Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The contrasts in our beliefs!

Hinduism is not only my religion but a foundation of who I am. It’s a set of guidelines that I along with many Indians follow. I have always been proud of the fact and I still am. There are, however a few contrasts stemming from the same that bothered me this time when I visited India.

Hinduism promotes cleanliness. Staunch Hindus don’t even drink water without taking a shower. Entering the kitchen is strongly forbidden till you have cleaned yourself and said your prayers. Houses, especially kitchen and temple (in the house) are cleaned daily, sometimes even twice in a day. Quite a clean community one might think.

Yet, the moment we step out of our houses we forget all about the same cleanliness. Let's forget about the dirty streets, public places and water bodies, for which we conveniently blame the inefficient government. Even our holy temples are far from being clean.

This has been a consistent observation and I feel sad that no one takes responsibility for it. People go there with strong faith and overlook the deterioration of the temples and even contribute to the same. I ask these educated and well to do people to stop relying on the government to clean our country for us. Let’s take action by installing dustbins and being among the first few to promote civic sense.


At 10:20 PM, Blogger observer said...

The one thing that you may want to note is that temples are usually very crowded; for the number of people that they attract, they are generally very small. Also, for some reason, the entries into these temples is through narrow alleys and nothing much can be done about that. None of these justify the lack of cleanliness that you point out but these facts do explain some part of it. It is noteworthy that newer temples that are large and open are generally cleaner and peaceful.

Personally, I also get upset by the lack of cleanliness and the large crowd which brings out rude in people. But it looks like most people do not seem to mind. Worshippers care most about getting a "Darshan", a few moments face to face with the idol. How they get there is of least concern it appears.

At 11:48 AM, Anonymous Nirmalya said...

Quick comment regarding ..Let’s take action by installing dustbins and being among the first few to promote civic sense.. .. forget about installing dustbins, why not go down to basics, if people have the basic sense as to not spit out that paan they are chewing on, on the wall they pass by everyday, or say not to throw those peanut shells right below the seat he takes on the public train, etc. etc.. won't things be much simpler/cleaner?

In several European countries, if no rubbish bins are in sight, people often carry their trash with them, till they find an appropriate means of disposing them. Yes, they carry their chewed-upon gum as well, they don't just stick it under the seat/door, which is common in many other parts of the world..

Regarding the earlier comment, ..large crowd which brings out rude in people.., I don't quite agree with that. Take any railway station in Japan for instance. Minutes before a train pulls over, the platforms are just as packed as ones found in Kolkata and Mumbai; but as soon as the train pulls into the station, the chaotic crowd automagically arranges itself, giving way to alighting passengers, before boarding the train. No courtesy campaigns, no explicit markings on the platform requesting passengers to give way to alighting passengers.. just basic courtesies I guess.

In several South (SE) Asian countries, things "foreign" tend to be more attractive, so why can't people living in the Indian metros, inculcate some of these such basic courtesies into their daily lives?


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