- Amongst many restrictions eased and few measures required to be adhered to strictly post lockdown, one of the measures advocated by the authorities concerned caught my attention. Instruction so mentioned not only piqued my interest but also forced me to introspect as to why such common social etiquettes that are to be followed by default is to be reminded by anyone at all, leave alone the government authorities.
- Yes, I am referring to the Karnataka Government’s decision to ban the consumption and spitting of tobacco products in public places and that violators so found will be punished under multiple IPC sections. On the face of it, the reason is quite simple since spitting produces droplets which can be infectious and spread the virulent virus if one is infected. Moreover, tobacco products are known to cause serious health hazards including non-communicable diseases like cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory ailments as well.
- The last-mentioned has a direct correlation to Covid-19 which makes tobacco consumption absolutely untenable for whatever it’s worth. Moot point to ponder over here is why alone spitting of tobacco in public places should be banned leaving out our countrymen’s tendency to openly spit on the roads for no reason or rhyme. Such a despicable and repulsive practice still continues unabated is in itself a sad story mirroring our poor social proprieties.
- At any given opportunity, we as a people never fail to glorify western habits of according greater importance to the general cleanliness of surroundings, maintaining hygiene standards, diligently following lane discipline while commuting/traveling as also observing socially acceptable mannerisms. Many of us would recollect having heard and feeling amazed about this particular bit of information from those visiting us or returnees from abroad.
- However, when it comes to adhering to the discipline in our familiar space and surroundings, the responsibility to follow social etiquettes is completely ignored or just brushed aside as can be seen all around when people indulge in breaking the same with gay abandon. Long considered as anything but welcome social mannerism, spitting in public with or without tobacco is the bane of our country irrespective of locations.
- Metro cities, towns, villages or for that matter by-lanes / roads that are splattered with spitting is quite a common sight not even evoking cursory glance/repulsion anymore. Civic sense has to be inbred and as such, efforts to inculcate the same should start from each one of us without expecting the authorities to goad us into following. Let’s make an earnest effort to stop this most abhorrent practice at once by teaching our younger lot and observing too as a first step.