Be The Change

How often have we blamed the government for any shortfall? Uncountable times. But then, I have one question for all, if one blames the government and bureaucracy for not performing their duties, have we performed ours? There is something missing in us, which is making me restive.

The points which I am mentioning here are my observations and I would seek a conclusion from the readers. These are the few little things, which are very important, it seems we have never seemed to think so..

People buying water bottles from the shop or in a train or a bus don’t ask any questions if the bottle is being sold at a price more than maximum retail price (MRP). We have no problems paying Rs. 12 for the bottle priced at Rs. 10. We actually feel ashamed to demand the return of those extra two rupees. Here, the question is not of two rupees but of your rights. The Supreme Court of India has given clear directives that packaged water cannot be sold at a price higher than the MRP’ but we don’t hesitate to question the vendor when he does just that.

And then, we hardly crush those bottles after usage, even though it is clearly mentioned on the bottles and is advertised everywhere. We, out of our kindness, give those bottles to rag-pickers who then proceed to sell regular tap water as processed mineral water in that bottle. Well we never cared to do what we were supposed to, so why should others care. Right?

Even when it comes to voting, how many educated people take the pain of casting their votes? A minuscule few, and that is the reason why this section of people does not feature in the list of strategies of political parties. This is the group which blames the government/organisation/bureaucracy for everything and will still not vote. Police and other agencies are always blamed when there is any law and order problem in the country. But it is time to ask ourselves, have we followed all the rules and regulations of law? The terror network which is there in the country cannot be traced unless local people come in the support of our agencies. The police issues so many warnings and prevention measures, but the public hardly pays any heed towards them. I read a bill on one of the local trains in Mumbai which read: “You are not stupid if you are looking under your seat.” This statement itself speaks volumes. How many of us do that?

One will hire a laborer or domestic help at say, Rs. 100 for a day, but one will always want to take a work of Rs. 120 from him. This is called ‘exploitation’. The same exploitation about which you complain in your office.

You exploit, you will be exploited and the chain grows.

If the government comes out with a law, which aims at the betterment of the society and people, we are out there to break them. A government policy cannot work if the people don’t support it.

These are the daily life examples which simply show that we don’t want to change our attitude or behaviour. We either complain or are indifferent. A society and a nation can grow only if we try to change things. And the best way to change things is to change oneself. Even a minor change can contribute a lot. I might be over optimistic, but remember, it is no good when you only complain and expect someone else to fix your problems.

Rishabh Srivastava

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