Breaking Rules - Generation after Generation22 Mar 2010
Since long I have been thinking to write something on this issue but was not able to collect my random thoughts properly. Today I thought it is better to say it in whatever manner – proper or improper. At-least the message will be passed. Also the trigger point this time was a foreigner who was on a tour on his old and antique piece of Royal Enfield. I saw him near Koregaon Park crossing here in Pune and found him breaking the rule which normally he might have followed if he would have been in his own country, but not in India. Why? Because we, the natives are least bothered about following the same ourselves so how the hell can we expect someone alien to follow the rules of our land? I kept quiet, I remained mum. What could have I said to him when my own people do not follow the rules?
On driving through the roads, zipping besides other vehicles, it is a remarkable observation that there are people who drive on roads without following traffic rules and regulations. For example, whenever I drive from Dagdu Sheth Halwai towards Shaniwar Peth, at ABC Chowk and more often than none I have observed that people cross the road on their vehicles without bothering the traffic signal to turn Green. I specially mention this place because the place where one has to stop, it is difficult to know what is coming from the road which is on the left. But people endanger their lives as well as that of others. Several times I have observed that the policemen are the first one to break the rules and cross. One can also observe people driving on the wrong side. Why? Because they will have to drive a little extra to take a U-turn and reach their destination. This sometimes creates havoc and becomes extremely dangerous. And all the people who are doing such things are the well-educated people who boast of working in a MNC and being thecrème de la crème amongst the Indian people.
I was thinking why we behave in such a way that we don’t give a heed to the rules and regulation. And the answer was once again given when I talked to some children (around 9 or 10 years old. I asked their age) who were riding a bicycle and were on the wrong side of the road. I asked them why they were riding on the wrong side. They said because others are driving. One of them said that he comes with his father to buy bread daily and his father drives in a similar fashion. When I asked whether this was wrong or not, they said,”Hum itna aage kyun jaayein, jab dukaan yahan se 2-3 dukanein chhodkar hai!!” (Why should we travel further when the shop is just 2-3 shops away from here?) I had got the answer. I explained them that what they were doing is wrong. I asked whether they love India. They all said yes. So I asked them to follow these rules. This will make mother India happy. They agreed and left (still from the wrong side).
What are we teaching our kids? And why are we doing so? I have observed that many school buses drive rashly and break rules more often. The school has the responsibility to guide the children in the right way. I agree that this is a combined effort of theirs and the parents but at-least the schools can set an example. If their buses follow the traffic rules properly, then I think the children will have someone to look forward too when they are in doubt regarding what is right and what is wrong and may be the parents also change for the better.
Children tend to imitate the acts of their elders. We all want our kids to respect us and follow the rules. But will it be possible when we ourselves are not following the rules? Breaking the rules has become so common that we hardly realize that we have broken a rule. We make these things common and then crib that the people are not following rules. If we cannot follow the rules ourselves then we don’t have the right to even crib about it.
I know it is difficult to change everyone. There will always be a few people who will not change but let them be what they are. Administration will take care of them. As of now there are so many people breaking the rules, it is difficult for the administration to punish them all. But if everyone takes his/her own responsibility then the people who break the rules will be less and easier to catch and punish.
I doubt that we are going to realize this any sooner. But hope for the best. All the best!