1857 - Time travel to past
Covered in warm blankets, me and my girlfriend lick Cheeto dust off our fingers while witnessing our intellectual reserves amalgamate with the Game of Thrones' plotline. Halfway through the episode, she looks right at me and slowly whispers, "What if there existed one single mobile phone in the Game of Thrones' Universe?". WOAH! I'm suddenly sent into a trance of speculation but I soon collapse back to reality and reply, "I don't think much would change if you don't have at least two."
This thrilling (yet short-lived) Game of Thrones head-canon, introduced me to an interesting new pastime- trying to trace how different history's course would be if our ancestors had access to faster communication. One of the most challenging, confusing and unpredictable timeframes for this little drill, in my opinion, is undoubtedly the 'Great Indian Rebellion of 1857'.
[Time travel to past is complicated. Before we dive into our 'World Changing' game, lets define our rules. Firstly, we ARE allowed to alter events of the past. Secondly, when an event is interfered with, the butterfly effect branches a parallel timeline to ensure player's existence is not ceased. Lastly, our mobiles can function without prior telecommunication related establishment.]
1857. We stand in a world where air is clean, khaki is fashionable, 80% of the world is colonized by Europe and Indian land is infused with martyr blood. We're in a period where inclusion of pork-shell rifles in a majorly Hindu infantry caused public outrage and radical ideals culminated into what we now call India's First War of Independence. It's a vital period because after 90 years of exploitation, India rose above regional disagreements and united for a greater cause. However, this noble endeavor failed and led to thousands of casualties which included pregnant women and innocent children.
Historians propose a wide spectrum of reasons which may have led to this setback but the most prominent causes remain- lack of coordination and inefficient communication between central leaders. Both of these shortcomings are problems which could easily be solved with modern communication which is rapid, encrypted and almost immune to misinterpretations. At this point, I believe using my parents' savings to buy as many iPhone 4s as I can and distributing them amongst important characters of this narrative would be a wise move. Afterall, sovereignty of my nation is more important than my college education.
It's impossible to answer objectively how contemporary India would reflect the success of this rebellion. I say this with no certainty but perhaps, the largest mass genocide orchestrated by the colonial rule in the form of Bengal Famine could have been prevented. Perhaps, stopping the steep decline of per capita-income under British Raj a little earlier would save the quarter of Indian population which lives below poverty line today. Perhaps, thousands of undocumented murders and millions of undocumented rapes due to unchecked authority of British officials over Indian slaves may have been prevented.
We, mere players of our speculation game, might not be able to conclusively determine the future of India if it was liberated a century earlier. This analysis, however, does reinforce my strong belief that communicating ideas is the key towards a brighter tomorrow. Great ideas only turn into great movements when they penetrate the bubble of isolation and reach out to a world with infinite possibilities. This is also one of the core philosophies which remains infused in my non-profit's plan of action. I co-founded Muniversiti to converge students from diverse demographics so they can deliberate over global challenges. We hope accomplish what telecommunication technologies ironically fail to do in the modern world; bring people together.
Whether it's by persuading the Ministry of Social Justice to develop inclusive policies or planting 400 trees at a record-breaking pace, we're amongst those crazy individuals who refuse to accept that 'mere' students cannot manifest a world with greater opportunities.