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Colossal Crisis: Food Inspectors on the Metro & Confessions about Zero Self-Governance

dont break rules just because no one is watching
Not Doing the Everyday Basics = City- wide Mayhem
If you have ever ridden the Delhi Metro, even for the shortest possible route, chances are that the announcement requesting people not to eat or drink within the Metro premises or on the train would have been heard in the most comprehensible manner. However, it seems that some people are persistent upon breaking the easiest of rules-to-follow. I should say the culprits here are often  parents, usually the overtly doting mothers, and not the children or adults like me. For some reason, motherhood to these women translates into force-feeding their children rather than using their maternal skills to keep their child’s attention diverted or somehow not let the small fellow feel restless.This discussion talks about and uses the Metro policing as a context to build-up dialogue about a larger issue...

Metro Policing Signifies Total Abandonment of Fundamental, Human Behavior of Not to Destroy

funny cat image about breaking rules stealing
Misplaced Instincts: No Need to But Will Try to Steal
Vehemently violating the most basic of Metro-riding rules, these women continue to push bits of biscuits, wafers, juices and God-knows-what and the child dodges, pushes or violently throws around his arms trying to escape this strange behavior from their Creator! The question is that have we become so bad at self-governance that we now need Food Inspectors to personally request people not to eat on the Metro? We already have Line Inspectors who painstakingly keep asking people to maintain a queue at the platforms. This in itself is shameful since none of the Metro circuits around the world need disciplinary handling of passengers. With the Metro already constipated with an overflow of commuters and constantly abused, do we need policing for such a simple request of restraint?

Not Just a Metro Culture, this is about Abandoning Self-Governance

you choose not to be self governed
City Mindset. Push It, Until Broken  
What seems like a Metro control mechanism, and the lack of it, actually talks a lot about the people who inhabit the city or at least use it as a temporary hub for collecting their dues or moving something past the city’s borders. If you look around, Delhi has always been guilty of flouting the most basic laws or bylaws. Further, there is this feeling that unless the laws are not enforced with strictness, guided by heavy penalties, people usually don’t listen. This is absolutely true and I am a part of this culture, a byproduct of the generic wisdom that goes around the city – don’t do it unless it is absolutely necessary!

Until I was fined for over-speeding on the flyover, I was never conscious about the speedometer readings. My glance was at how much more I could get past the 100 km/hr mark. Now that the city knows that there is a serious traffic police campaign underway and people are being penalized heavily, the speeds have curbed. I see this every morning when crossing the same flyover – even the passenger-hungry cabs have slowed down.

unify for crime elimination
City Guilt: Nurturing Crimes
Without self-governance there will never be sufficient parking space, public transit will always crumble under unruly footfalls, sewers will overflow, the quality of water will suffer and the city, overall, will remain high on the most polluted cities of the world list and at the bottom of any index that talks about the quality of life.

I still find so many elders in my family and those of my colleagues and all of them have a simple theory about how Delhi transformed into a city rich in rapes, molestations and child abuse. This is not because of growing sick mentalities. This is not about mental health disorders and neither is this due to influx of people migrating to the cosmo – these are just blanket theories that have been peddled to cover-up a simple thing, i.e. when the first of such incidents took place, what did the people do – ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!

fundamental civilian duties ignored
Had the city folks united and demanded a punishment severe enough to upset every Human Rights activist across the world, an example would have been set, i.e. in this city: NO means NO | Restrain Your Sons Because Women are Not Doormats. Sadly, this form of self-governance that calls for unifying under a floating but reasonably centralized umbrella of common thought never took shape.

city people don't careFrom that day onwards, things have only gotten horrible. The mistake of our uncles and grandfathers at that time is being carried forward by us like a legacy that nobody wants but just cannot seem to shake off.

Today, as a city, we have become highly marginalized, always ready to take shelter in a camp of opinions that cannot throw us away from our daily schedule. Children will continue to be crushed by overloaded vans because as a community, parents are highly divided, unable to reach a common ground that asks for unspoken laws – this too is self-governance, i.e. the art of fabricating norms that are like unwritten, unscripted regulations that everyone should adhere to or fear being reprimanded by the authorities which in this case means middle-class, working parents. Not just misusing the Metro, we are steady, very systematic, consumers and creators of disruptive, unruly dynamics. Is there a cure? Not really. There are no absolute cures for something that is rooted in our minds. With mediocrity all around us and that self-imposed pity of earning a livelihood has lowered the benchmarks for basic discipline.

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