On Recent Power Outage: Who Needs Electricity?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Yunan-o-Misr-o-Roma sab mit gaye jahan se
Ab tak magar hai baki naam-o-nishan hamara
Kuchh baat hai ki hasti mitati nahin hamari
Sadiyon raha hai dushman daur-e-zaman hamara.

The civilizations of Greece, Egypt, Rome have become extinct,
Whereas our identity still remains intact,
                                      It’s our charisma that we continue to flourish,
                                     Despite the Time's relentless onslaught for centuries.

- From Sare Jahan Se Achchha by Allama Iqbal

The above lines entered my mind when I first heard about the power outage in India on July 30 and 31. It was simply a war on electricity by more than 600 million Indians, who scared away the electrons for several hours for two days. Such minor skirmishes are not new for us. Most of us have grown up fighting against power cuts. It could be a big deal for the so-called developed nations; they would have perished under such circumstances as their weather conditions and infrastructure are not compatible with power failures at all.

Let them enjoy their uninterrupted power supply, while we have fun in our own ways. We are basically laidback, easy-going, and resigned people. The aggressiveness you may notice in daily life, on roads or at work places, is just superficial. Our core remains extremely patient and spiritually blissful. The core means the service providers. And it is the patient and laid-back behavior of the service providers that makes the consumers superficially crazy and edgy.

But the consumers have their own joyous moments when they draw unauthorized electricity, manipulate their meters, or have settings with the linemen. Hence, whenever there is a power cut, everyone gleefully embraces the punishment. A widespread outage is similar to a group punishment given to a whole class of students in a middle school for unruly behavior. Kids usually enjoy such predicament, as there is no tinge of humiliation, and the severity is allayed by the camaraderie.

Only the honest folks are left fuming. But who had asked them to be honest in the first place? As someone I know closely would ask, “Did any doctor prescribe ‘honesty’ to them?”

We all know that necessity is the mother of invention. The first demonstration of electric lights was conducted on July 24, 1879 in Calcutta by P.W. Fleury And Company. Since then, we have been obliging the western inventors by using electricity. Although, around 80,000 villages still don’t give a damn and remain without electricity.

Had we fancied electricity even a bit, instead of copying the western technologies, we would have invented and implemented our own ways of producing it from solar energy.

India is blessed with so much sunlight throughout the year that if we started capturing and using solar energy efficiently, we would become a leader in energy sector. Who knows, we could even become filthy rich like the gulf countries, and then could build the best infrastructure in the world for our people, and provide dignified living conditions to all of the 1.2 billion citizens. But that will need a lot of effort and those who can bring such a change are already living comfortable, laid-back lives with the help of manual labor by the majority, which is another renewable energy found in abundance in India.

We are a proof that humans can live and multiply successfully without electricity and all other modern traps associated with it. In future, when the other countries will have depleted their conventional energy resources, we will be still going strong and singing, kuchh baat hai ki hasti mitati nahin hamari!

(Picture courtesy amazon.com)


  1. Wish someone listened to the wise words of Giribala to make a billion plus people a proud nation:)

  2. How I wish you were at the helm of affairs instead of the exotic pixie from the Roman Empire! Electricity, telephony and other such evil inventions should be barred from the land of (sinking) sun. Thank you, for the timely revelation.

  3. well said Giribala,i have often thought that instead of running after atomic power projects & those which burn fossil fuels,why don't we go in for solar energy ?The answer eludes intelligence.

    1. I hope it would be a big thing in near future :-)

  4. Loved the post!
    "Kids enjoying a group punishment" - Oh, I miss those days soo much! ;-)

  5. This was an apt stinging slap wrapped in sarcasm! Jugaad is the term we take a lot of pride in.

  6. Time has come to look st India as.......
    India has security,water,electricity,roads without potholes and privileges.
    Bharat lacks all this because we are just too tolerant a people

  7. A sector that hasn't seen reform in years. A system that uses free power to win votes.
    Do you expect any better?

    1. Add to that the growing number of consumers!!

  8. Not sure about Honest people , do we have any because somewhere sometime we all have taken some advantage.

    There are other resources ot electricity but we as a nation can never get to do them because people who have to implement are more into how much money they can make, if we look at the geography of our great nation then our nation is full of so many natural resources but we have not been able ot take advantage of all of them ...

    and as i read one of the comments above THe one word known all over in india north-south-east-west is JUGAAD ..


  9. wow... very well written... I miss those days too... hee hee...!!!

  10. thanks for sharing.


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