“India Shining”, they said. “Resurgent India”, one which is decoupled and which grows at 5%+ when the even rich-world is in recession! And we gloat unashamedly about our very talented super-achieving Diaspora! The princely NRIs and PIOs.
No matter how much we achieve though, at the core we are a nation of filthy littering pigs! Most public places, but especially well known tourist destinations – the ones that are on everyone’s ‘sight-seeing’ list will sport the following strewn about:
- Plastic bags
- Empty Soft drink bottles
- Empty packets of chips, biscuits and such-like sundry eatables
- Paper napkins (otherwise called ‘tissue paper’)
- Cigarette butts / empty packets of cigarettes
- Peanut shells / Banana skins / Apple Cores
- Stubs of maize with the grain eaten away (bhutta, as it is called in Hindi)
- Red stains of chewed paan spitted about
- Remnants of picnic meals – paper plates, plastic spoons, paper cups etc
- Bits of sodden newspapers
- Graffiti saying “Arun loves Meena” and similar stuff
- And other such miscellaneous garbage
It is shocking, infuriating and it is observed unfailing across the country. It makes me want to throttle someone. India is a beautiful country with bountiful natural beauty and a heritage to take pride in that has endowed us with rich and dazzling monuments. But we, the people of India, seem utterly incapable of nurturing this inheritance and preserving it for prosperity with its pristine beauty intact. As ‘tourists’ it seems to be out national obsession to go to such places, make a lot of noise, eat a lot of junk and pile up mountains of litter.
I sometimes feel only draconian laws brutally enforced by a right minded police state may knock some sense into us – if not, it would at least keep our tourist destinations clean! I would love for all these places to have a bunch of tough and incorruptible cops provided with whips and the mandate to land lashes on the unworthy rump of anyone who litters!!