Friday, April 6, 2007

Personal Luxury at Public Inconvenience

It is sad to look around and see utter disregard for public inconvenience by the common man. Be it the person spitting on the road or the taxi driver parking in a bus bay or the pedestrian walking along the road and not the footpath, you see it everywhere. People always complain about the public authorities not taking enough care about public convenience. I don't see any anomaly in the acts of public authorities and just see it as a reflection of the general state of mind of the common man.

What is disturbing is the fact that people don't really understand that it is such minor transgressions from several people that accumulate and create general public inconveniences. Roads littered with garbage, drainages filled with plastic, roads congested because of badly parked cars etc are good examples for this phenomenon. However most people, even those engaged in committing these civic crimes, complain about the cumulative effect of such actions.

The matter of the fact is that people don't think about the consequences of their seemingly harmless actions. After all what can happen if you spit on the road, you have been doing it since you were a child isn't it?. Or what could happen if you park your car near a busy intersection - it is only for a few minutes right? Or what could happen if you throw your plastic bag into the drainage - it will just go with the sewage right? After all aren't these small luxuries that the system owes you? Isn't it your right to do these things? People don't even realize that they are committing a crime when they make one of these offenses.

The generic solution to these problems is to teach people to think. But, since that is possibly impossible, it is more practical to teach them, while they are still young, certain civic responsibilities and value systems essential to maintain a smooth civil society. It might be a little inconvenient to keep that toffee wrapper in your pocket till the next trash can or even back home, but it would be more more inconvenient for a lot more people if you don't; and other people like you, don't.


  1. Hi

    Have u seen the tamil film "Anniyan"? The film is about the small inconsequential wrongs or is it small mistakes, committed by the common man which cumulatively snowballing into the mess that we see around us today. My earlier comment on the article of Traffic written by you was also listing out the small things only which cumulatively account for the chaos on the road today. Even if you are not a film goer, I would recommend you to see the film. If tamil films are not your cup of tea, just grit your teeth when song and dance or unbelievable scenes come and see the rest of the movie where the sentiments written by you are echoed in the film.

  2. Normally don't watch movies/TV unless I am totally fatigued. But yes I will keep that in mind when there is a run of that movie on any of the channels.