Our dirty little habits

We are proud Indians but sometimes, I wonder if we are nothing but a confused nation. We seem to want to ape the rest of the world and when it comes to fashion, music and clothes we’ve done a pretty good job. Young girls and boys wearing traditional attire are novelty items, knowing how to play the mrudangam or the sitar is considered extremely traditional and even listening to Indian classical music is “so not cool”. We adopted their ideas of culture but, somehow were unable to do the same with their ideas of civic responsibility and sense.

Dressed up in the best branded clothes money can buy, you set off from home in your fancy car or bike and then you suddenly pull up at the side of the road. You get out, and blissfully ignorant of the passing traffic, you whip out your stuff and generously water the ground. This is mainly a guy thing and I’m sorry to have targeted you first but, when I think of “our dirty little habits”, this is the first thing that comes to mind. Use a public toilet for crying out loud!! I know you’re going to say that they are in decrepit condition and they stink and are dirty but have you thought that perhaps if you used them instead of the space next to a bus stop, there would be an incentive to maintain them better!?! I have passed walls that smell so strongly of urine I’ve had to hold my breath and run to get away before I threw up. Keep it in your pants you guys!!

From a nation of starving people, we’ve become one where the fitness industry is booming. What does that say, huh? We’ve come a long way.sign-34162_640 We spend hours in the gym to get into shape, but, we can’t expend even a couple of calories to walk to a dustbin to throw away an empty soft drink bottle or a packet of chips or used tissue paper. Now I know there aren’t many accessible garbage cans and I even have a friend who wants to get a ‘garbage control organization’ running once she has retired to deal with India’s garbage problem, so I feel your pain. But, you have a dustbin at home don’t you? Put the waste in your bag or pocket and dispose of it at home! It isn’t that hard.

Finally, I think our worst habit is that most of us spread disunity without even realizing it. We are a big country full of people with the tendency to look at someone and brand them as North Indian or South Indian and then decide that they must have a certain attitude before even getting to know them. It’s such a common characteristic among us, it’s quite pathetic. Being proud of where you are from is great, but, looking down on and making fun of people who are not from that place is wrong on so many levels. The other habits; urinating in public places and littering – they can be corrected quite easily. But, this is a mindset problem and much like trying to teach men that women and children are their equals, I’m afraid that this too might take a generation or two.

I’m Indian and I’m proud to be one. But, I know I could be prouder.

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Written for IndiSpire – 24 – Which bad habit of Indians would you like to change for our India?

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37 comments on “Our dirty little habits

  1. Good points, particularly the last one about spreading disunity. We love to classify people on the basis of language, religion, caste, gender, economic status, educational background, profession, place of residence, etc.. I wonder whether the British had to put in any effort at all to ‘Divide and Rule’ us. I think we had done the ‘Divide’ part ourselves.

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  2. This is just one of the habits that has annoyed me about Indians…and you know what’s the saddest thing? They do it in other countries too! It really needs to change…

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  3. Anmol Rawat says:

    Well said Preeti. Agree with you. I won’t lie but I used to litter myself as well. This is what we see and this is what we learn. But yes now I fill my pockets with wrappers, even bus tickets :p

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  4. Our civic sense is pathetic but the moment our countrymen travel abroad they adhere to the rules and regulations fearing strict penalty. Then why make our own country a dumping and stinking yard? A hard-hitting post.

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  5. shanx says:

    Agree with all the points Preeti 🙂 Nicely jotted. Time people realized that the country they are so proud of isn’t some huge dustbin 🙂
    Thumbs up for the last line 🙂

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  6. Nicely written post . It reminds me that when ever I travel I always carry a garbage bag with me . Even during train journeys . So people around me feel , may be , awkward or embarrassed to litter around . Its funny 😀 .

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  7. Good Post, Yes we need to have some civic sense that’s what i have pointed in my post too and yes for God sake lets stop clustering people and their nature based on the region they belong to

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  8. uma says:

    We can do with a lot of civic sense. I wonder how the sense of responsibility can be taught to grown men and women who like to see their homes clean but have no qualms littering their own complex, roads and city. And, how we love to judge people by their colour and mother-tongue! Probably it will take a long while before I can be proud(er)!

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  9. nabanita21 says:

    Oh yes for some reasons we just can’t follow rules and end up having habits which we shouldn’t really..you are right we could be prouder!

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  10. Nats says:

    Couldn’t agree more…I insist on my family members to dispose the waste in bins when we are out and if we don’t find one, we keep it in the car and dispose once we reach home.

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  11. We are still so shackled by our prehistoric mindset, stereotyping and religion. We do not even give others a chance. Unwanted superiority complex is what our society thrives on.
    I too could be prouder!

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  12. I agree. So many of us do that, making our country dirty by defecating or relieving ourselves in public. True, we can be prouder as Indians. I remember once I was with the ex and we were having tea by the road when someone threw the plastic cup on the street..she picked it up to put in the bin..and there was a bin next to where he threw it.
    Time to make sustained efforts to make the country a better place. The whole North-South divide is such a put off.

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  13. Ranju says:

    Guess what? Once I was walking with my friends on a street. We were having a packet of Lays. My friend finished it & threw the packet on the street. I picked it up & asked them not to litter the streets just because everyone else do the same. For which they said, ‘We are not as great as you. We haven’t gone beyond the state & studied. Not so much sophisticated. So keep the crap to yourself.’ And the two laughed.
    Some people cannot be repaired Preeti. 🙂
    I am glad you came up with this.

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    • Preeti says:

      I’ve had the same sort of experience…it’s the ‘I am just one person how can I make a difference’ attitude.
      In time everything can be repaired Ranju! Don’t give up so soon 🙂
      Happy you enjoyed the read!

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  14. Cleanliness is next to Godliness….at least I believe so…not just our home but our surroundings too….nicely written…especially the last line makes you think…

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  15. Anita says:

    Very heart-touching & nicely expressed.
    Yes, agree with all the points.
    If we can’t find dust-bins, we should carry the empty packets to dispose at home. That reminds me- I have to empty my purse (Chips & Chocolate wrappers of my weekend outing!)
    May we always be proud of our ‘Unity in Diversity’ & not upset because of the insane bigots spoiling our country.
    High time we respect all things Indian & make our India the India of our dreams.

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