The Inconsiderate Indian Elephant

It makes me terribly sad. We Indians basically behave like a group of tiny animals crammed in a little cage having lesser grains and more hungry mouths. It’s basically a fight, a noisy wrangle for mere existence, a squeaking pandemonium for survival. It makes us one of the most inconsiderate, immodest people on earth. On the other hand, we have the most ancient scriptures talking of love, care, share and brotherhood. Everything vanishes in practice though.

Why do you need medicines? Simply because there are diseases. Similarly, the endless holy talks of scriptures only prove a diseased society plagued with hate, selfishness, lies, conceit, crime and malice. In a healthy society you don’t need tomes of holy talk in religious books. No wonder, ours has been a terribly unkind, unhealthy society. Need a proof. You try to come in anyone’s way in any form at whatever level. You will get a slap, an abuse, a glare. There is more possibility of a fight than a smile all the time at all places. There is an air of antagonism. The probability of a mishap lurks at every nook corner. You have to be extremely cautious. God forbid, if you just, involuntarily, happen to raise anyone ire!

Forget about the rules of civility. There seems to be mass frustration. People have a frown on their faces as they stampede on the survival stage. You drop your guard and you will not get a chance to offer apologies. Justice will be dispensed on spot. It’s basically about one-upmanship. Courtesy is taken as the inevitable final resort of the coward. Civility and chick-heartedness are synonymous. So no wonder everyone is out there to prove his/her bravery. You have to hold your position, however ill-conceived is your idea of the fight.

Mass conscience seems to have been bruised too deeply. Try it any level, from beggars to billionaires, you will find courtesy, civility and consideration exist just in books. I was parking in front of a railway station. Now I am least prone to disturb anyone’s sovereignty. However, the congestion necessitated me honking twice to attract a man’s attention who was standing in the way. It resulted in the puny man to shout an abuse. It was bigger than his size, but luckily I was found not ready to take the abuse. I simply parked my car and approached him. Now, even with my modest stature, I looked over and above him in size. But then as an offended Indian he had to hold his guard. He mustered up his body language to show courage, expecting a fight. I approached him and with folded hands said, “Sorry O King of this land! O Angad ji, I ask forgiveness for making your foot budge from the ground!” There was no way except acknowledge my apology. With a sheepish grin, he said, “Koi baat nahi!” And there I came out absolved of my crime.  

As we stamp and stomp around, we simply grab the opportunity to spit anywhere, urinate everywhere, park our vehicles anywhere, flout every rule, shout louder and louder to have our say, molest anyone, take every shortcut to make our ends meet. Ofs, the list is endless!

The air is full of insecurity, suspicion, anxiety, jealousy, negative complexes: as many negative shades of human behavior as can be expected in a situation defined by decreasing morsels and increasing hungry souls. Thanks to the universal applicability of the concepts of marriage and siring a male heir for moksha, India is full: overpopulated to the extent that the core of individual philosophy is solely defined by the fight to survive. It’s always about ‘fight or flight syndrome’. The norms of jungle! It makes us self-seeking and beyond the consideration of anything above our own little self. Do we qualify above the so called animals in the jungle?

We cannot see beyond the basics of life. And with so many hands grabbing the same morsels in the same little plate what else one can expect? We just identify themselves with our lower selves, the ego, defined by fears, insecurities, complexes and jealousies. The stage is so small that one doesn’t possess the opportunity, or the will, and consequently the ability, to get connected to the higher self, the stage of consciousness about one’s role, responsibility and duties as a considerate, contributing entity of the collective environment. This attachment to the lower self makes us terribly self-centered.

There is mass apathy. As long as we get the survival crumbs to pamper our lower selves, we care a damn about anything else. Self-responsibility. The compound word doesn’t exist in our vocabulary. We allow ourselves and others to violate any socio-legal norm. It’s a mischievous hush-hush pandering of the collective evil. A simple give and take. I will take my ill-gotten liberty, you take yours. The offshoots of such behavior include spitting anywhere, defecating almost everywhere, flouting traffic rules, tendency to take short-cuts to reach our little journey to meet the same puny destinations, grease palms of government employees, take bribes whenever possible, etc., etc., and etc.

You name anything, and we Indians will not disappoint you in flouting the norms. All because we inherently and instinctively connect with the lower self. Out of all these huge mass of self-seekers, the most potent ones become the politicians. They are the best self-seekers who have hardly any restrictions, moral or legal, to stop them from meeting their desires and destinations. No surprise small self-seekers deserve only bigger self-seekers to lead them.

There is no need to comment about our politicians and their oft-used tools of dividing society on caste, communal, regional and class basis. Indian democracy functions on divisiveness. Individually we Indians are very low on self-esteem, creativity, guts, courage and enthusiasm, so we identify ourselves with collective identities in the form of caste, creed, religion and region. This tendency is smartly used by the traders of divisiveness, the politicians. And there moves the great juggernaut, the inconsiderate Indian elephant.

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