We, the unruly people

On Sunday, I became the target of the psycho ramblings of a super idiotic imbecile on a bike. What happened was this, we were at a traffic signal waiting for it to turn green. The bike in front of us,  ahead of the stop line got slightly nudged by the car on their right and the driver nearly lost balance. The pillion rider however, just got down and started screaming at me saying it was all my fault. He did not pause to hear any explanation, looked at hubby, who looked at him with the most dead pan expression possible. He ended the tirade of noise by telling my husband, why don’t you drive.

At the very next signal, I again stopped behind the stop line and then saw around 5 car owners park (or should i say start their creep) in front of me. Both incidents made me super mad. I actually could not see why following the rules was a good thing for me, when nothing happened to the ones who broke them.

After some thinking, I have no answers but a lot of questions about the way we as a country operate. I know very few people read this blog, but maybe one of them will be able to answer them or maybe I am just cribbing so I get the pain out of my system:

1. Does the lack of disincentive to break rules, become the incentive. – I mean the people who cut in line before me never got caught, why should I follow rules the next time.

2. Why is it that in case of traffic incidents, Indians always assume the bigger car, the richer looking person, the woman is at fault. Why can’t we argue about the traffic on the merits of the case. I really believe that if someone gets hurt breaking the rules, there should be little or no sympathy for them. Why does it not happen? Is it because our mentality of the 60s/70s bollywood, where all rich men were corrupt and bad is still there somewhere.

3. Why is it that when we, as a people, do not value time and don’t believe that reaching late anywhere deserves even a polite apology, that we need to run, push, shove and break all sorts of rules reach the front of the line. Isn’t the idea of  being first in line, contrary to our chalta hai attitude? The people who break the signal with their traffic creep, gain what, 30 seconds or maybe 2 minutes, going somewhere where they are already around 30 minutes late. Whats 35 compared to 30 man, why do it?

4. Why can’t we learn the basic rules of decency and not throw garbage out of vehicles? What bothers me more is that, I can’t figure out the source of our problem. Is it lack of education? No.  I have seen educated professionals, working in an MNC do it. They think nothing of throwing paper in and out of the local trains. Is it lack of money? No. I have seen people throwing chips packets, fruit peels and even toll booth receipts. They say the best way to take care of a problem is by eliminating its source. Since the source is not clear, will we never solve this problem.

5. Are we justified in blaming governments for all the faults in the system? When the government comes up with rules which are intended to solve citizen’s problems, and we find loopholes to game the system, aren’t we at fault? We blaim it on our politicians because we expect them to be smarter than us, more honest than us, more selfless than us. They come from within the system, why should they be better?

What I find really funny in this whole thing is that on a collective level, we find it difficult to admit that our country is unclean, few people follow rules. Even when we are shown examples of other countries handling things better than us, we have a list of excuses ready. Who are we trying to fool when we give explanations for these problems. Here is a list of some reasons why other countries are not as happy as us.

1. Singapore is nice and clean, but itna freedom nahin hai ki aap ek kaagaz bhi phenk sako or chewing gum khana bhi allowed nahin hai. No yaar, its too clean, almost antiseptic. (yeah. correct. Throwing paper is like a birthright no. I mean c’mon, why would people be happy when they have to carry wrappers of chocolates with them till the next dustbin.)

2. Hong Kong is nice, very good place to work, but your civil liberties are non-existent. You can’t protest against their policies yaar. (What an insight, thats why we are in such an awesome place, we can protest. And break rules.)

3. US or UK mein standard of life to achcha hai, but culture kharab hai. (As SRK said in Swades, when all arguments fail, we bring out the trump card of sanskar and sanskriti)

I don’t think that all is going wrong in our country, absolutely not. But we need to accept the issues and try to solve them. First we change ourselves, then we change our politicians. And now for the toughest question. How??

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Comments
4 Responses to “We, the unruly people”
  1. Alok says:

    heyy

    best possible explanation to everything is..bas hai to hai, jo bhi hai, jaisa bhi hai, yahi hai..aapke samne hai. No conscious effort has gone into building all this, i guess aab all this is part of our culture now.

    from bombay to bilaspur, traffic seriously stinks. do doubt about it.

    • kaaliyakapoor says:

      I agree. I think we will have to stop the acceptance of substandard conditions and try to improve things. The problem with that is there is too much finger pointing, we blame the police, the police blame politicians etc.

  2. varsha says:

    exactly, exactly, exactly

    I have till today not figured out why we think our politicians are so bad. I mean they are exactly like 90% of all indians..

    they say that if you want to know what a persons character is you should see the way s/he drives…..If that is really true then …oh my god!

  3. Harsha says:

    Hi. I agree with you that the lack of a disincentive is really an incentive, and a big gap is in the implementation of the disincentive. there are problems with all the legislature, the executive and the judiciary.
    our country has always been lopsided socially and economically which makes it easier for the larger population to point fingers at the small number of people who own resources. i want to blame capitalism for this but i am not sure if there are other ideologies that tackle it successfully.
    one thing that really bothers me is also our sheer lack of infrastructure, facilities and utilities. if there were a dustbin (which is already not overflowing) quite close by, people would hold on to the wrapper until they reach it. but this is no excuse and there is serious lack of effort from public as well.
    why would a politician be an angel when he is offered a bribe for small favours. they are all becoming “the 10-percent” politicians because there are people who offer the 10 percent.
    all of it goes into a vicious circle, the key is to pick up one reason n try to fix it hoping there would be an effect on other problems.
    i think we can go on and on with this debate but it wont make much difference unless it reached the ones who matter, in a language they can understand (which is apparently a weird form of economics with everything measured in a single unit of “balance in my swiss account”)

    P.S.- Interesting blog by the way. cheers.

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