This is the age of machines. Every activity of man has become mechanized. The daily routine of life is not only dependent upon machines, it is guided by the machines. Machines help us to work to increase production, to transport the goods from place to place, to do odd jobs for us and also to make us to live a better and comfortable life. The work has become easier and it is done with a greater speed and with better precision. Machines help us to overcome a number of hindrances and number of problem which may not be overcome by us so easily. With the help of machines mountains are blown up and roads are laid. With their help rivers are tamed, planets are observed and education-aids are employed. In other words machines have become the most important part of our daily life. that is why relation of man and machine has become of our daily life. That is why relation of man and machine has become complementary but sometimes it is contradictory.
One of the most important achievements of machines is that goods have been standardized. The qualities of the goods can never fall and it is possible to produce them in large quantities. As a result of it artisans and craftsmen have almost been replaced by machines. It seems that the artistic skill of man is fast fading even out of the memory. Every goofs can be manufactured according to certain specifications and as a result of it they can be sold with much ease and confidence. This has given rise to competition between man and machine and it seems that sometimes the competition is quite unhealthy.
Mass-scale production of the goods has resulted in the unemployment of a large number of artisans. It is also responsible for competitive spirit which in its turn has given rise to many other problems and malpractices. It is because of mass production that a huge amount of money is spent on publicity and the people are cheated of their hard earned money. Some of the countries because of over-production indulge in certain practices, like dumping of the goods, which are very dangerous for the economy of a country. Mass-scale production many times leads to wastage of the national resources.
Machines have in an unknown manner developed mechanical attitude in the case of man. Man looks at things as objects to be experimented upon and he does not have that sense of appreciation which he used to have in the earlier times. The appreciation of beauty is not so spontaneous, as it used to be. Moreover machines have made man time-conscious and he does not want to waste even a single minute. The attitude has resulted in a strain upon his mind. He is all the time worried about the proper utilization of time. He wants that time should be the deciding factor in his life. This mechanical attitude is not good for the over-all development of man.
One of the worst features of this mechanical age is that man is slowly replaced by machines. Tagore with his sensitive mind has expressed fear as well as horror of machines in his famous one-act-play Mukt Dhara. No denying the fact that the large scale unemployment is because of machines. Machines can do the work of a large number of the manual workers, that is why a number of people are rendered jobless.
Total dependence upon machines is definitely harmful. That is why Gandhiji was opposed to the craze for machines. He did not want that man should become the helpless tool of machines. It is wrong to say that Gandhiji was opposed to machines, rather he considered excessive mechanization harmful. He objected to labour saving machine for a country like India. He said “the use of machinery should cease just at the point where it ceased to help man and when it began to encroach upon his individuality.’’ It is not good to allow machines to dominate man’s life. If man is to work with the help of machines and is to depend totally upon machines it will not be possible for man to remain in his normal self. Machines, when they become masters, crush the very spirit of man and bring an end to all good qualities of man as a creature of god. Man has moral sense which animals don’t have and machines make man indifferent to all the higher values of life: we become earthly and earthly.