Can this be a part of the Indian Dream? - II

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 25 Mar 2018 11:06:23






Again, evening. Again, six-thirty pm. Again, a busy square. Again, rush-hour traffic. A swanky car is ahead of mine at the red signal. The driver opens the door , leans out, and spits a red juice on the road. He slams the door close, and zooms away as the red light turns amber and green.

Though this is an everyday sight, I am under a state of shock. At the next square, I drive up close to that car to take a look at the man who spat a few minutes earlier. I only hoped that he would be only a driver, rather uncouth. But to my horror, he obviously looked the owner of the car, well-dressed, and with all the trappings of his immense wealth.

This could be an incident at any square anywhere in any city of the country. ...
My state of shock
continues. ...

THIS is India. Our India. Mother India. And as one of the family of Indians, I ask a simple question to myself, and also to all of us: Can this behaviour be a part of the great Indian Dream? Can such behaviour pass for a cultured living?

Each one of us asks this question. Yet, each one of us indulges in such uncouth behaviour, unmindful of the consequences of what he or she is doing. People of all types -- rich and poor, young and old, working or lazying, students or teachers, rulers and the ruled, the administrators and the common men, the cops and the criminals -- indulge in behaviours that can come under the question I have raised: Can this behaviour be a part of the great Indian Dream?

This question has no relevance. And it has all the relevance as well to our lives. For, in the question itself, there is the answer. And in the answer itself, a new question in the same vein comes up.

A senior colleague who has travelled abroad responded to this issue rather effectively. He said, “Sir, the moment we alight from an aircraft on a foreign land, we change dramatically and drastically. We become wonderful citizens -- of that country -- and follow all the rules which we have broken until we boarded the aircraft just seven or eight hours earlier in India.”

What an accurate description, this!
And so the question again: Can this behaviour
be a part of the great Indian Dream?
We need to awaken ourselves with this question time and again. This is necessary because we have a tendency to doze off into uncouth conduct in public as well as private places. Our public places are dirty and we don’t mind those because our homes, too, are not clean enough. True, some of us may be keeping their private places and spaces spec clean, but our social tendencies lean towards unkemptness, if I take the liberty to twist the expression a little.

We must tell ourselves in unkind words: Look dear, you do not conform to high standards of the Great Indian Dream. If you want to be called a good Indian, then adhere to those high standards. That will make you and your country better.