Today during my morning walk, I politely pointed out to a Gentleman who was letting his dog poop in the middle of the road. Instead of feeling sorry, that person started behaving in an offensive manner and the conversation ran as under.
Myself, ” Sir, you could have taken your dog to the dirt track away from the road for his morning routine.”
Gentleman, ” Who the hell are you to tell me?”
Myself, ” I am a respectable citizen of this country and moreover our Prime Minister (India), Mr Narendra Modi has been laying stress on maintaining cleanliness. You would appreciate that ” Cleanliness is next to Godliness.”
Gentleman, ” All others are also doing the same thing. Why don’t you check others, Besides there are many stray dogs in the area who dirty the place, why discriminate me!”
Myself, ” We are respectable people living in a posh colony and it is each one of our’s duty to maintain cleanliness. In foreign countries guys carry a plastic bag/pouch and put their dog’s poop after the dog has eased him/herself for disposal.”
Gentleman, ” Don’t tell me all this, I have stayed in a foreign country for fifteen years ( the person appeared to be a NRI now having come to stay in India).
Myself, ” In that case, I have nothing to say. I shall ask the security guy to send a cleaning boy to clear the muck that you have created.” He walked away giving me an extreme dirty look. There was no remorse or apology in his expression even.
Thereafter I told the colony security in charge to get the muck cleaned.
In the afternoon, I watch Indian news channel which is highlighting the sad state of a new deluxe train just flagged off two weeks ago by the Prime Minister Mr Modi at Varanasi plying to Indian Capital Delhi. As per the video footage, the entire train was littered with filth thrown by the passengers in all classes be it second, first or AC. I feel disappointed as on India’s Independence Day our PM had made a fervent appeal to all citizens for “Swash Bharat” ( Clean India ). Two days ago, in the company of some friends a discussion on this subject was going on and most guys felt that our Government is not doing enough for a clean India. I differed with them and pointed out that 80% of the work has to be done by us in this regard. We Indians as individuals keep ourselves very clean by taking regular bath and maintaining good hygiene in our houses but as a society we ignore the public hygiene standards. We clean our house and throw the filth outside in the common areas. We let our dogs poop and pee anywhere on the roads and public place. We relieve ourselves anywhere in the open. People possessing expensive cars chew tobacco and Pan ( a mouth freshener ) and spit anywhere on the road and in public places.
I vividly remember one of my relatives who after flying from USA to India and then travelling by my car told me to stop the car at the roadside and peed right next to a tree. When I politely asked him, whether he would do such a thing abroad he said, ” Those are very strict people, you would be fined heavily, O God our country is so nice, there is total freedom. ” This was precisely being done by the Gentleman with the Dog in the morning encounter, who claimed to have stayed abroad for 15 years. I am sure that he would have followed rules during his stay due to fear of fine/punishment or being ticked off by the other members of the society. He believed that there was total freedom in India to do what one pleases and never expected a tick off by someone and thus retaliated. Here we break traffic rules, throw filth in public places and do so many other odd things, there being no fear of being checked either by law enforcing agencies or by the Society. Somehow that nationalistic feeling and pride to see our country as a modern and clean nation is simply not in our blood and everybody tends to be a free bird. We fail to appreciate that freedom comes with responsibilities & obligations and there is nothing known as total freedom.
A nation can only progress if each one of us puts in our bid in the process. Let us not ask what our country can do for us, instead let us ask what we can do for our country.