Chandrani Banerjee has studied at the Columbia Journalism School, and covered the US elections, 2016. She has also filed an experience report for UN office of Drug and Crime about the Indian migrant workers, and worked with Outlook
Carrying excess baggage has been a punishable offence for the past 150 years but no one cares. So are jumping traffic signals. These are some of the rules that are probably be broken on a regular basis. Reason: the enforcement of the law is weak in India.
Experts believe that our collective consciousness as a citizen has been low and we think limited. The larger good for the welfare of our country is low on priority. And so, the callous attitude.
Speaking to Parliamentarian, Dr Aruna Broota, a Clinical Psychologist and a retired Professor of Department of Psychology, Delhi University says, “Our collective consciousness is very low. I feel sorry to point this out but this is the truth of the whole issue. The younger people are more concerned about their latest earplug than the fact that excessive usage of these earplugs can destroy their eardrums. The vision is here and now and the expansion has been restricted due to distractions.”
“Let me explain it – The generation next wants their music to be with them 24*7 so they need the earplug. So, the focus is music but how the excessive use is not contributing anyway positively is not bothering anyone. The constant phone companionship has decreased the real talking, sharing or noticing the world around them. The small little needs. And that is the reason of low consciousness.”
Recently Indian Railways tried to re-implement its 150-year-old rule of penalising passengers with excess baggage but could not enforce it. The ministry rolled it back within 15 days. Similarly throwing garbage on the road is prohibited for ages but no one cares.
A recent case in point is the Bollywood actor Anushka Sharma’s pointing out to a man who was throwing garbage on the road while travelling in a luxury car lacking basic etiquette.
Despite feeling sorry about it the man replied on Twitter rubbishing her for not being polite. The real issue of flouting a norm has taken a back seat and some irrelevant debate surfaced.
The most common rules that are broken every-day are the traffic rules. People are slapped with challans sometime and while on other occasions they manage to get away.
Pointing about the law enforcement, former Director General of Police, Uttar Pradesh, Vikram Singh said, “I have done policing all my life. We don’t need countless small rules but we need one strict rule which can never be compromised come what may. I would certainly blame the attitude. These very people tell them to do the same thing when they are abroad. And They know the consequences, so they would not.
The courts are the second step after policing those witnesses the cases of not following the rules. While speaking about the weak enforcement, Supreme Court Lawyer Abani Sahu said, “It is fascinating to consider that whether we join voluntarily or out of peer pressure, anyone who stands in a queue automatically adopts the politeness to others that are inculcated in them. And such behaviour makes public interaction pleasant. But unlike West, India is not egalitarian by nature. Traditionally, India has one of the most vertical and stratified societies in the world.
So, when it comes to collective rule-following, India faces challenges related to hierarchy and conformity. It seems that these two cultural forces are competing for prominence and then comes the struggle to prove the superiority. So, the breaking of the law. Enforcement is there but we need to volunteer to follow. We need to change as a society.”