I love my country or so I would like to believe. But are my strong patriotic feelings towards my nation enough for ensuring its well being and progress? I mean, as a citizen am I restricting myself to just expressing my positive emotions for my country or is my emotional attachment visible in my individual actions also? When I delve deeper into this question I find that somewhere I need to do more. In fact, I can contribute a whole lot more and become an active participant in the nation building process if I really wish to. My small steps can go a long way in making my environment stronger and happier. But I must be willing to take those small steps.
Most of the times I merely think and talk about change that can benefit us but don’t really act until a dastardly deed like the recent Delhi bus rape case rings an alarm bell, shakes me to the core and propels me to take action. Even then it’s more of lip service than real action. I direct my anger towards the Government, the system our society et al, participate in protest marches, and exchange a few high-voltage dialogues with friends before gradually cooling down and getting busy in addressing the other pressing needs in my life. Maybe I am not alone; maybe many of you also act in a similar manner as I described above.
I feel it is high time we change this mind set. Why do we have to wait for some political party or a Anna Hazare or a shocking event to jolt us into action? If we really love our country we need to wake up from our slumber. As citizens of this great nation we are also as much to be blamed as the Government authorities for the all round sad state of affairs. Isn’t the Government supposed to be of the people and by the people? In fact the youngsters of the country must be applauded for the admirable way they selflessly stood up to demand justice for the unfortunate victim of the brutal gang rape at Delhi and forced the feeble administration into action to ensure safety and security for the women and children of the country. We have much to learn from them. But having said that I must also state that such painful incidences can be avoided or at least minimized if each of us follow certain basic principles and act according to them in our day to day lives.
Here are a few simple steps that we can take and which I feel will help us all in preventing crime, maintaining peace and law and order in the country–
Compassionate Self Discipline
Compassionate Self Discipline is nothing but thinking clearly, intelligently and compassionately before acting. It also means self control and avoiding unnecessary excesses that may lead to negative consequences. Let me give a simple example to elaborate this point –
A bus on a busy road hits a pedestrian. The instant reaction of the crowd usually is to damage the bus, disturb the traffic and maybe even cause damage to the nearby public/private properties etc. The other reaction could be total inaction. No one does anything and expect the Police to do their job.
Both the above reactions are inappropriate and callous way of reacting to a serious situation that unnecessarily diverts the attention of all involved from the main incident. Resultantly, the injured person needing emergency services may be neglected, the bus conductor and driver may take advantage of the chaos and escape from the scene, evidences may be tampered with or destroyed and most of all innocent commuters might suffer due to no fault of theirs.
Compassionately self disciplined people will react to the same situation with restrain, wisdom and compassion. The positive action taken by such persons would be something like this –
Providing first aid to the victim/Rushing him to a nearby hospital/Informing the police about the accident/ Taking the driver into custody till the Police arrive/ causing minimum disruption to other commuters
We all know the right thing that must be done under such a serious situation. But do we really want to get into all this? No. We either ignore the entire incident or react negatively.
A little bit of self discipline helps everyone caught in a critical situation immensely. It may save a life. And nothing is more precious than one’s life.
Most of us feel that ensuring Safety and Security of the people is the job of the Government. It is not something that the common man should trouble himself with. But we forget that the Government cannot be our eyes and ears all the time. We must be alert and observant about our environment. Most acts of crime happen when no one is looking or paying enough attention. If we follow a few regular drills the crime rates will go down drastically.
Some of the simple measures that can be useful are:
- Be in the know of our surroundings
- Communicating/exchanging notes with neighbours and friends about any unusual persons or activities
- Keeping important phone numbers handy or saved in mobile phones
- Following the cautionary guidelines broadcasted through media channels
- Sharing simple safety and security tips with children
Staying aware and alert are the key words here.
Self less service
Now how many of us really go out of our way to reach out to others? Most of us are too busy with our own lives to extend a helping hand to others. But isn’t community living all about “saathi – haath – badaana.” And if our environment is unsafe how can we secure be secure? Of course, some of us do their bit thinking they are doing a great favour to those lesser fortunate ones. But again that is a wrong mind set. Many marginalized and socially excluded communities survive in a different world altogether. A world that is poor in every sense of the word. A world filled with negativity. Most of them lack even the basic needs. And we all know a large number of the small and big crimes are committed by the people who belonging to this category. They have no better options or understanding and so they resort to wrong ways to survive. As a result, directly or in directly we all get affected by their sad situation. Joining a cause we believe in and working for it selflessly will not only benefit us but the society at large.
Again when it comes to administration, most of us tend to wait and depend on Government action; be it natural calamity or a local problem. While the action of the concerned authorities must be ensured but the automatic self administration must not be overlooked as it will bring instant solution and relief.
Let me again cite an example here:
Most of the DDA parks in the residential areas of Delhi NCR are victims of administrational apathy. Authorities play the blame game but the fact remains that it is impossible for them to maintain the parks on a regular basis unless there is support and positive action by the residents themselves. All that needs to be done is for the RWA’s and individual residents to take charge of their parks and do their bit in maintaining them. After all, our children will be using them. We cannot deny them their little pleasure only because some people who are appointed to water the plants and keep the area clean are not doing their duties properly. It is our duty too to keep our environment clean and green. Of course, following up with the authorities on the important aspects of the works must be continued by the residents. But a bit of proactive stance can bring order and cheer all around.
The above is just one example. The scope of self administration may vary according to situations but the crux of it revolves around our good intention to collectively share the burden of the local administration and play our part individually.
I wish to conclude by stressing on the fact that each one of is equally responsible for our country. We deserve what we get. And I feel we deserve much better. Much, much better. Our roles may be small but vital in the overall scheme of things. Let’s act!