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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Cut the crap

Indians are travelling a lot these days, which is a good thing because travelling widens your horizons considerably. What I really enjoy hearing about is how amazed they all seem at the level of cleanliness and civic manners found there.

It’s such a pity that we need to go abroad to learn it ourselves. I have some questions to ask such globetrotters.

* Do you not know that defecating, urinating, spitting and worse in public is not exactly entertainment for others? These things are not done only by the lower class and illiterate people in India. A lot of educated people throw snack wrappers out of their cars or spit in public or get out of cars and water the plants, where they can find them!

* Do you know that your pampered pets called Frisky, Rhino, Cocoa etc are not allowed to poop in public? Since they don’t know that, you should be vigilant and pick up after them, the way you would be expected to do if you were walking your pet in New York, Sydney, London or Moscow. I’ve seen so many well-heeled pet owners – yes, the ones who look like they travel quite a bit – who look the other way while their pets are decorating places like Worli Seaface and Marine Drive. No wonder, pets are going to be banned from Marine Drive.

* You can bet some bleeding heart will object to this and it most likely will be a pet owner, who never picks up his/her doggy poo. Why should they? Aren’t they paying a poor BMC worker to do that?

Would they be using this line of argument with a US cop who would have fined them with a look of disgust on his face. The minute he said something like ‘Go back to India and do this because it’s not allowed here’, they would have gone crying to the media and claimed racial abuse. I, for one, would applaud the cop’s attitude. After all, he’s doing his job and maintaining law and order in his country, so obviously he’s not going to accept tourists and immigrants treating his country like a public toilet.

Foreign countries are clean and great places to visit because they are kept that way by their citizens. I don’t think they have started importing our poor BMC souls yet to clean up after them. We need to wake up and take responsibility for our (and our pets’) actions and not expect a ‘clean and green’ country to emerge like a miracle overnight. We need to make it happen.

The only constant thing is change and a drastic change in attitude would help. To start with, importing a desire to keep our country clean would be a great idea. Let’s live and learn the good stuff.

Written for www.dancewithshadows.com

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