- As it is, there is a general opinion that many Indian citizens are considered too boisterous, uncouth, uncivilized, and insensitive, not only during day-to-day conversations but also while traveling. Innumerable incidents of Indian citizens getting into an argument over petty issues are not uncommon to us. Particularly in public areas like transportation, roadways, parks, government buildings/offices, and hospitals, where individuals jostle for space with little regard for their fellow residents’ safety. The less stated about the exceedingly unpleasant behavior of air travelers—from boarding procedures to boarding a plane to deplaning at the destination—the better—because it invariably triggers the by this point well-known Indian sensibilities.
- The reason for the general lack of courtesy and sensitivity towards fellow travelers stems from the fact that we are not taught about those common etiquette practices considered sacrosanct. Mind you, innumerable Indians are indeed extremely courteous and gentle and dutifully abide by globally acceptable civilized conduct. The majority of us go to any extent to uphold the virtues of civility. It is also equally true that many simply ignore following such very civilized conduct as a matter of rule. Looking back, we sorely lack the importance that should have been accorded in the first place during our formative years.
- For example, right from our school years, to teach us about the virtues of fine gentlemanly manners Most of us cultivate those virtues on our own while moving ahead in life’s cycle in an informal manner. As is the case with many happenings, formal indoctrination during those formative years of schooling would go a long way in shaping our future conduct. Or misconduct, as the case may be. Now, with the advent of electronic gadgets and smartphones, people blissfully indulging in loud conversations is a common occurrence around the country. Yes, Indian cities are already under tremendous noise pollution, leading to fatigue, insomnia, migraines, and other such fallouts.
- Noise pollution is one of the types of pollution that Indian towns tend to overlook the most. We have a dangerous formula when we add impolite behavior. In a new move, Mumbai’s BEST bus service has chosen a fine-and-penalty mechanism to discourage people from using their phones to play any content on buses unless headphones are plugged in or to conduct phone conversations on the speakers. Passengers must warn conductors so that they can issue a challan and also turn criminals over to the police. The average passenger uses their smartphone’s earbuds to block out noise, which is considered civilized behavior.
- Thus, it becomes a nuisance only when some disregard fellow travelers and use devices without headphones. Maintaining general silence in a public area is polite. After all, one can close their eyes but not their ears. Do we deserve to pay a fine for not being polite? In no way. But we must indeed work hard to cultivate civility by upholding proper manners.