Saturday, 21 January 2012

We, the people of India.....

.....are inherently dirty. Period. Some twisted gene in us makes us blind to filth. Like the proverbial fisherfolks who cannot sleep without the smell of stale fish around, we also cannot work or live in a clean environment.  Give us a swank new metro and two days later, the corners will be streaked of red pan stains. Give us brand new dustbins and we will throw garbage all around it.

Some might argue that people are getting more aware. Take for example, the Mumbai locals. Yes, commuters do listen to the nice female voice constantly telling us to ‘help us keep our coaches clean’. So they will never throw anything inside. But the pull of filth is so strong that the hand automatically reaches out of the window and door, sometimes brashly and sometimes tentatively to throw out plastics, fruit peels, bunch of hair etc.  The female voice asked us to keep our coaches clean. She never mentioned anything about the world outside, did she? Oh, how lovely is the look of contentment once the job is done.

I keep wondering why we are like this. Why are we nation of openly spitting, peeing, defecating, throwing garbage, farting and all things dirty? My job lets me travel to the interiors of many states. Even the roads in most remote areas are sadly lined with used plastic bags. Most of the villages are pretty and relatively clean but go to its boundaries and you will see garbage piling up. (The only exception being the villages of Vidarbha where people poop right on the road which leads to their homes)

Maybe it’s because our sense of belonging is limited to our homes. Deep down we don’t really see the cities, parks, forests, roads and even the country as our something we should bother about. We are a bunch of free spirited, untameable people. Like the horse that can be dragged to the pond but not forced to drink, the government can provide us with garbage cans but cannot make us throw things in it.  
Three to four decades ago, the GoI had tried to educate the people through an animated infomercial.  Yet, we have spawned an entire generation of filth lovers. Looking at the brighter side, we have developed a strong immune system.

So bring on the TDR-TB, Swine Flu and Delhi Super Bug....we are not scared. We will continue to be the world’s largest garbage dump.

PS: I love horses and after this post I will never ever misuse its good name and compare it with things bad.

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