The other day I had seen a parent connecting her child on the road who was about to throw her ice cream onto the platform. The woman gently instructed her kid to pick it up and throw it in the waste bin nearby. I was simply thrilled to see such an instance. Of rarity. In fact, I have never seen such an idealistic approach anywhere in our country. How nice it would be if all of us could follow this ethic at all times at all places.
Civic sense is a widely spoken about topic in India. The lack of it is most often discussed in the media – but only there. No in many office set ups, not in homes, not in schools, not in any public services’ caretakers. It is a sorry state of affairs that civic sense is on the downswing in India now. Most people somehow don’t seem to care for it.
One may think that this allegation is pointed only at the people living in the lower economic class of society. No. it is prevalent in all the sections of our society. Right from our domestic and international airports, our air conditioned railway coaches to our most sacred temples and rivers. The reason is probably that the shift from one’s attention on society is seriously veered towards one’s attention of one’s self, his goals, his career, his status and his own personal wants. Civic sense, as an ethic, has now taken backstage, cannot perform as it has almost seemed to become a nuisance.
I have often noticed families where, to even dispose off the contents of the garbage basket into the Municipal waste bins, the inmates constantly shy away from.
This attitude could be one of the most detrimental factors that could stop our country on the path of development. Civic sense has, as it is, come down drastically and this is very evident in the current society.
Now, I think the role of parenting could be a good stature from where each one of us could start operating. It is just that we are blessed to be able to do this good turn to our nation by making its future citizens aware of this important social ethic.
Civic sense, according to us, is a social ethic. But I see it not as just a practice but it is a way of life. It is not to ‘do’ something right but to ‘be’ – a value to live by. The societal norms do not spell it out but expects each one of us to ‘be’ it. It is a consideration we need to make for the people around us.
Many of us relate civic sense to the practice of keeping the roads, lanes and places of public utility, clean. But civic sense is not just that it has to do with factors like respecting the law, order, respecting fellow men and also maintaining one’s behavior in public places. Smooth functioning societies owe a lot of credit to the right amount of civic behavior among its people. Most countries abroad see to it right. All the books prescribed in schools, do have a couple of topics that endeavour to teach civic lessons in school. But academic administrators too sadly lack the passion to drive the importance of these topics into the minds of the teachers. How civic sense can improve the quality of life in people? - if this issue can well be addressed in the young age there will definitely be a big leap in the difference it could make in raising the developmental aspect of the country also. Not many homes give due credence to this facet of the ‘holistic growth’ approach. The actual reason for this downhill trend is really lack of tolerance for others. None has the patience; the threshold of tolerance is falling down.
Separatism, racism, vandalism, intolerance, road rages, disobeying law and order, traffic rules – are all examples of lack of civic sense. India, being a diverse home ground for many cultures and backgrounds, needs to have more of such people who are responsible towards others around them. India’s diversity in itself has become a mainstay reason to promote civic sense.
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