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Probably yes! Being brutally honest. It is time, we replace our civic sense. HashingLife.com is about confessions too. Our experienced mentor and avid socialist shares a thought-provoking note from his real-life diary of experiences.

“We see this happening on the roads. Drivers merrily switching lanes for no reason, including at traffic signals. Honking for no reason at all, creating deafening noise. People honking in basement parking lots.”

A couple of weeks back, I had to visit Sir Gangaram Hospital a few times. I was amazed to see people crowding around the elevators, trying to push their way in, without waiting for passengers to exit. At one time, they even obstructed a wheelchair patient from coming out.

We see this happening everywhere in the country. From people rushing to get into Metro trains (unless there are guards to regulate them), to people even pushing to board aircraft! I was once at the Amman airport in Jordan in transit, and I found all the signage in Arabic. The English announcements were heavily accented, and I was worried about missing or causing delay to my flight. I went on mental alert, and as one announcement followed another, I could see people getting into line at relevant gates. And then there was the announcement for the India flight, and there was a rush of people crowding the gate! How can civic sense be different places vary with same set of human beings? at times, I am surprised!!

We see this happening on the roads. Drivers merrily switching lanes for no reason, including at traffic signals. Honking for no reason at all, creating deafening noise. People honking in basement parking lots.

We find people talking loudly in enclosed public places, like aircraft, rail coaches, lifts.

The filth and garbage we spread are shameful, to say the least.

And we merrily blame the state for all this. What is it that causes this complete lack of self-responsibility. Is it that many or most of our schools do not teach this? Or is it that parents do not coach their kids and set examples at the same time – for action speaks louder than words?

I know I am sharing the pain many Indians would be feeling, without offering a solution. I and my family, most friends and many office colleagues behave properly, but as years go by, our fraction is becoming increasingly smaller.

We see similar behavior at government works levels. For instance, road repair or building materials left lying around haphazardly after the job is “complete”. And we see people abusing them for it, the same people who push and honk without any reason.

Can, will, any civil society organization rise to spread awareness? That these are personal responsibilities, and essential for survival? Civic Sense is taught to us at school via moral science. Isn’t it?

On the other hand, I see hope. The on-going experiment to de-congest Delhi roads by rationing cars has brought out interesting reactions. The armchair audience has been critical of it. People like me called it an “experiment” worth doing, in order to address a desperate problem. But the reaction from younger people has been amazingly enthusiastic. They are not being spectators, they are being participants. Even if some of them say that there are slim chances of success.

The politico has to enroll people. Some have done it. I am taking that as a lesson, a refresher coaching. Will others do so? Civic Sense 2.0?? I am waiting to write my next update on this on Hashinglife.com

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Kamal Gupta
Permanently hungry for knowledge. The kind that can be scientifically verified, tested and proven. Worked 26 years as Professional Manager, including CEO of very large Indian corporate, and in the US. Serial Entrepreneur since 2004, founding innovative, knowledge based ventures. Look after my mind and health.