Earth to Saturn? A billion kilometres. Delhi to Islamabad? Just about the same.

I was going to write and comment upon the ‘discovery’ by the Cassini probe of hydrogen molecules on Enceladus, one of the moons of Saturn. This scientist from UCL was almost in raptures at the amazing things which could be discovered once a second and probably third rocket carrying probes capable of drilling through an unknown depth of ice, descending to the floor of a (presumed) ocean, and once again drilling into geothermally active rocks. (Her explanation, not mine). The Cassini probe, launched in 1997, has finally arrived as part of the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) search throughout our own Solar system; at a huge cost, and these results are the first to indicate the possible existence of life in other places besides our own.

As I stated, I was going to write about this Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, and what  a complete and utter waste of time, money and human energy this farrago actually was, and is; but decided instead that what we should really be spending our cash, energy and resources upon is the Search for Intelligent Life on Earth.

I would point towards India, whose proud boast is that India is the largest, most vibrant Democracy on Earth. They talk about the huge and well-run elections, allowing for the peaceful transfer of power in the sub-continental State whose occupants number over one billion-plus. They point towards the fact that the Parties which vie for the votes of the millions, hand over that power after an election with hardly a murmur;  they point towards the huge and burgeoning Digital Economy, of the hundreds of thousands of graduates employed in computer science, engineering and digital technology.

Not so well-publicised, understandably, is the grinding and utter poverty of many millions of the not-so-well-educated, who labour in both rural and urban environments for peanuts, as opposed to the super-uber-luxury lifestyles of the billionaires whose wealth is a direct result of the grinding poverty mentioned earlier. Also virtually never mentioned outside of India is the crushing burden of some 200 million Dalits, or as they are also known, the Untouchables. Judged  to be ‘unclean’ by virtue of their birth, they are routinely discriminated against in every possible manner; and although the practice is illegal, it is so prevalent that no-one even comments upon it.

Also not so well publicised, except when bloodshed occurs, is the well-documented and crushing hold that Hindu India has on the almost wholly Muslim State of Kashmir. Kashmir, occupied with overwhelming and brutal force in the blood-shed which went under the heading ‘Partition’ which cost literally hundreds of thousands of lives when Hindu and Muslim found that they were living on the ‘wrong side’ of a border line imposed by force. The British Imperial forces left India virtually unscathed, with only seven recorded casualties. The resulting religion-based ferocity was worse than anything which had happened before, mainly because no planning had taken place to keep the millions on the move separate from one another. India has fought three wars with Muslim Pakistan, and also fought innumerable smaller conflicts. The only thing which stops these two Powers from commencing another war is the fact that both nations have nuclear weapons, and delivery systems ready and available.
As I stated before, how’s about the Search for Intelligent Life on Earth?