CIVIC (NON) SENSE? Yes, That’s India Alright!



Overflowing garbage bins and drains (if hypothetically the municipal corporation provides with the same!), public defecation, spitting betel leaves’ extracts commonly known as paan in any possible direction almost anywhere, parking a bike or a car in the very symmetrically center of a road, playing a practical road-rash game without consideration of any vulnerable passer-by, undisciplined traffic, honking unnecessarily, absence of footpaths on main roads for pedestrians, obscene graffiti on walls,etc., etc. are a common sight in India.

No city, no town, no village has been able to fight these. Insensitiveness about their surroundings has crippled the citizens so horrendously that they continue their daily chores nonchalantly amidst the chaotic muck and mess all around them. Ghastly, no kidding! Almost all around the world India has made itself a gigantic laughing stock and “We the people…” are quite proud of the same, it seems!


If we compare ourselves with our competitors like Japan, USA, China or even Germany for various things like exports, retail sector, service industry etc., why not is a simple basic attribute like civic sense being judged and compared by Indian themselves so as to realize how much inside the filth do we stand.

We are not even great followers of the Westerners. If that was the case, we would have easily and modestly achieved good work ethics and developed basic common (common all over the world) sense. Doesn’t it feel highly disappointing and inadequate of the jokes cracked on our country due to our poor sense of ethics and civics? But who cares? We have become so unabashed that words of criticism are Greek and Latin to us.

It is so unfortunate to say that India, though is a country of great values, yet couldn’t achieve to make its people value the same. Interestingly, India managed to borrow much required technology and skills but failed to inculcate sense among people to use the same. We don’t use the technology, we rather abuse it. Batteries of a remote control won’t work: we would tap and beat the back of the remote to make it work; we will multitask by driving, listening to music and talking on the mobile phone all at the same time; smoking a cigarette while riding or driving, throwing trash from our backyard (which might be the porch of other) blatantly and further more on similar line.


I am even dead sure about the fact that only 1-2% of Indians must have actually read the full Manual which mandatorily comes with all machines or electronics. Rest of us are I-know-it-all people. But the most grim thing about all this is that although we know all the facts, we consider it better to laugh it out while reading the  facebook shares like  “Top 20 appalling things that all Indian Do”; rather than making the changes to our lives and fixing these things.

We praise Japanese for their PokaYoke, Kanban, JIT or Six-Sigma but we can count the business units on our fingers which have actually used and achieved through these quality control techniques. Mumbai Dabbawalas is one such example. Work ethics are only a subject matter of management studies which almost never is applied. Germany is highly praised for its cleanliness and traffic sense. Well, in India all that is equivalent to non-sense. The road sense is like grades given to officers.


Car owners and lavish four-wheeler owners can be said as the highest grade officers, who enjoy the maximum share of the road with the exclusive benefits like parking anywhere on any vacant spot “on” the road at such an angle which will make it incredibly impossible for even a bicycle to pass through. Then come the bike riders which are always and irrevocably in such a hurry that red-yellow-green signs are either invisible to them or they consider themselves to be clones of Mr India!

And last but not the least the position of first grade or even below that is given whole heartedly to the pedestrians. These are the people who have no proper footpaths, no zebra crossings, mostly no traffic-light signals, no importance of any kind of vehicle while crossing the road and most importantly, no chance of surviving if they don’t rush  dancing off their destination.

There are hundreds of such examples which are mostly true in any part of our country, beat that. Isn’t it a practical joke that we talk so much about cultural values but we never have inculcated in ourselves any social values?


The answer is not illiteracy and poverty, at least not this time. The answer is our inability to come out of the comfort zone of lethargy and “chalta hai” attitude. It has been a reality that the lower subdued ones follow the path of citylights when their living standards rise even marginally.

First we must do it then only others would. Vice-versa wouldn’t happen at all. This is not how we ought to position our country in the world. Corruption and red-tapism is a part of our system because we have to a great extent entertained it. Now cribbing about it won’t help us.

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”  – M. K. Gandhi

When we can’t stand our own houses unclean, how can we stand anything filthy or incorrect outside our doorsteps? Sometimes I think that laws made to follow out of compulsion are much effective then leaving everything as a responsibility of a citizen. A good example is wearing helmet and seat belts. It is beyond high time that we realize our sense of being a normal human and start behaving like one in the most mannered way.

It is not a resolution to make; it is like a social evil to eradicate. Let’s give it a try. We aren’t thinking big like changing the scenario of the whole country in one go. One significant thing to remember is that only small things done first will make big changes actually happen.

“I solemnly swear that I am up to no good,…..but the better!”

 – Asawari Savarikar

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