Throwing Away...

One of the 100s of things which we are truly against is throwing waste [papers/wrappers/garbage/etc.] on any ground. This purely arises from the conviction that no matter what you throw inside the house, stop polluting the places outside… mainly because that place is not yours and you have no right to make it ugly. But then, there’s also another way of thinking about it – It’s our country and we have to keep it clean [an approach which doesn’t seem to be producing much results]. Nevertheless, no matter how you look at it, throwing rubbish on roads can never be justified. These are a couple of excuses people usually give for doing it [some of them are downright stupid, but like we say… the stupider they are, the more interesting they become!]:

  • I’m helping the rag-pickers and other poor people who make a living out of selling the stuff we throw down.
  • It’s not a big deal
  • Someone is going to clear it off anyway, that’s why they hire sweepers.
  • What difference is this small wrapper going to make to that dung heap?
  • The rubbish is anyway going to be dumped somewhere and this is going to pollute land.
  • The waterfalls will clear the rubbish and when the waters reach the plains, there will be not much dirt in it. [For water pollution]

These are about some of the stuff that I’ve heard people say as an excuse for their laziness and indifference. There’s a quote – “The opposite of love is not hatred. It is indifference.”

We may love our country, we may hate it or even we may be indifferent to it. What we feel about our country doesn’t matter to me so much as how much of our people’s character is exhibited by the way we maintain our surroundings. It is indiscipline when a home maker dumps garbage from her dustbin exactly outside her house’s compound wall. It’s indiscipline when some guy spits or defecates. It’s indiscipline when we throw rubbish out of the car while driving and on the streets while walking. And we, with our serious lack of discipline, talk about the great culture of our country. Honestly, what culture are we talking about? The culture where everyone behaves like an uncivilized individual?

Sometimes I’m pushed to wonder if ours is the civilization that existed 5000 years ago. It’s a miracle we have destroyed such a beautiful and ancient culture, and replaced it with a culture that befits none but pigs. If India is still standing today, it’s because many of us have realized the greatness of our ancient cultural heritage and respect it heartedly. Proof for what I’m saying here: The Harappan Civilization in India had a spectacular underground drainage system. It has taken nearly 4000 years for Madurai to be acquainted with the same type of facility… or should I say ‘civility’?

We are the people of a majestic civilization, the citizens of a country so beautiful and glorious in its ancient history, a nation comprising of some of the best of the jewels of humanity. Let’s not throw our grandeur away… because that would be like cultural suicide. Let’s understand that the big picture consists of very minute and trivial shows of discipline and civility.

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