The Uncivilized Indian

The rubble at the bus station

Millions of years in evolution and thousands of years in developing our culture, we have established pretty well that we are far more evolved than any other beings on this planet in every possible way.

I agree. But only on a biological level.

What did we lose along the way? Common sense.

I am not making such statements based on one or two experiences personally. It might be an incident at the bus station or while traveling on the road. It might be while interacting with a stranger or watching people stand still when things go wrong right in front of them. Everywhere there is an element of humanity and decency missing around us.

I was at the bus station with a friend waiting for one to Chennai. The bus came and then the chaos began. People outside were trying to get inside the bus, thereby not allowing the passengers inside to get down. This drama went on for 20 min, until the conductor intervened and stopped the people from obstructing the passengers inside. In the end everyone got their seats, with collateral damage, including a few people getting crushed in the mêlée, not to mention the infants and babies.

The rubble at the bus station
The mêlée at the bus station

The other day we were on a bike, in my hometown happily enjoying the ride when out of nowhere crap starts falling on the road right in front of us. To our surprise it was a group of educated looking passengers in a bus who were responsible for this. We felt so disgusted and ashamed.

It’s written with clear big red letters for everyone to read that it’s the woman’s seat and no, every man is blind to that sign. Let me not stop here. I have seen circumstances where men and women are seated comfortably when senior citizens on the bus have no seats and have to stand all the way through. Yes, I agree that we must fight for our rights and all. But aren’t we forgetting compassion and empathy somewhere in the line?

Why is this happening? I keep thinking, but cannot point it out to one particular causative factor. Is it because of literacy? No. I have seen educated masses behaving in the same way and at the same time the uneducated masses with enough amount of decency in them to behave in the required way in the society. So yea that’s ruled out. Is it lack of compassion and respect towards the fellow human being, that we choose to neglect the suffering and ignore the problematic conditions of our fellow people? May be yes. We are so getting drowned in our own selfishness and self obsession of us and our own kin that we choose to keep aside the comfort of any other person around us. The ability to place ourselves in their shoes and think for a moment is lacking amongst us .

What about our families ? Our traditions ? The way we are bought up. How many parents are teaching kids to respect their fellow humans. Most of them tell their kids to look out for themselves by being more competitive , cause according to them its all about survival in the world now and not about co existing. All this may seem irrelevant on a basic ground of thought , but when we trace out every small reason to our behaviour in the real day life , we can understand the distant connections that have been existing all along . Ones which could have been corrected and prevented easily in their origins itself.

I know that I have focused specifically on public transportation, reflecting our level of civilized behaviour. It may not prove it as a whole, but isn’t the way we treat our fellow citizens in the public enough to show what we have learned? Not through education, but through morals and values. Perhaps I am hoping for too much. So let’s just say we develop more of common sense. Forget high targets such as morals and keep them reserved for a day when we actually behave like humans with common sense and not stray uncivilized Indians.