Aug 122010
 

This might be a bit off taste for a respectable human being. But I feel it necessary.

Thuuuuuu!! Spat the person walking in front of me on the railway platform. If you are residing in developed and clean countries this is something unheard of. But in my country, there are rules governing the civic habits, which are rarely followed. Garbage on the street is a common site in big cities, where garbage management is a problem due to lack of workforce, or may be the lack of the force to work. But spitting is one habit which gets to my nerves, leave me just short of exploding. Just short.

I am reminded of an incident my brother recounted few years back. He, along with some relatives were travelling in jeep. A younger cousin was seated on the front seat. At one point, they smelled a foul stench, something like a dead animal rotting. Everyone covered their noses. But this cousin went a step ahead and spat out of the window, as is a normal “tradition” followed by most of the Indians. And the jeep was travelling at high speed. Naturally, some part of the spit landed on an uncle who was sitting at the back window. So this uncle wondered aloud, “how the hell was his spit going to reduce the stench. All it did was flew back inside and smeared me.”

How is spitting, really supposed to help in anyway in such situations. We in India come across lots of decomposing garbage everyday. And we are sure to come across people who spit at the garbage as they go by. People spit on road. They spit on platforms. They spit in the trains below the seat. They even try to colour the body of the trains by spitting out chewed tobacco. They spit everywhere except in the wash basins in public places.

There are fines against such acts. But the police prefer bribes to fines in such cases. As such is the case, it becomes very difficult to control the dirty act in public places. It feels just “YUCK!!” when you see someone spit near you, or even when you hear it. But where is the end to this.

In places like Singapore, I hear that even if you are not caught at that moment, CCTV cameras will capture your act and you will be fined later on. In such countries, Indians behave civilized. But on their homeland, no one can control them. They are the owners of all the public properties.

A good way to stop this would be giving powers in the hand of public in some way, so that this acts are controlled at the very moment. At present, a normal person who feels this as dirty cannot utter a word against people who mess up in public spaces. But for a long run, proper civic education might help in controlling this habit. But then, is also self conscience that should act for such people.

In the meantime I continue to take detours from the path of the spit of a person walking in front.

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