The Taj Mahal, which is known for its marvelous white marbles the world over, is in a run for a place among the top 7 Wonders of the World. People are going crazy over this poll. They are sending sms, mails, voting on the internet, forwarding mails etc. Almost everyone is talking about the Taj now. Whenever I find two people discussing something other than serious work, most of the time it would be about the Taj. Even I have voted for the Taj long time back. We all know that Taj is no more the same. Its whiteness is not like it was before. The government has also done its part. The ASI is on a revamp drive. Not only the Taj, all the other monuments are being repaired and beautified. But it will take years to bring back the same colour on Taj, and probably also the title. Can our Taj still make it to the top? Can it find a place in the Seven Wonders of the World? May be, may be not. All these questions will be answered in few days. If we win, we will definitely rejoice, and if we lose the race, we will feel bad for a day or two, or may be a week. After all this fuss about the competition is over, will we stop littering around the Taj? Will we be more responsible citizens? Will we not write our names on the perishing walls. I guess not. We will still be the same.
Have we ever cared to pick up a plastic lying on the road and throw it into a dustbin? Have we ever refused to accept a polythene bag from the grocer? Have we ever cared to help the sweeper do his job by just moving away when you get into his way? Have we ever cared to dispose off harmful wastes properly? Can we even think of a law in India which bans spitting on the road? Will we stop sticking chewing gums under desks after we squeeze out all the sweetness from it? When the grocer gives you extra change by mistake, will you return it to him? May be, may be not.
Whether The Taj wins the race or not, I wont be affected much, but for a moment of joy and glory. Children will be taught about The Taj’s glory in schools. They will answer questions on Taj with all their ink. They will write pages about the harmful effects of the poisonous gases that we emit. They will write essays on the incapable municipality who couldn’t conserve their ancient monuments. The newspapers will come out with articles on several scams of different departments involved in maintaining these monuments. Governments will change, new policy makers, new policies and new promises will be made.
But i still see the drain in-front of my house, in full flow, open and stinking. I still see people spitting on walls, precisely at places where its mentioned “No Spitting”. The “No Smoking” warning just makes the smokers laugh whenever they light a cigarette near it. “No Parking” is the safest place to park your car in India. “Use Helmet” is seen like a curse that the Government has imposed. “Go Slow”, people laugh at it whenever they see this sign.
How many laws (so-called) do we break in a day? Do we have a count? We can make our Taj, the No.1 in India, but will it be worthed if this Taj is in a nation full of such irresponsible and insensible citizens. We will surely take pride in Taj being crowned the most beautiful place on the earth. But who will take the shame in the garbage that lies right in-front of your house? Probably it must be the same garbage that you yourself had thrown a few days back. So, now I can ask, “Is it worthed”?.
I remember, a few days back, while we were walking, i asked Kunal to keep the chocolate wrapper with him until he finds a dustbin, with a smile, he put the wrapper into my pockets and said, “Go ahead, Be a citizen”. What should I have done, burst into laughter? I am writing this blog for you Kunal.
These small things will make a difference.