Essay No. 244:
Machines And Emotions: At the very outset. The meaning of the word machine may be noted. It implies any artificial means or contrivance. It does only what it is ordered to do. A machine would start working when its button is pressed. If the engine is in good form, it beings to work instantaneously.
All that is required is to press the button to make machine work. A machine is emotionless. It has got no emotions of its own. It is the man behind the machine. It is man’s creation. The labor that operates a machine has emotions – good or bad. Man working on a machine constantly, develops the negative qualities of coldness, indifference.
These traits are characteristic of a machine. Workers inhale listlessness, boredom by being in the company of machines. The life of workers becomes dull, insipid. The labor unconsciously beings to imbibe in itself the above referred traits of machine. Life of a worker is paraded by dullness and insipidity. It is on account of a worker remaining in the company of machine.
A worker in a textile factory all the time is exposed to humdrum noise produced by the working of a machine. He has all the time to attend to the working of the loom. Thus he unconsciously imbibes the bad qualities of a machine. Workers begin to lose human warmness on account of their long drawn out association with machines.
Machines rob a person of emotions and turn him to a cold piece of stone. Machines are emotionless and this trait is gradually transmuted to workers. Workers are a machine with a soul, while machine is soulless. Constant companionship of machines injects into workers gradually and slowly the negative qualities of machines. Iqbal in his own inimitable style comments on this aspect of machines:
ہے دل کے لیے خوف مشینوں کی حکومت
احساسِ مروت کو کچل دیتے ہیں آلات
[The reign of machines is a death knell to human heart
The instruments cripple the finer sentiments of compassion]
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The observation is quite valid. Machines are capable of rolling over human sentiments. Human beings are reduced to the status of a mere cog. Workers in the west seem to have inherited the negative qualities of machines. While they develop regularity and methodicity, they equally imbibe the traits of coldness and indifference in themselves.
Machines the symbol of materialism, have made people materialistic minded in the west. The family institution has decayed in the west. Human warmness is replaced by coldness in human relations. A society dominated by machines gets stripped naked of finer human qualities.
The urban areas in developing countries including Pakistan have come under the influence of machines as a result of industrialization. The joint family system in a state of disarray. Spirit of individual selfishness and aggressiveness has come on the surface. Old values of respect, veneration have mostly disappeared from the society.
While machines are inevitable in the present machine age, however, it calls for certain measures to increase the welfare of labor. Social welfare promoting activities need to be promoted in country like Pakistan to provide rest and recreational facilities in the form of parks, the theaters to stage plays etc., to keep labor in a good mood.
The labor deserves to be extricated from dullness, monotony to neutralize the bad effects of machines. There is also the need to practice values like social justice in the society. The people deserve to be saved form the negative impact of machines.