Introduction – The man who knows has an advantage over the man who does not know – Alternation of power between the East and West – Knowledge comes but wisdom lingers – Conclusion.
Knowledge is power. This is true, when it is used for human welfare. Miseries and crimes may be the result of ignorance, but far more and worse are the effects of bad use of knowledge. Chemistry is a noble science. Should it be called a harmful science if it is used to invent poison gases to be let loose on women and children. It is a clear misuse of knowledge.
The man who knows has an advantage over the man who does not know. By his medical knowledge, the physician can cure disease and save his patient’s life. But the blackmailer, by his knowledge of some guilty secret, can bleed his victim white under the threat of disclosure. In this way the educated’ clas$es7,have always been able to rule over the ignorant. During the Middle Ages inEurope, the only educated men were the priests. The ruling classes very often could not even read and write. They had to appoint priest as their ministers and advisers. In the same way, and for the same reason, a handful of Europeans could control millions of African natives.
In the earliest history, the East predominated because of their superior knowledge. The Muslims were then the torch-bearer of knowledge. Europe was then sunk in barbarism. But with the beginning of the sixteenth century the West again became the leader of civilization. Western influence became dominant throughout the world. They established their colonies in Asian and African countries. South Asia remained under the British control for more than a century. It was their superior knowledge, and the weapons, organisation and character which that knowledge had given them, that made the white races superior to the East.
Lord Tennyson has rightly said “Knowledge comes but wisdom lingers. He means that science has provided us with a huge stock of knowledge but unfortunately it is not being put to right use. For example, Atomic power can be employed both for destructive and useful purposes. Its enourmous potentialities to destroy life were demonstrated, when in August, 1945 two atom bombs were dropped on the Japanese cities, Hiroshima & Nagasaki. The devastation caused by them was unprecedented in the history of mankind. Of late, however, scientists have been concentrating on harnessing atomic energy for purposes of human welfare. If we do not apply wisdom in the use knowledge, we shall miserably fail to achieve the desired object.
Physically, man is a comparatively weak animal. He cannot naturally run like the horses nor fly like the birds. He is no match in strength for the elephant, the lion or the bear. He has no natural weapons of defence like the tiger’s fangs and claws. Yet he conquers all these strong and fierce beasts, and forces some of them to be his servants. It is his superior knowledge and intelligence that “make him the master of creatures superior to him in physical strength.