Gas…poisonous gas…ghost-like figures in cloaks barely visible in the thick white smoke…dying and pleading for mercy from their own offspring…
In the background the only sound you hear is the maniacal laughter of a Hitler style dictator - someone who believes in making way for the young by exterminating and ridding the world of the old.
In the not too distant future an ambitious young man, Enoch, patriarch, dictator and supreme ruler of all, passes a law to gas everyone over the age of fifty five in order to solve the issue of overpopulation. He turns the young against the old. The young ones turn their guns on their own parents, uncles and aunts. The old are forced to go into hiding.
Who can they trust? Who can they turn to? Will they survive?
The above is the tale of The Day Will Come, the recently staged play written and directed by Jehan Aloysius.
The concept is interesting, to say the least. The idea that old people could be wiped out in the future as, according to Enoch, it is "a wastage of resources keeping Elders alive when they are no longer productive," although extremely disturbing, is not entirely far fetched, because, as morbid as it sounds, the man of the future is bound to think up and resort to new and bizarre methods of population control. And putting a halt on reproduction is out of the question because that would effectively endanger the continuation of the species.
But is killing off the old the answer? And is it right?
According to Enoch, it is. But common sense and conscience say otherwise.
How can you turn against your own flesh and blood? To ensure your own survival do you destroy those who gave you the gift of life? And what happens when you get old yourself? Enoch claims he's ready to be gassed when he reaches the age 55. But, somehow, given the fact that he is just another politician, his claim is not easy to swallow. But the fact is the day Will come when man has to address the problem of overpopulation once and for all.
Like it or not, the survival of the fittest, is going to be the order of the day, if it already isn't so.
Things have gotten so bad that it is not a question of what is good or bad or what is right or wrong anymore. It has become a matter of survival and what the human populace as a whole is willing to do about it. It's all part and parcel of what Charles Darwin paid for with his reputation, centuries ago – the theory of evolution.
As Mohinder Suresh from Heroes puts it, evolution is an imperfect and often violent process. A battle between what exists and what is yet to be born. In the midst of these birth pains, morality loses its meaning. The question of good and evil, reduced to one simple choice: Survive? Or perish?
This is what it has come down to – survival, in its most basic and animalistic sense…to hell with morality…
It's the natural order of things: Survival of the fittest, the law of the jungle. The powerful kill and consume the powerless in order to survive. The big animals hunt the small. The hunter never becomes the hunted.
Are we not but animals living in – to use a cliché – a concrete jungle of our own?
We call ourselves rational creatures capable of logical thought. But lately that same rationality has been alarmingly overshadowing the very thing that makes us human - our sensitivity to emotions. Pure, brute logic is slowly but surely replacing morality.
While it is true that it is rationality and logic that has brought about such a wondrous world with all its technological marvels, it is also true that they are taking over. These forces, far greater than us are controlling our every move under our very noses. No longer do we have the freedom to think or act on our own free will in a way that won't eat away our conscience. They force us to do what we have to in order to survive
Was the play exaggerating? Maybe... It is unlikely that man will resort to such extreme measures. But as the title of Jehan's play goes, the day Will come when all hell breaks lose.
So what's going to be the answer?
Morality? Or survival? Mail your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org