Not looking at the dictionary definition, one can interpret the meaning of this word in many ways. It is always a practice with me to decipher the meaning of a word myself before looking it up.
Revolution… it’s a very common word, a word we come across umpteen numbers of times in many different contexts. Take the revolution of the earth around the sun and that of the moon around the earth. To me, it represents a continuum- the earth and moon will continue to revolve ad infinitum.
What about revolution that stems from the word revolt… to rebel against, to break free from something that oppresses. It is well-known that a revolution means an uprising of the masses, resulting from social unrest. Most revolutions are economic. The common man revolts against the ruling powers who have usurped all the economic gains of a country, and hence creates conditions more suitable and profitable to the masses. For example, the French Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, the Green Revolution. But the purpose of this essay is not to brush up on history or to discuss the after-effects of a revolution.
Taking inference from these socio-politico-economic revolutions, why can’t we bring about an intellectual revolution? Why is that all our intellectual senses have become dormant and we feel as though we have proved ourselves to be intellectually elevated and have reached a platform above which there is no way to go? There is a way to go. Only none of us are looking up. We are all satisfied with what we are and what we have that we have not kept open the possibility of what we can become. You might counter that a revolution begins where there is need for one; as there is no revolution brewing, there is probably no need for one. No, a revolution begins with awareness. In the past, the masses could all feel the pinch and so they discussed and demanded and revolted. Why can’t we feel the pinch of the intellectual drain that is happening amongst us today? Are we too busy, even to read the newspaper and see that apart from reports of the daily events, there is nothing of importance to read in the paper? If the newspapers, which are in circulation all over the world and are read more than any other form of printed matter, do not carry anything of significant value, is it not obvious that we require an intellectual revolution? But we are happy to pay Rs. 2.00 just to flip through the pages before leaving for work, none the wiser. Little do we realize what great impression the pictures and headlines in the paper have on our subconscious minds. Little does anyone know how much power the papers hold over our minds, pulling strings and feeding us information which helps mould a society at whim.
And if things continue this way, if this degradation of our value systems continues at the same rate, then what does the future hold for the MTV-watching couch-potatoes? I shudder to imagine.
And if we shudder to imagine what our future generations will be like, it is time for a revolution. Let us begin to think of revolution in terms of Re-evolution. A re-invention of the greatness of mankind. Where have the great inventors, philosophers, scientists and playwrights disappeared? They were once part of our society. They would have existed today, if man were not so easily satisfied. They do exist, among us, within us; greatness does exist, but it is afraid to come out from the minds that are wallowing in mediocrity. It takes so less to satisfy us today. And for a revolution to take place, we must never be satisfied. We must not let ourselves turn into lumps of mediocrity and lay back. We must revolt. We must revisit our greatness and let it not become a thing of the past. We must strive to achieve the distinction that our forefathers once stood for. And most importantly, we must never be content. Revolution, as I said before, is not a one-shot deal. It is an ongoing process, a continuum. We must continue to sharpen the saw and hone our talents and never forget that our lives are but a revolution, and the spirit of this revolution needs to be kept alive, lest we begin to shudder when we think of the future that lies in front of us.