Tag Archives: civic sense

Uninspired Patriots

Exactly one year ago, I was in Pune writing a different theme article on the occasion of Republic day, here in 2016, I’m sitting in my hostel room thinking of a completely different perspective of the same theme. This year’s 26th January began at midnight in a library’s reading room, where I was watching funny stuff on YouTube. I began watching at 9.30pm and saying just one more video, it was 12.15. I hurried my way back to my room and slept around 12.30.

 

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I couldn’t resist myself from taking this from “Man of Steel”, but it is a stellar line with relevance to one’s nationalism!

The actual Republic day began at 7.30 in the morning. As I put my toothbrush, towel, soiled clothes into my bucket, I realized that at this time last year, I was sleeping in my cozy bed back home, and  here I’m this year readying myself up before anybody else for a clean hostel bathroom. I didn’t pay much attention to the activities at hand-  washing clothes, brushing teeth, bathing, but I was lost thinking about my country India, and what I was doing for her on this patriotic day. I was being a youth, educating myself and sustaining myself on my own scholarship which I earned by my own merit, and not deviating from the path of hard work. A story of an ideal Indian youth, I was doing my bit for my country indirectly, I was keeping my hostel premise (including my room) clean, and being civil in foreign place. My thought process was briefly interrupted by an empty Lays packet which lay in front of room’s door. It must have being thrown from above or maybe someone from the same floor threw it. I calmly pick up the packet and throw in the dustbin which is present on a right turn away from my room.  Thoughts regarding lack of civic sense of head explode in my head. Out of nowhere a Trojan thought emerges – What does my country do for me? Should my country do something for me or it is just a one way street- me doing something for the country?!

This suddenly reminded me of the story my dad narrated to me, when I was home during vacation. We were on our way back from vacation in a car at night and were distressed by the way people drove their cars on the road and general lack of empathy they exhibited. The story is recent one, the Japanese government was surveying train station across the country, as they wanted to find the usability of each station by people. They found out that there was one particular station, which was the least commuted by people, and they marked this station for dismantling. In all this scheming, the government officials heard news about a little girl who frequently used the station to go to her school, which was in a nearby town. Moreover, train was the only way by which the girl was going to her school every day. Dismantling the station would disrupt the girl’s education, so the government officials decide that they would leave the station as it is, until the girl completed her education. This was an exceptional example of a country caring for her citizens, it was country doing something for its people. I rarely see such an example in India. Patriotism is a two way street, just like any other relationship- friendship between two people, family relations, it requires efforts from both ends. It is just not enough to be good citizens of a nation, the nation should also treat its citizens with dignity and respect. Lack of civic sense in public space of people, highlight only one thing- bad citizens. How can such people be patriotic for its nation?? Playing patriotic songs on loudspeakers on occasion of Republic and Independence day is just not enough, doing this illuminates how superficial our love is for our country. Being good citizens is NOT enough for the progress on our nation, the nation should also display examples of inspiration, nationalism, otherwise it generates a new class of citizens- Uninspired Patriots.

 

Happy 67th Republic day to everyone.

Diwali- a festival of lights or a disillusionation of civic sense

Today is the last day of the festival of lights, diwali. This festival marks the glorious return of Lord Rama after he defeated raavan, back to ayodhya, the people of Ayodhya back then welcomed their rightful heir by lighting lamps, and that’s why it is called so. But in the 21st century India, the consequences of this festival are far more outreaching, it signifies the time when people with asthma, allergies and pet cats and dogs are disturbed in worst possible ways because of the smoke produced by burning of fire crackers and all this is without taking in consideration the air and noise pollution because of fire crackers. Well back in the 20th century or the beginning of 21st century, cities of India were not as overcrowded as they are today and extent to which fire
crackers were burned did not exceed civic understanding. It is during this time, when we find out that the people, who you thought had a civic sense or understanding actually didn’t care for the fellow being who they stayed with. During diwali, the myth behind the fact that people of city had some awareness about the health of city and its environment is completely destroyed, you find out they are selfish and narssisitc in their way of thinking about the society in which they live. It is sad to find out all this during a period of 3-4 days of the year, unfortunately this is the case in all areas of India. Fire crackers, which we burn are made by child labourer who work day and night, only for the happiness of us- the middle class, moreover they suffer from horrible accidents in which they are burned badly. The hypocrisy is that when people start talking about child labor, they start delivering extensive lectures about how we need to stop it, but during this so called festival of light, but burn a lot of fire crackers, and indirectly support child labor, as these industries employ children for work.

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A chilling account of child labor in the most delicate way.

Not just that people burst crackers at 2 or 3 am in the morning, just for their own pleasure and happiness, hence destroying the sleep of countless others. By doing that, not only they disturb their sleep they invite the insults of these people. Is this all diwali about, disturbing others in all possible ways and inviting bad wishes from them?? Well I would like to emphasize to you other facts too, it is a festival of happiness, friends and families visit each other, gift each other many things and lot of other stuff, in short it is Christmas time for all Indians.

There is a day on diwali called as Lakshmi poojan day, in which people perform Pooja of the lordess Lakshmi, the god of wealth and invite her to their house for her blessings. Just think after disturbing people in all possible ways, will she bless your house?? Or rather will she even visit? We seriously need to think over how this festival should be celebrated and bring about a necessary change.We need to make the festival a lot less troublesome and more environment friendly. I may be speaking of all the sins people commit, but there is a positive change in people; you see many posts on Facebook, where people encourage not to celebrate the festival in all the wrong ways, and celebrate it in all the right ways.

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An amazing message spread in a good way

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Comical way of spreading awareness(I’m sorry it is in Hindi; translation from top left to right and then bottom; date a ‘hot’ cracker don’t burn one, make the boys turn their heads, but don’t burn chakri, make boys jealous don’t burn stuff, well it is the best possible translation!!!)

There is a good will and hope in people, there are a lot of comical ways in which awareness is spread, and I think in all the worst case scenarios, when you see a change, a saying carries on.

“Where there is a will, there is a way”