We are a nation in hurry. Hurry for no reason at all. We just cannot wait. We are ready So when a flight touches down and is about to reach parking bay, many passengers start getting up inspite of pilot asking passengers to remain seated. Surprisingly passengers know that unless doors are opened they cannot go out and reach home.
So what is this hurry? Is this sheer habit or lack of discipline? This is still o.k. Let us now look at roads. Before the signal gets green, people start moving. Signal jumping is so common and a key reason for increasing accidents in the country.
But before doing any further analysis it is important to go back to our school days. Why so? It is important to check at this whether child is the father of the man? During school days we were taught red means stop many times. Surprisingly in a country like ours where education system has so many flaws, school curriculums are still designed in a way that important lessons of life are taught during formative years of life. But when we grow up, we have scant regard for what we had learnt during school days. So we grow up, pass our engineering, M.B.A or some other examination and become professionals. Many people earn handsome salary, drive swanky cars but when these cars reach signal, many so-called professionals jump signals. Education loses all its meaning. A person earning 20 lakhs CTC becomes as undisciplined as a person with no formal education.
Now let us look at what we value we add by doing what we are doing. In Mumbai, every year more than 3000 people die because they are in a hurry. They want to board train at any cost. So they board train which cannot be boarded. They run and jump into a running train. Some people are heard saying “ If I miss 5:45 local, I have to wait for 12 minutes. Come what may I don’t want to miss it”. What is the end result of such a thought process? Obviously accident.
This kind of behavior gets manifested at many places. At bus stops, in cinema halls, while entering a lift we are always in a hurry. Why this hurry? Do we really get something tangible out of it? We cross a road when the signal is red and what do get out of this. Probably we reach home little early and watch television. Or reach home early and fight. Some may justify this action by saying that time is money and they don’t want to miss any opportunity. But even that logic cannot justify these kinds of action. Why are we assigning so much importance to frivolous things that we end up comprising on law, ethics and culture of discipline?
We have become a nation which is fighting a rat race. Consumerism and the desire to achieve the moon have made us impatient. We are giving priority to wrong things and somehow this is getting recognized. We are taking risks for small things as in the mad race we have just forgotten what is important and what is not. No doubt some of this our action gets encouraged by crumbling law and order but the malaise is beyond just law and order.
Every country needs to build to culture where discipline is incorporated in the life style of a person. In many western countries, risk culture has been developed in a robust way and people have started following healthy practices because of 1) discipline built in education and 2) strong law and order framework. This is not to say that there are no flaws in those countries. But in our case we have failed on both fronts.
What is the solution to this? There are no short cuts. Self-discipline is difficult to implement, even generational shift cannot work. Only option is self-introspection and obviously government can catch the law breakers. But using sticks to ask people to stand in a queue won’t be a right approach. After all, we graduated from our monkey status long back.
By: Vivek Sharma