St. Mary’s School is a day school located in serene, verdant surroundings spread over an impressive campus in the Cantonment area of Pune. Under its banner, it has separate sections for Girls, Boys and a Co-ed Junior College.Admissions 2019-20
A BRAVE NEW DIGITAL WORLD
Picture this- It is 1945 and it is a cold day in Berlin. At the peak of the Second World War, Adolf Hitler awakes from a deep slumber. He picks up his Smartphone from his bedside table. He begins tweeting about his plans for the day. He will make Germany the most powerful country in the world. He messages his officers and orders them to seize as many Jews as they can. In Amsterdam, a Jewish family living behind a bookcase receives a tip via email from a sympathizer. They flee and Anne Frank does not die.
Picture this- In a grand courtroom in Delhi, Emperor Akbar lounges on a cushioned throne and scrolls through his Facebook feed. Birbal makes a rather witty pun and Tansen sings even more melodiously than he usually does. Impressed and appreciative, Akbar does not give them a precious diamond necklace each, but showcases their talent on his Instagram story. Ten thousand viewers marvel at the genius of Birbal’s brain and the beauty of Tansen’s voice. Akbar argues over terms of treaties over email conversations, edits them on Google Documents signs them and sends them over. He sighs and wonders what he would have done without all this technology.
Picture this- It is a sunny morning in Agra. Shahjahan’s architect has just sent him a blueprint of the proposed Tajmahal on Whatsapp. It is a rough draft of what will one da y b e c ome a spe l l b i ndi n g s t ruc tur e constructed out of the finest marble and glistening in the moonlight beside the river Yamuna. Shahjahan ponders over the blueprint, adding a minaret here, taking away a piece of architecture there. The final result turns out better than anyone thought it ever would. Millions of pictures are taken of its pristine glory before the smoke from the factories corrodes the marble, staining yellow and an unbecoming grey, Mumtaz’s memorial is charred but in the digital world, viewers can view the beauty of the structure.
Picture this- It is tea time. The weather in London is wonderful for a change. The sunlight streams in through the window and glances off the shining white teacups. A group of women, who until now have only knitted and sewn stockings and dresses, realize that there is more to life than this. They deserve more. They start a page on Facebook, call themselves “The Suffragettes,” and document their struggles as they fight to gain the right to vote. Women from all over the world send in their support and suggestions. When the British Parliament finally decides to grant women the right to elect their own representatives, women all over the world erupt in victory. They see the light at the end of what seemed a never ending tunnel. They rejoice for their time has come.
Picture this- Gandhiji uses his Smartphone to livestream the Dandi March. On an April morning in 1913, the whole of India marches for freedom as they watch Gandhi marching. They are in their homes, far away from the spot but as they watch him lift a handful of salt from the sea, they are with him in spirit. And finally when India pays the terrible price of freedom by being chopped into two halves, families are not torn apart. They connect using the internet. They talk to each other over Skype. They use tracking services and Google Maps to find their homes. They do not lose themselves amidst the severed halves of a nation.
Picture this- Mother Teresa sets up a donation portal online for the dying millions of Kolkata. Charity and help pours in from all over the world. People send in donations through PayPal. Mother Teresa can now order medical equipment online. The collective love of the world helps to heal the poor and downtrodden. Mother Teresa smiles a beatific smile, knowing that once again God has helped her, this time through technology.
If only there had been a digital world all those years ago, history would perhaps be different. As we visualize all the scenarios mentioned above we realize the power of the digital world. How wonderful is its power and its reach. The brave new world was not there in the pa s t so we have to imagine such possibilities. Today it is 2017. We have more power at our fingertips than anyone imagined that we would. Every time a girl types out a paragraph on Facebook or a boy expresses his views on Twitter, the ideas reach across countries and continents. It is 2017, and the world is a frightening place. People are being killed for the colour of their skin, girls are being forced into the cloister of their homes. The environment around us is being poisoned by destructive people. However this time around we have the power to stop it. We have the Smartphone, the digital media, we live in a digital world. We are connected as never before. We need to use our resources for good, not evil. It is indeed a brave new digital world. We can move towards a new frontier and heal the world. Yamini Krishnan