Delhi is a strange place with strange people. People are annoyed with agencies for heavy traffic, pollution and unclean roads and spaces. Perhaps it applies to other cities but being a resident of this unfortunate city, I can only talk about it. Delhi can perhaps be used an “model” city to discuss this topic.
Streets are filled with garbage. Corners of majority of the roads are frustrated – for men and dogs pee alike, when neither should be defecating in the open. It’s an open urinal, for God’s sake. People give a damn and just relieve themselves, just as they spit with impunity!
Dustbins are perhaps the most unfortunate things in this city. They are like the educated yet unemployed people. They have their own worth, but get a raw deal! People just turn a blind-eye to it, though it proudly beams – Use Me!!
The problem is the rise of arrogant society, spilling garbage (contained in their mind and even otherwise) everywhere. We just don’t care. Why? Everyone is doing it and me alone keeping the place clean won’t make a difference.
Its not just the garbage. We have the spitteratis. People just spit! Though major part of the problem is our grand Pan-masala and tobacco industry, which none of the government will ever be able to shut. Why should they? They are anyways ‘discouraging’ the industries with ‘higher taxes’ (read higher revenue to the government). People are totally addicted to it – they will not get discouraged with some heinous depiction of lung cancer or higher prices. They will continue to chew and let it out. We actually have industries, which encourages people to spit on the roads. Result – tobacco and pan-masala laced spit on the roads.
Then there those, who want to clear their throat due to pollution. Easy way out, isn’t it? Blame the pollution!! Ok, it’s the pollution and what, Sir, are you doing….oh, increasing it further in addition to making the place disease prone!!
Then there are these habitual spitsmen. They just spit. Two people are just having casual conversation, when one guy for no reason, spits out. Everyone will have atleast one such person in his/her circle. These guys may spit either standing at one particular place and create a ugly spit painting on the road or they may do so while riding a bike or a car. I wonder how car drivers are affected by pollution. They can simply roll-up the window panes. Yet, one may often see a driver, occasionally open the window and mostly open the entire door to spit. I watch in astonishment!
The worst part is, you with that little bit of common sense, who does not spit (yeah, few people still exist, who don’t do it on roads), cannot question those who do it? “Kyu, tere baap ki sadak hai?” will be the most common retort.
But, thing to note is that Bhai, tere baap ki bhi toh nahi hai!
Funny part is, these very people when they travel in Metro rail, behave with utmost sincerity and are such gentlemen! You will not find a dustbin inside metro premises, yet the place is clean! Why is it so?
Fear of reprimand? Perhaps. Put a fine and people, like unruly school children, start behaving properly!!
Ohh, even the literate (not educated by any means) also do it. And just look at the excuse. Log hain na, saaf karne ko. Why should I do it? What stops us from being sensible enough to throw garbage in the dustbin or carry it along in our car or our bag and throw them when we see a dustbin? How difficult is that?
Problem is, we have by nature, become lazy to literally clean up our own shit. We have also become increasingly arrogant to (i) realize our own mistake, (ii) accept the mistake when pointed out and (iii) act upon it. Instead, if one ever tries to correct us, we either abuse or worse, attack!
Its not just the roads, people in general, even in offices do not take cleanliness seriously. It’s the same in offices, where many a times, files and papers lie strewn around. We are not bothered about them as it is the job of the office assistant. It may be his job, no doubt, but it clearly shows that we are not wired to clean it ourselves. Bhai, apne haath gande kaun kare!! There is merit to this…after all, we have spent so much money on own education. Why should after getting a job, we should also do this saaf-safaai wala kaam! It is just like feeling owning an exotic breed of dog but cleaning its shit isn’t part of the deal! Woh Ramu ka kaam hai!
I’m quite certain that if one cannot clean up the filth he/she creates around himself/herself, then given a choice, such people won’t even mind someone else cleaning their shit (I mean literally and figuratively!)
Are we doing the same thing in our homes too? Do we go about spitting and littering our homes? If we can keep our home and surroundings tidy, what stops us from keeping other areas, be it road or public place clean? Are we letting out our frustration by throwing garbage on the road?
We have a habit of blaming others for all the problems. We really do. And we fail to accept that. And until we do that, we will have to live in the garbage dump and start to love the stench and imagine it to be a wonderful scent (which we, by the way, are already doing it!).