Tag Archives: cleanliness

“My beliefs, inwards or outwards looking people”

City LifeI quote “My beliefs will run through everything I do. My beliefs, my values are my anchor and when people try to drag me, as I know they will, it is to that sense of right and wrong, that sense of who I am and what I believe, to which I will always hold.” Ed Miliband.

I quote “My beliefs will run through everything I do. My beliefs, my values are my anchor and when people try to drag me, as I know they will, it is to that sense of right and wrong, that sense of who I am and what I believe, to which I will always hold.” Ed Miliband.

Here today I want to talk about a striking contrast concept, invisible to the conscious mind. The role our beliefs and our Indian values play in shaping the face of our cities, towns, roads, and our villages. Ever wondered why can’t India have beautiful sparkling spotless clean cities, towns and villages?

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I believe it has to do a lot with our morals and values which we hold within.

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The above quote is so relevant, our beliefs shape our destiny and shapes each and every decision we undertake. And more interestingly the common beliefs of the society, community and the country will shape the destiny of the society. The common belief defines the way the country thinks, behave and works together. It surprisingly also plays an important role and controls the subconscious decisions in how our cities, towns and villages will look, how well our roads and dams will be constructed and maintained.

In a country like India, spirituality and religion dominates in shaping our beliefs and values. Some Indians may argue that they are not religiously inclined or spiritual headed. However living in an environment of religiously bended society, ideas and thoughts do get moulded beyond one’s control and knowledge.

So, let me explain how I am trying to join the elements of spirituality and the state of infrastructure our country .

Most religious and spiritual sects in India talks about happiness and tranquility of the inner self. Focusing and looking inwards is defined as a path to accomplish all material and immaterial happiness in the universe. The belief defines that the universe exists within you, and there is nothing outside, which the mind wanders for. We clearly can find this belief ingrained in a large number of population residing throughout the lengths and the breadths of the country.

This is idea is an incredible thought and provides limitless strength to individuals. Also in many occasions in the history, inner self focus belief has proven to be instrumental in drawing the country out of misery and depression.

However there is flip side to the idea, and as mentioned earlier beliefs run through everything that we do. As we (Indians) are “inward looking beings” our energies and minds are focused on the insides not the outsides structures of our country. Our conscious and the sub conscious mind owns the inside of the house and disowns the road on which the grand building is monumented.

The nation on the outside is like an overflowing bin, where you find rotten bits of leftover food lying on the pavements, incomplete and open drainage work waiting for months to be finished. Citizens defecating on the roads, buildings or any where they choose to.

However inside each house you will find beautiful carved welcoming doors, creeping staircase flowing through the house,

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elegant big windows where natural light sweeps in, Enchanting designs and painting on the walls to swipe the senses away, antique wooden sculptures laid in.

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Every house displays creativity, innovation and design. The house of any middle class household or higher talks about the taste and flavours of life of the people residing in that house.
Malls and shopping arcades are built with perfect specs to offer a visual treat to the eyes, inside offer luxurious multi- expensive products from around the globe.

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But stands on filthily roads on the outside.

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Yes, we have a keen liking for cleanliness and beauty but it only limits to our defined boundaries.

Unfortunately the road and the areas beyond our belief boundaries belong to someone else the king, the monarch, the municipality, the government or maybe NOBODY. The outside is brutally treated and trashed, spitted and abused. Everyone living in the society disowns the road that we live in, the road that we drive on everyday to work. People treat their office, their school, college, or gym as their shrine and that’s where it ends. Nobody cares about everybody’s land the “Road!!”. And the poor, disowned, barbarically used “road” stood for years and is still waiting to be owned by its citizens someday.

We can’t achieve a beautiful outdoors by waiting for the government to set up “Clean India Movement” and wait for a day to see some people employed to clean the road only to see it trashed up again, we need to alter our belief system by linking the outside of our houses the public parks, parking lots, roads to our own environment in our minds first.

We need to link the outdoors as something equally important to us think it as our own and start paying attention to it poor state, start believing that the road which bears my house, office, shop also belongs to me. And it is not just something broken inside my house which draws attention and needs to be fixed but also the broken road and open sewer needs to be looked after by me.


Let’s do something for the country, start in your neighborhood

When I stepped out of India, for the first time in my 20’s for a vocation, I  still remember the decade old experience i had. I was bedazzled by the outstanding cleanliness and the standards of beauty of the cities. It seems a very standard experience, bombardment of thoughts and questions, “I love my country and thankful for having lead a comfortable life”, but I still wonder why my country lacks the basis of sanitation and the culture of cleanliness? Why do we the “oldest civilization” of the world live in a mess? When the cities and towns can be designed so beautifully?
Trust me, this question hovered my mind on my way back and for years to come. And to satisfy my quest I always came up with my own weird answers, however I never felt satisfied.

And as the saying goes “learn from the Romans about Rome.”

After having lived in various international cities myself, I truly feel I have the answers to my decade old question.

I know you will be guessing “oh yes, it the government and political system, where they have tighter and stringent laws to maintain cleanliness and beauty”. My answer shall be “No”. Or maybe developed nations have sufficient allocation of funds to the cleanliness of the state, I shall still nod my head and say “hhmm not really, partially true.”

So, who is that ? What is that, that keeps the nation clean and tidy? Well my dear friend the nation is kept clean by the Citizens and NOT by the government. 

Yes the citizens, people here take interest in the government’s functioning and it’s attempts to maintain sanitation. However they do not only look up to the government officials for the tidiness of the local parks and neighborhood, instead citizens take matters in their own hands. The cities the  towns are maintained by the citizens themselves.

It is someone just like you and me. Someone who has a desire for cleanliness and a passion for beauty and also takes action , that is, they develops a hobby around it. Well how do the foriegn citizens do this?

People set up social groups to clean up parks and surroundings. Make sure the trash is thrown into respectable recyclable and non recyclable bins each time, to avoid future mess. Each persons trash is their personal responsibility, not anyone elses.

The elderly, school children  all engage in cleanliness by forming  volunteering groups to clean and maintain a local garden or a neighborhood road. They cultivate hobbies of gardening, farming and preservation.

Residential socities send mandatory participation request to residents to take part in weekend clean up where every household needs to take part and the contribution is not always monetary.

My emphasise here is that next time, on your way to work when you are stuck because of the water logging and failure of the drainage. Or a morning walk in park when you get disgusted of the sad outlook of the park don’t drain your ideas and energies talking about the failure of the political system. Instead spare some time to take care and nurture that park or the road.

Remember it’s not only the battle field or the LoC, where your country needs you, but it is also the neighborhood at home needs your love, time and concern. We are the sons and daughters of this land and must take matters in our own hands.