There’s a saying that “To know how good or bad you are, always compare yourself with someone better than you”. I love my country and no doubt I feel delighted to be part of a democratic and secular nation like INDIA. Coexistence of several religions, diversity in terms of land and culture, and the amount of historical heritage we have here makes me feel proud as never. However, it was only when I visited the United Kingdom I realized how far we are from being developed. Yes, they looted us, made us bankrupt, ruled over us for more than 100 years and bullied us but it’s a sad truth that we have been free from their rule from past 66 years. Yet the level of development we have seen over the years seems to have only widened the gap between “the rich” and “the poor”. Going back to last year when I stepped in London, what made me happy was the fact that I was in one of the most sought after cities of the world. In the 2 months which I had spent there, apart from admiring the clean roads, the traffic sense, and the superbly structured buildings, I did not get the feeling that it was even a bit different from where I had come from. Also as for my statement which would go to people who used to ask me “How are you feeling there?” I would simply say, “It feels good, I am abroad!! But trust me; foreign cities are way too hyped” .However, the truth hit me when I landed back in India and rushed out of T3 to meet my parents.
So while I was out in the open, in my own country, just a glance around the airport area made me realize, “London wasn’t hyped at all”. Almost all I could see and hear now were cab drivers screaming, stalking people especially foreigners; the cars being honked round the clock in an effort to make some space for their parking ignoring the fact that there was none; people eating snacks and treating the floors as the invisible dustbins and the officials (policewalas) who seemed to be stationed to help themselves rather than the masses. Not to mention you wouldn't find a glimpse of all these out abroad. Blame it to the less population or more money, the thing is that they have it and we don't.
Sitting in the backseat of my car when I was peering through the window I could sense how far we are from being called civilized. Forget about the lane system which is strictly followed abroad, the traffic sense was nowhere to be seen on the roads. It felt as if almost everybody had a flight to catch. Even my own cab driver, honked unnecessarily at a red light for approx 30 sec before realizing the fact that it was actually a traffic signal. Not he, almost everybody on the road followed the same; even few high class people of BMW. I wondered whether we aptly term the rightful bunch of people as the high class ones. This also reminds of a conversation I once had with one of my colleague. It was the usual Friday party mood and we were driving through to our destination to one of the restro-bars in Delhi, when suddenly my colleague from the back seat asked the person driving the car to give the horn. I was puzzled as I could not see a need for this as all the cars ahead and around us were totally jampacked with not an inch to move. When I asked her the reason for it, she promptly replied, "It's just Fun!!". I smiled and wondered myself, how many more of these ignorance in the name of FUN are yet to be revealed.
The differences are huge and can be very well seen and listed down. However, my sole point to mention it here was not to term my country as a backward or an underdeveloped nation but rather to help people realize the fact that is us and only us who are making the nation like this. I took a simple oath by myself, no matter what happens I would always throw the trash in the dustbin. Believe me it’s not at all difficult to follow and when you do it, it feels so right. Imagine, if each one of us does the same, would we ever need someone else to clean the city/country for us? Yes, we require effective governance but the rules and laws would only make sense if they are followed. And it is upon us to bring sense to them. A country is borne out of its people. Since long we have cursed the Britishers for inflicting upon us such agony, however it’s now high time that we validate ourselves who we bring to power and let them not rule us like the Britishers again, in the name of democracy. Let’s aim not to let us down in our own eyes. Let us aim that from now on a journey abroad would make us miss home more rather than inviting a blog entry full of stark comparisons.