I’ve been wanting to write this blogpost for quite some time now.
But I refrained.
For I have not figured out certain important answers yet.
Regardless of that, there comes a time when you know that you have to let a certain idea out in to the world. It just tries to break open out of the prison of your mind.
So, this will be one of those blogposts that end with a question. I hope this post will trigger a healthy discussion and we’ll have some answers at the end.
Just twenty paces from my home, live certain people.
They are the ‘harijans’.
Traditionally speaking, they are low ‘caste’ people, who are Government employees.
They are the manual scavengers, street sweepers, sewer cleaners – the so-called ‘untouchables’ of Indian society.
They include people from states like Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Bihar etc.
Why is today’s post dedicated to them?
Here’s why –
Being the ones who keep the city clean, one would expect them to keep their surroundings squeaky clean. One would expect impeccable standards of cleanliness.
Sadly, that is not the case here.
I find it to be an irony, that the people who keep my city clean wouldn’t prefer to keep their surroundings clean naturally.
I try to look for answers, but I find none.
My city is big – one of the fastest growing cities of India. And in the midst of all this ‘INDIA SHINING’, there’s this locality that has remained insulated from the ‘shine’.
Little children defecating in the open, a local country wine joint, drunkards lying on the road, stray dogs, insufficiently clothed children roaming the streets even in this December winter, drunken brawls – these are some scenes.
Money is certainly not the problem here. The Government pays them well. Gives them accomodation. Some of them are even quite rich.
Their children also go to schools, colleges. So one can’t put the blame on illiteracy.
My point is when this big city offers them the chance of leading better lives; offers them education; why will they not grab it with both hands?
I believe cleanliness is a virtue that comes naturally to human beings. Almost every religion preaches cleanliness. What is wrong here, then?
Also, why do they not realise that running a country liquor joint in their area will only heighten the chances of their youth becoming addicts?
The police doesn’t come down heavily on these illegal liquor joints, for they pay monthly commissions regularly.
Why does their latest generation not feel ashamed of their dirty streets? They are educated. They can bring change. Then why not?
Caste isolation is not a big problem here in the cities. There’s no victimisation over caste.
Why will they not choose cleaner surroundings, more respectable behaviour?
I really don’t know.
We have a baffling question at our hands.
Answers are welcome from all of my readers.
Hope this triggers a healthy, enlightening discussion.
Hope we have some answers.