I was traveling in the metro today; at Yamuna Bank station, a person’s mobile fell on the platform while he boarded the train. Thereafter he pressed the button to talk to the metro conductor, who put a security guard to the task of finding his mobile. It was found and returned to the owner finally, as we heard from the public announcement 5 minutes after.
In the meanwhile, during the panic moments, and after the mobile was found, about 10 People in proximity to the mobile owner (in the metro) were constantly conversing about this episode: some assisting, some commentating, and some just overly concerned.
I don’t intend to show anyone in a bad light; on the contrary, I put forth one point: India is essentially not an individualistic Society.
Within the blood of Indians, flows collectivism. Even if there’s lack of initiative and bravery by Junta to actively rescue someone, it goes without saying that we are all concerned. We like to stop at accidents, talk to strangers in metros, and many others, because we are still a village-society at heart- deep within our blood.
Would you blame these people for not being brave enough to “rescue” others? I don’t. I don’t because I understand that we Indians still struggle to survive every day; we don’t have ample bread, and we live in a society full of petty crimes. Our police and judicial system are such slow and painful, that it requires extraordinary courage, and more importantly, ample time to behave like a responsible citizen.
With all its lacunae, India is at least a society living in collectivism. I remember, a few years back, I met with an accident in Noida sector 62. It was such that my car had overturned; though before it did, I managed to decrease the pace of car manifold, and when the car actually imbalanced and fell, we were almost unharmed.
That wasn’t the miraculous part. What was miraculous was, that within 3 minutes, 20 people gathered, picked up my car, and put it back on its wheels. They immediately advised me to flee the accident scene (I hadn’t crashed into anyone, only my car had fallen because of a sharp turn I took), otherwise, police would come to cause me trouble.
What a wonderful episode that was (well, of course, besides my car being damaged).
But point being, we Indians are not that bad at all!
Now, look at us. Us, the educated youngsters. When we see the jhuggis, the bastis, the urban villages, camps, and shanties; aren’t we all filled with at least inquisitiveness? At least this thought flows: who are these people, and from where are they?
Those 7-year-olds selling roses: we surely have at least once thought- I’ll bloody inquire and assess what could be done about this shitty state of affairs.
I do really believe that none of us could be really happy unless all of us are.
But then what to do? Surely there people live in unsafe bastis, full of criminals.
Well, kinda NOPE. They’re just helpless. Those bastis that you think is full of criminals: Nope. They’re just really poor and needy. Those corners you think are full of drug addicts, sitting with knives? Well, drugs, yes; knives, no. इतना भयंकर कुछ नहीं होता।
Those of you sitting on the edge of striking a conversation with these people- DO IT!
Those people about to try and help those people out- DO IT!
If your friend circle is thinking of entering a basti, talk to its head, see what could be done- DO IT!
If one friend circle takes up a basti, within a year, everything will be clean and green in its truest sense. You see, the government is mighty, but far from all encompassing.
You know what you could do? Write letters. Talk to the Pradhan of a basti, enquire local problems, talk to government officials, write letters to them every week. Let me tell you this as a lawyer: As per law, no letter could be simply thrown in the bin. A letter sent creates a record- forever. And records are very damning.
There are many other ways and avenues, which even you’ll get to know, and better than me.
But first, do it. घर से बाहर निकलो। It is indeed a worthwhile pursuit.
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