Lives of the Others). May be I don’t know the political nuances involved in it and may be its political and economic impact might not be that huge in the material world, but I, as a layman, love the gesture it emanates. I love the direction towards which it points.

Now, I have grown up seeing countries exploding into many countries (USSR); the clamors of partition (India-Pak-Bangladesh); and evil machinations for the hunt of more land (China-Tibet-India). Hence, falling of Berlin Wall and the Socialist East Germany re-uniting with the Federal West Germany stands out as a contrast on the face of the entire human history. Just try to imagine India Pak reuniting together or China giving back the land it acquired from India. It might be a pipe-dream. It might sound like a child getting his ultimate gift from Santa Claus. But that is how, I believe, the Germans would have felt when the wall fell.