Monday, July 23, 2007

Bharat and India

A few days ago I had to travel by a crowed bus to Viman Nagar. As the bus starts of from Pune station I waited outside till the bus started to get on to it. My mind has already adjusted to the fact that I won't be having a smooth ride back home. And then something really nasty happened. One of the elderly passengers complained to the conductor of the bus that a person sitting on a seat reserved for the senior citizens was adamantly refusing to get up. To my utter surprise this conductor instead shot back to this elderly man and said that he can do nothing about it!! This really angered the elderly fellow and he directed the driver to go to the police station. This action angered the rest of the travellers, instead of expressing solidarity towards his action and his stance (which I rightly feel was 100% correct). Any way I didn't express any great action by the police. By the time the police came the adamant man in question merely got up and walked away from the bus. One of the police officials accompanied the elderly and merely made sure that he got the seat. He had no word of advice to either the conductor, driver or the commuters. And the most terrible part of all this was that I merely remained a mute spectator of the whole incident.

Later when the bus neared Viman Nagar and most of the in between passengers got down, by mere chance I got a seat next to this elderly man. I was just about to speak to him when I saw his trembling hand and could hear his bitter murmuring (surely about what all happened). This observation was so strong to me that I completely forgot as to what should I talk to this guy... was completely clueless and didn't open my mouth till we bot got down at the same stop. He joined his wife back to home. And I still kept wondering about the whole incident made my walk towards my home.

In retrospect, I felt so bad about this incident not because someone didn't get up to give a seat to an elderly person. But because we seem to have forgotten that to be a Bharateeya is to respect and elder. Because we do not seems to have inculcated this bharateeyaness in our new generation and because we are only worried about the economic growth of India and not maintaining Bharat's values and spirituality. And because we seem to be unaffected by suffering of fellow humans and often make fun or criticize those in trouble. And because I seem to have become a more Indian than a Bharateeya. 

No comments: