Friday, October 13, 2006

Obeying Law - Key to Democracy

We Malayalis blame others for everything. We always tell and believe that politicians and the Government are to be blamed for all the ills of our state. If we have bad roads blame it on the Government. We never take time to think of who is responsible for the road to be like that. May be the landowner nearby did something which made the condition of road bad!

The road in front of my house always gets damaged during monsoon. The reason was that there was no drainage on the sides of the road and the water from the nearby houses flows into the road. The result is that after every monsoon the road gets damaged badly. The Government built a great drainage about 4 years back. But soon the people started dumping waste in the drainage. Come next monsoon and whole of the new drain was clogged with waste dumped by people. Again rainwater starts flowing through the road and people started blaming the Government for not tarring the road.

Now “chicguniya” has taken so many lives and the people are blaming the Government. The people forget to keep their neighborhood clean and blame the Government.

We Malayalis blame the Government for any and everything without first doing our duties as a citizen. Does any one of us can tell boldly that we obey the law? I don’t think anyone of us can say that we never disobeyed. See the list below. I am sure you have done at least 5 of these in your life till now.

  • Improperly dumping the waste causing difficulty to the passersby.
  • Taking your vehicle through a “one way” road in the opposite direction
  • Spitting on the road
  • Even worse, spitting from a moving bus
  • Not obeying traffic rules.
  • Smoking in public places.
  • Giving little or no respect to law enforcing agencies
  • Traveling without a ticket in a train/bus
  • Using “influence” to get something done.
  • Entering the railway station without taking a platform ticket.
  • Not allowing the elderly and handicapped people use the seats reserved for them in the buses.
  • Copying in the exams
  • When buying land, showing less worth for the land to avoid paying taxes to the Government.
  • Not reporting malfunctioning of the electric meter to the Government
  • Using tap water meant for drinking purposes for irrigation and other purposes.
  • Urinating in public places.
  • Purchasing from shops without bill so that you don’t have to pay the sales tax.
  • Not declaring all the articles you are carrying to avoid paying customs duty while going from abroad.
  • Traveling on the footboard of a bus.
  • Showing least respect and consideration for employees working under you.
  • Sticking posters in signboards and other places where you are not supposed to stick anything.
  • Parking vehicles at "No Parking" areas.

    List goes on and on. Readers, You are welcome to add more to this list.

There is a proverb in Malayalam. “aathiyam swayam nannavukka. Enittu baaki ullavare nannakukka”(First you be good; then try to make others good).

It is high time each malayali try obeys the law of the land. If that happens then there is no need to complain about the others, as they will also be obeying the law. I know it is easy to tell but its never going to happen. At least if I make 1 malayali realize that he/she is doing a lot of things knowingly or unknowingly which breaks the law I have succeeded with this post.


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Anonymous padmakumar said...

I don't agree with 'Traveling on the footboard of a bus'. I would better modify it to 'Traveling on the footboard of a bus when there is space inside'.

October 13, 2006 3:40 AM  
Blogger silverine said...

Dumping of waste is a problem in Bangalore too. We do have a good drainage system but it always choked with garbage. The moment it is cleaned it gets filled up again. Last year a family in a car drowned in an overflowing drain and every monsoon we have people dying due to drowning in the drains. This year too the govt cleaned the drains but we didn't have much rains, and the drains have become waste dumps. Garbage wars are breaking out and people wait till nightfall to dump garbage on roads. Drivers of garbage collection trucks, run by the Blr Corporation ask for bribe as they know that people are desperate to get rid of garbage as there are no waste dumps in the city. In fact if you want to make money in Bangalore, all you got to do is start garbage colection. People will pay any amount to get rid of their garbage.
We have to learn to seperate garbage and recycle it, but the govt is yet to start such an initiative.
This should become an active discussion :)

October 13, 2006 4:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good one. i dont agree with you to only blame malayalis. in general you should say Indians. I dont think any tamilian or indian for that matter is different from malayalis in this perspective.Keep it up.

October 13, 2006 4:39 AM  
Blogger കേരളഫാർമർ/keralafarmer said...

