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Chapter 4: The Tolling Bell

What has happened is going to happen again and again, because there are so many nuclear plants, even in undeveloped countries which don’t have the technical know-how, which are technologically still in the bullock-cart age, almost two or three thousand years back. They are not contemporaries, so these latest technical developments are very strange for them. But they have to develop them because others are developing - and the competition and the fear..

And this has happened in the Soviet Union, where they are technologically contemporary. What will happen if it happens in Pakistan or in India? They don’t have any technological sensibility. There is such a distance between them and nuclear technology that it cannot be bridged. American and Soviet technologists can go and make a plant and hand it over to them, but for them it is going to be difficult.

In India I know there are people who have not seen a railway train - and I think India must have more railway trains than any other country in the world. But about faraway places they have only heard. Airplanes they have seen because they move in the sky. They have not seen or heard of thousands of technological devices that we use without any consciousness that man has not always used them. They are the very latest devices, but for us there is a connecting link. For them there is no link with their past, with their mind, with their habits.

All the technology in India has been introduced by the British people in these last three hundred years; otherwise there was no technology at all. There was no need.

I have heard:

They were making a railway line, the first railway line - from Calcutta to Bombay, joining the two biggest cities - and a man was resting under a tree, looking at all the work that was going on.an Indian. A British officer came close to him and said, “You can earn much if you join the work. I have been watching you the whole day for many days: you come, you enjoy seeing what is happening, but you simply lie down under the shade of the tree.”

The man asked, “But what will I get by earning the money?”

And the British officer said, “After earning the money you can relax and rest.”

He said, “This is strange - I am already relaxing and resting. That’s why I said why bother about earning money? What will money add to my relaxation and rest?”

And you don’t have an answer for him.

This was the situation in India before the British Raj started. All the people in a family were not working; just a few people who wanted to work, who loved to work, were working. The remaining people were just enjoying - playing on the flute, going for a swim, resting under trees, climbing trees, eating fruits - because the earth was so fertile and the population was so small that there was no need for everybody to work; it was unnecessary. One man working was enough for a five-man family; the other four can simply enjoy.

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