Dystopia /disˈtōpēə/ an imagined state or society in which there is great suffering or injustice, typically one that is totalitarian or post-apocalyptic..
Utopian fantasy has always found itself a platform in the form of arts: pictures, books, movies and what not. Even the darkest book series and TV shows end up showing something good at the very end. The scriptures and the journals from past few centuries imagined utopia as exactly as we’re living right now; low mortality rate, easy access to medicine and 24 hours running fast food chain supplying sustenance to feed our sins of gluttony. Bring a person from 16th century and show her a perfectly healthy human being doing her own chores at the age of 75 without having to worry about the food for the evening or covering the body to keep herself warm. The visitor from the past might ask if this is heaven, and your simple answer would be a big loud “No-oh”.
While the quality of human life has peaked itself; with knowledge one click away on the interwebs and with automation taking away tedious, repetitive and boring jobs away from humans, we are yet far away from feeling good about it. Hunger and poverty have been the bane of humankind from the very inception of civilization. But mass migration as we see in Syria – which studies claim to be a result of climate change – makes the Utopian fantasy just a thought provoking material for an aspiring fiction writer.
The world is experiencing the rise of Neo rulers, be it in the land of Opportunity and Freedom(read USA), the largest democracy of the world (India) or our own small himalyan shangri-la. The impossible dreams furnaced on the fuel of sweat and tears of insurgency sprinkled with fear and hate of each other and voila!, you have your Nepalese version of authoritarian state, seemingly “left” leaning but destined to put you behind the bar for single word spoken against the establishment. Their rule; words spoken on their favor is the exercise to freedom of speech, while slander or mockery is crime. The actions of these Neo rulers throughout the world are similar; women in Alabama ripped off their right to control their body; voices to ban muslim from voting in India along with slander against Gandhi, putting a kid behind a bar just because he made a video on facebook in Nepal and Bolsonaro chanting to wipe out indigenous people from the amazon rainforest . The resemblance of the ruling type and their tyranny is uncanny. While they claim to adhere to different political ideology referring to the tome of Capitalism and Socialism/Marxism, underneath they serve one true master; the greed. You won’t see much difference on how Trump, Modi or Oli make speech trying to connect to the least educated herd in the mass, while the rest of the people with a bit of common sense face-palm and vent out on the internet/paper just like this author. The world is moving, away from the decency and ethics once we used to collectively have. The utopian dream is long dead. With climate change and its adverse effect looming right above our heads, retrogressive political decisions world wide crushing the dreams of minority, women and those without voices, we’re definitely heading towards darker times. The ostrich mentality – I can’t see if I close my eyes – is much to blame, for we let go of the violence next door, or the corruption down the alley or mass shooting in another country/school.
‘‘Unless it is not happening to me, I have nothing to do with it. ‘’
Strangely, the humans fall victim to this very fallacy throughout the globe. Very few have risen their bum off their soft cushions to sneak through the blinds to only see black kid being shot while returning back to his only parent- his mom. Or a girl being raped in the wide streets of delhi, or a 500 years old temple brought to rubble in Kathmandu. All we do is make very less effort to raise the voice, and voiceless we will perish from the face of the planet.
The most saddening part is humans are not sparing the planet Earth itself. The industrialization, deforestation and mass pollution of the oceanic bodies have left most of the animals on the brink of being extinct and all we do is share memes about it on twitter and facebook. The things get even worse after few people deny the climate change and other Internet justice warriors take upon their own shoulder to teach the sheeple how backward and bigoted the rest of the world is. Its never ending war with real weapons and with thoughts and words without knowing who is fighting for whom. Sometimes it does feel like it is a no rule battle royale and the last person standing would be crowned winner by the supreme power, if they exist, or they have forsaken us seeing how vile of creatures we’ve become.
The stats show we’re doing fine. But those who can read, write and who is not in power or possesses no authoritative power has a rough idea of what the future holds for us. The shimmering hope that we see once in a while is refuted by new scientific predictions of how royally screwed we are, only leaving us to enjoy the remaining of the few decades with the extreme blizzard tornado or draught before we finally step into the totally expected yet ‘totally-not-happening-fake-news’ dystopia.
Bikrant Gautam – MN, US
I currently work as a web application developer along with pursuing my masters degree in computer/information science. Before moving to US, I worked in Nepal as a software engineer and social worker for 4 years.
I am passionate about sports, music, literature and contemporary issue. At leisure time, you’ll find me either learning, playing guitar, writing or sleeping.