ബ്രിജേഷ് പറയുന്ന പല തെറ്റുകളും ചെയ്തിട്ടുള്ളവനാണ് ഞാന്‍. അതില്‍ പലതിനും പശ്ചാത്തപിക്കുന്നും ഉണ്ട്‌. ജുഡിഷ്യറിമുതല്‍ നിമമപാലകര്‍വരെ കൈകൂലിയും നിയമലംഘനങ്ങളും നടത്തുന്ന ഈ നാട്ടില്‍ അതുമാ‍യി തട്ടിച്ചുനോക്കുമ്പോള്‍ നാം ചെയ്യുന്ന തെറ്റുകള്‍ വളരെ ചെറുതാണ്. ച്ക്കന്‍ ഗുനിയ പോലുള്ള മാരക രോഗങ്ങള്‍ പടരുവാന്‍ കൊതുകുകളെ രോഗവാഹകരാക്കിയവരെ ആര്‍ക്കും ഒന്നും ചെയ്യാന്‍ കഴിയില്ല. ഡ്രയിനേജ്‌ വെയിസ്റ്റ്‌ എന്നത്‌ ജൈവ സമ്പത്തണ് അതിനോടൊപ്പം മരകങ്ങളായ ഡിറ്റര്‍ജെന്റ്‌സ്‌, പെസ്റ്റിസൈഡുകള്‍, കുമിള്‍ കീട കളനാശിനികള്‍ എന്നിവ കലര്‍ത്തി ജലാശയങ്ങളില്‍ എത്തിച്ച നമ്മളാനോ ഇതിന് അവസരമുണ്ടാക്കിത്തന്ന സംവിധാനമാണോ വലിയ തെറ്റ്‌ ചെയ്തത്‌. എന്റെ റബ്ബര്‍ തോട്ടത്തില്‍ നിന്ന്‌ എന്നെ ധാരാളം കൊതുക്‌ കടിക്കാറുണ്ട്‌. എന്നിട്ട്‌ എനിക്ക്‌ രോഗം വരാത്തത്‌ രോഗവാഹകരായ കൊതുകുകള്‍ അവിടെ ഇല്ലാത്തതുകൊണ്ടാണ്. ഇന്നത്തെ അവസ്ഥ നാളെ ഉണ്ടാകണമെന്നില്ല. “ഒറ്റവാക്കില്‍ ഉത്തരം പഞ്ചഭൂത പരിപാലനം എല്ലാത്തിനും പരിഹാരം“.അതിലേയ്ക്കായി നാം അറിവില്ലാത്തവരെ പറഞ്ഞ്‌ മനസിലാക്കിക്കണം. ഞാന്‍ കോപ്പിയടിച്ചതും ട്രാന്‍സ്പോര്‍ട്ട്‌ ബസിന് കല്ലെറിഞ്ഞതും ഭക്ഷ്യസമരം നടത്തിയതും എല്ലാം അറിവില്ലായ്മകൊണ്ട്‌ മാത്രം. സ്വാര്‍ത്ഥത കൂടുന്നത്‌ നിയന്ത്രിച്ചാല്‍ തന്നെ നല്ലൊരു പരിഹാരമാകും.

October 13, 2006 4:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pretty good one Brijesh...

I have to diasagree with padmakumar about travelling on the footboard.. By not doing so, the people are doing themselves and their family a huge favour (their family can see them in one piece, by the end of the day).

If they don't care about themselves and their family then think about the inconvenience it causes to their fellow passengers. Firstly it makes it difficult for people to board the bus and secondly if some accident happens to one of these guys travelling on the footboard, then everyone travelling in the bus is held up until all the mess due to it is cleared. Think about the many man-hours wasted due to such an issue.

But for whatever reasons, people can still disagree with Brijesh on "Traveling on the footboard of a bus".

-- anon2

October 13, 2006 7:54 AM  
Anonymous A said...

welcome baaak ! appol phd aayo ?

total agreement with what you say - the ppl are responsible for the pathetic state of the state :)
Let's not ignore the fact that each time a drainage(or anythg for public use) is built, a lot of pockets get heavier by a few crores.
But then the ppl always need someone to blame. And the govt is the prime candidate.

October 13, 2006 9:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enforcing the law is equally important as obeying the law. Not only for Malayalis, but for the whole od India, the policy of the law enforcing authorities is "Tell me the person, I will tell you the rule". Our law enforcing authorities are mostly inefficient, corrupt or ignorant. In US, if one dont observe trafic rule he is sure to get a ticket, sometimes get his license supended or cancelled. The same thing, if the law enforcing authorities follow here, within a few months people here also will obey rules. People may not obeying the rule due to ignorance, indifference, out of compulsion (for example, when you go to the train station to see off your friend who is having a reserved ticket, and there is an unending line on the ticket counter, one may be tempted to disobey the law, but if you are sure that there will be checking you may not dare !). So we need education as well as enforcement. We need a "carrot and stick policy", but the stick should be used where ever required. The stick is with the Goverment. That is why people are blaming the Govt.

October 13, 2006 10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cant agree with that . There is nothing like OBEYING LAW...Its always ENFORCING LAW ...Take a Look at US , why people are obeying laws ? Do you think they are BORN in their MOTHERS WOMB as LAW OBEYING people ? Big NO ....The Law Enforcement in First World Countries are SOO STRONG that people obey LAWS.My collegue was driving last week. A pedestrian was ABOUT to cross (not even started ) the road .He ignored and proceed further. Unfortunately, there was a police behind him and he spotted it and fined him!!!!!.....That incident costed him 2 points and i think it will be in his driving history for ever !!

