Can Technology Alone Remove Social Backwardness?

Mr. Kapoor was rejoicing his win over twenty other participants in the state level debate competition – the topic being “The battle of the sexes”. He is known to be a very tolerant, broad minded and progressive individual amongst friends and relatives. His family that comprises his wife, a son and a daughter was looking forward to his return. Mr. Kapoor was also an avid blogger and was the pioneer of many blogs wherein he shared his views on gender equality.

He is received with great pomp and show at home. Both Mrs. Kapoor  and the children are elated. As soon as Mr. Kapoor enters the house, the children run to hug him. But one thing would have surprised anyone standing there and this did not escape his wife’s eyes – Mr. Kapoor’s condescending attitude towards their daughter, Ritika. Her father’s attitude did not surprise the 20 year old girl.

As the family got busy in their merrymaking, one could hear Mr. Kapoor reprimand his wife, “Why does she come in front of me?” Mrs. Kapoor stares into nothingness. The only mistake she has made in life-giving birth to a girl!

One may bifurcate Mr. Kapoor’s attitude into two categories-Mr. Kapoor, the social representative who shuns gender inequality and Mr. Kapoor, the husband and the father who actually encourages gender inequality at home!

The point is does technology that is a major tool to uphold and augment social causes, actually remove backwardness? We might voice our concern for or against many social issues but are we actually empathetic towards the ones near us? We report many evils online but are we able to kill the evil within us?

Internet, the greatest boons of technology helps create mass awareness on various social issues, however do we really extend our hand towards those stigmatized by society at large? There are many such Mr. Kapoors in our society who being the epitome of truth and honesty are quite hollow within.

A recent declaration by our honorable Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, about stopping female foeticide in the form of “Selfie with the daughter” (getting clicked with one’s girl child) had taken Facebook by a storm. It urged everyone to follow suit. Both, celebrities and the common man shared their photographs online. But there are many who still crave for a male child.

We write about educating the girl child but most of us want our daughters to get married and settle down in marital bliss. Why? Why do we teach our daughters that marriage is the ultimate happiness of life?

Technology educates us but does it make us a true human being? We express our disgust each time a girl child is killed, aborted or abandoned. Our heart goes out to the little one in distress but we don’t share the same sentiments for our mothers, sisters or wives. Our furies knows no bounds when the advocates of the rape victims comment how the victim was a girl of bad character. But if encountered with the same circumstance on the road, very few of us would go ahead and help.

We like, Mr.Kapoor raise a lot of hue and cry about gender inequality in the society; we condemn cyber bullies and cyber stalkers but when it comes to educating our children, we pose as hard task masters for our daughters and not our sons.

Our daughters have to dress as per the conventions of the society but why not teach our sons to behave. We reflect a sense of hypocrisy in matters of gender equality. Our online persona and the real one are poles apart!

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Technology can help eradicate social evils but that alone will not help. For instance, there are many safety applications that one can download in the phone and take help when required. But it is not completely safe because it would hardly take for an ‘App-cab’ driver to harass and abuse his female passenger.

Today technology makes it possible for us to install surveillance cameras in public transports. But it is not impossible for perpetrators to still continue with heinous crimes like rape and get away with it. Technology can be of limited help until one is able to change his/her mindset. We still encourage the likes of “Munni”, “Sheila” or “Anarkali” onscreen and overlook the fact that woman is only being portrayed as objects of desire. Cinema again being one important creation of technology showcases such derogatory image of women that creates a negative impact on the minds of men.

Technology helps in all walks of life but it is important for it to play a bigger role in the moral and social upliftment of individuals and society at large. Thus, though technology can be a good facilitator or means, it cannot be something that can repair deviant human behavior or socio-cultural prejudices.

About the Author

Joyadrita Raghavendran

Joyadrita completed her Masters in English Literature from Calcutta University. After 6 year long stint in the corporate world she chose to become a full time mom to her lovely daughter, Anshika Raghavendran. When she is not writing, she is busy cooking or spending valuable time with her favourites.

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