18 September, 2020

Teen Deewarein

The three reasons why India is sinking into that murky cesspool

Illustration by Sorit
Teen Deewarein

This Independence Day, as the tricolour flutters in the breeze, do your thoughts travel to the quality of the air? As all five of our senses get assaulted at some point or the other by some form of muck, do you miss the one sense that 61 years of independence has not been able to activate—our civic sense?

Could some answers lie here?

  • Papa Ko Kehne Do: Indians need authority figures to tell them what to do. Given how little self-confidence we have as a people—our derivative popular films and music, and looking-to-the-West-for-approval fiction provide enough evidence of this—perhaps we are unable to think as individuals what good social behaviour is. So, as the cliche goes, we will litter in Shivaji Nagar with poise, but turn into mice in Singapore. Abroad, we will follow every rule not out of sensitivity for others, but from fear of the consequences of breaking rules.

And what of our own authority figures? Two anecdotes:

Recently, at the New Delhi Railway Station, a uniformed policeman spots a...


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