Watch the adverts closely … most of them are about germs in your mouth, on your hands, in your armpits and overall everywhere and how to save yourself from these germs. We seem to be swayed by the West, especially America. I was at a farmer’s market in the US during one of my visits and my friend and I stopped at a bee keeper’s stall to buy honey. He was a traditional bee keeper who had been in the business for a long time and he said, the bees were dying. The flowers that were being grown in the US had antibiotics being used in the soil to kill germs and the plant itself was genetically modified to make perfect flowers – just that we could have planted plastic flowers instead !! The flowers were artificial so had no nectar to offer to the bees. The bee keeper was really upset and said something to the same effect as Einstein said many many years ago – “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.”
The germs are an essential part of our life and for life to continue on Earth. We need to emphasize cleanliness and good hygiene but not go overboard with this obsessive war against germs – God made man with sweat glands so that his body can regulate its temperature … using antiperspirants goes against that. If there is body odor due to sweating, the underlying reason has to be fixed – both physical and psychosomatic reasons. Same goes for keeping a clean mouth – very important, the neem tree’s bark served the purpose and the reason every where there would be neem trees was to take advantage of the anti-bacterial properties of Neem. (Azadirachta indica – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azadirachta_indica).
I love the US – this is not about America bashing. I always think that the ideal nation will be a combination of the US and Indian culture/history/practices. The US is what man’s intelligence can create and India has the advantage of ancient knowledge that knows how to live on Earth while replenishing it. Swaying to either side is detrimental.
Lets not kill all the germs, lets not genetically modify natural plants/trees/pigs/goats … we can do research to understand the genome, but the whole concept that we know better than nature, is full of germs – the stronger mutated disease causing germs type !!
We need to just see what we have done in the last 300 years to be cautious about what we introduce – AIDS (we created the disease), Bird flu, global warming, rapid extinction of species (800 species of plants and animals), lifestyle disorders like PCOD.
Before my friends jump up to defend science – I am as much a fan of what science has managed to achieve, reduced cases of polio (not a single case reported in India in the last 12 months), surgery in the womb, prosthetics to help many people lead a normal life and so on. All I worry is – the same scientific world has to ensure that the Earth as we know remains for many many millions of years.. I like this school to learn my lessons. So responsible research and discovery.
Buildup immunity for a change 🙂