Now Brijesh , You tell Isnt this government Suppose to MAKE PEOPLE OBEY LAWS.....If they cant TAKE OFF The Rules ... So the blame Falls Bak to the government.

October 13, 2006 10:49 AM  
Blogger Mind Curry said...

i absolutely agree with what you say..i can see disobedience and disregard written allover every keralite. right from the traffic signal to littering..

but ofcourse whether it should be enforced or obeyed seems to be the key point. i think in the current scenario it requires bit of both, perhaps more of enforcement.

October 13, 2006 7:00 PM  
Blogger Brijesh said...

@padmakumar- I can understand the point you are trying to make. In India always the buses are overcrowded and then you will be forced to travel in the foot board. I have seen few people who only travel standing in footboard. Standing and traveling in foot board is always dangerous and none of us care to obey that.

Dumping garbage is a big problem every where in India with the ever increasing population. In my house in Kerala my father use to make a big pit and dump all the waste except plastics there. Every week he burns it and use the ash as manure. The people should develop a feeling that they are also responsible for keeping the city clean then only things will improve. Taking bribes for collecting garbage- another immoral act by the so called “responsible” Indian citizen. The same people who give and take bribe blame the politicians for being corrupt. Don’t you see double standards in that?

@anonymous1-Yes you are correct. It is not about malayalis but it is correct for all Indians. But when I was in Chennai the project “Singara Chennai” (I guess so – it was all about to beautifying Chennai”)was going on. I have seen people obeying it. The reason I picked Kerala is that most of them have no civic sense and they blame it all on the successive governments and politicians.

@Kerala farmer –Yes, we the common people have opportunity only to disobey law in a small way but the politicians and big weights have opportunity to do it in the big way. Yes the disease like chicguniya can be easily avoided if people began to think that the environment they live is also part of their family. Nowadays the people are more greedy and think only in terms of “me” “my” only. They have forgotten to think “our”, “we”. That I feel is the reason for most of the lawlessness.

Thanks anon2.
I think what Padmakumar was trying to tell something different. In India most of the time bus will be full. If we decide not to travel in footboard there are some bus routes where you cannot travel at all. I think he may be telling that. Am I correct, padma?

@A- I am done with my writing and given it to my Professor for correction. Some technical issues pushed my defense date to January.

I remember the story you told me about the board in front of a government building near your house in Palakkad which says “don’t put any trash here”. People started dumping trash in the same place and finally you no longer can see the board.

If we have a problem the easiest thing to do is to blame others than trying to solve it. We have Governments whom any one can blame for all the wrong one does.

October 13, 2006 8:00 PM  
Blogger Brijesh said...


Who is this law enforcing agencies? It is also made up of people. They also distort the law. If you disobey a traffic rule in India you may also be caught by the police. But you are confident that you can pay him “something” and escape. We in India also have these points system for traffic violation. When you offer something to police to escape a fine you are doing some wrong thing. When the police accept the same he is also doing a wrong. In US do you dare to give police bribe and try to escape? Why? He is a honest person. What I was trying to tell in this blog is “Let us all be honest and follow law.”

I believe people with this kind of attitude/views are the curse to our society. They think that law is to be obeyed in countries like US.

“Isnt this government Suppose to MAKE PEOPLE OBEY LAWS??”

Ridiculous argument; I had a feeling that it is the duty of citizens to obey law. First time I am hearing it is the government duty to make people obey law.

Let me tell you an example. City where I am living in US banned smoking inside bars. I have not seen a single person in the bar drinking inside bars. Even after drinking people here are ready to obey law. They go out smoke and come back. If such a law is implemented in India even in the presence of police you will smoke inside the bar. What can Government do with these scoundrels in this case? When people take law on their hands don’t blame government but blame their upbringing.

@MC- I believe the other way. More than the enforcement, the people should be obeying law on their own. You can enforce it a day, 2 days, 3 days. If the people realize the importance of it and do it on their own then only it will last for ever.

October 14, 2006 12:16 AM  
Anonymous c said...

very thought provoking brijesh!

October 17, 2006 12:02 PM  
Blogger abhishek said...

My two cents on which of obediance or enforcement is more important.

On a personal level, obeying rules is more important as it is expected of us as civic citizens. It gives us self-respect.

On a public level, society can't wait till you gain that level of personal responsibility.

So enforcement of law supersedes personal responsibility in the short run, while in the long run, cultivating personal responsibility is more important.

Some might say it is a chicken and egg question because, enforcing rules causes people to be more personally responsible. But I think the causal link there is stronger than the other way around. Have we ever know our authorities to enforce rules because our public develops awareness?

October 18, 2006 8:46 PM  

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