The incident that made me write this story goes like this –
The other day I was standing at a crowded bus stop. A guy (seemed educated) started puffing his cigarette amid of the passengers who were waiting patiently for their bus. The smoke he was breathing out after enjoying his puff, made it uncomfortable for the people standing there. However, people slowly started moving far from the guy but didn’t try to ask the guy to stop smoking. Finally, when I was ready to confront him myself, I saw an old woman (seemed not much educated) asked the guy to stop smoking in a public place. The guy got into an argument saying that it is not her house where he is smoking and she has no right to bother him. Two other women also got into argument saying that it was causing them discomfort; still he refuses to give up. Then some other gentlemen had to point it out that it is illegal and a crime to smoke at a public place and there is a law for that. After hearing police, the guy gives up, but commenting that – a guy has no rights even to enjoy a cigarette and they say it is the greatest democratic country in the world, Damn the democracy.
This happened just 3 days before the country was set to celebrate its 62nd year as a democratic republic. Its 62 years and many people still don’t know what their rights are, what their duties are and what their responsibilities are. Democracy gives each and every of the nation’s citizen’s fundamental rights and fundamental duties. In order to enjoy rights, every person has also to abide by their duties. But people only know about rights. They think it is their right to get bribe for doing a govt. job, their right to destroy govt properties whenever they are agitated, their right to break laws, their right to scam by being a politician … and the only answer they have to all these things is that “It is my country – a democracy – I have right to do it.”
Yes baba! This is your independent and democratic country and you have your own rights. But what about duties? Democracy gives you a right to carry a stone in your hand but doesn’t mean you have right to throw it on someone and cause pain to their citizens.
Democracy has given many rights to its citizens. But with such rights comes substantial responsibilities too!
And when you ask why India is still like this, then it’s because people trying to avoid/not fulfilling their responsibilities and wailing only over their rights.
- The right to equality – doesn’t mean you have equal rights to get bribed as your fellow officer
- The right to freedom – doesn’t mean you have freedom to break laws
- The right to speech – doesn’t mean you can just verbally abuse your fellow politician in the assembly and get away with it
You have the rights, but the progress of nation depends on how you use it?
In order to use your rights properly, it is essential you understand your rights properly. Its that simple.