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If Independence is granted to India, power will go to the hands of rascals, rogues, freebooters; all Indian leaders will be of low calibre and men of straw. They will have sweet tongues and silly hearts. They will fight amongst themselves for power and India will be lost in political squabbles. A day would come when even air and water would be taxed in India.” – Winston Churchill.

First of all, this is not going to be a political post.

And second, I am not a Churchill fan boy.

Now let’s give a twist to Mr. Churchill’s infamous prediction about India. How about replacing leaders with people and political with social in the underlined sentences of the quote?

… Two incidents found press space in the past week – the vandalism and theft at Tejas Express and the killing of an e-rickshaw puller in GTB Nagar area near Delhi University’s North Campus.

Different incidents yet having a common link when it comes to the kind of people we are/ have become or living among. I am not the preachy type but you don’t need to be a saint in matters of basic human behaviour and sensibility. They are not to be attained through penance or meditation; they are rather imbibed as a part of our orientation in a society or nation.

I mean, look at the level of cheapness that we have dared to stoop; stealing earphones from a train! We are rather very innovative when it comes to kissing new levels of low. The people who bought tickets for Tejas Express are definitely capable of buying earphones on their own. And even if they are not (very unlikely), this makes no sense whatsoever! Okay, let’s be more flexible, for a moment, we assume that those people were innocent and naive enough not to understand that the earphones were not meant to be taken away; but then again what about those damaged infotainment screens and the littering they did inside the train? What kind of people are we? Vandals? Hooligans? Sadists?

Then there was Delhi and its infamous tu-jaanta-nahi-main-kaun-hoon attitude owing to which people show their dum and haisiyat at the drop of a hat! The Delhi University North Campus is one of the most happening places in the city. I have spent some of my best years there and always like to go to that area every now and then. So when I read the news about an e-rickshaw puller getting killed by some guys (they were allegedly students of a college in the campus) for opposing public urination near GTB Nagar Metro Station, it was an uncomfortable experience. By the way, that was the nearest metro station to my rented accommodation when I was staying in North Campus.

That poor guy did the right thing by asking them not to pollute public property and he paid with his life for that. What kind of animals have we become? Why can’t we apply a little mind or conscience (whatever is available) before deciding to show our true colours? Yes, human beings, in general, are not the best of living entities but why to put up an ugly and filthy show of our inner rotten selves?

Meanwhile, when all these were happening in our country and people like me were lamenting the loss of humanity, somewhere the ghost of Winston Churchill had the smile of a seer.

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