Where are we, the civilians ?

Quleen Kaur Bijral
It starts with us – the public. We get the government we deserve. So act as a united team of Neighbours to fix society’s problems and deserve better.
The Government should do this. The Government should take these measures.  Shame on the Government!
Time and again. In each and every news report. On every citizen’s lips and every roadside to family conversation. There is one universal complaint – Government is not doing what it is supposed to.
Then I Look at the Government, where is it?
Where is our Government ?
I see the Government on the ramparts of Red Fort. Delivering sixes with explosive speeches. Working hard and fast on The TV shows. Punctual at the ribbon cuttings. The random Chief Guest felicitations. And every other place where the Government is conveniently distanced from the public.  After all, the farther away it is, the better chance it has:
* To avoid listening to common man’s misery.
* To avoid answering its miserable pleas.
* To forget the promises it declared during elections.
The Government is in the office
So, the Government is away. As it is thoroughly busy in:
* Making connections and business deals  for life after retirement
* Framing scandals to blot opposition parties
* Occupying the high chairs, cabins and portfolios.
* Hoisting the Flag during national events
* Greeting foreign guests with aplomb
* To be called as Chief Guests during ceremonies and functions.
* To cover Half and Full page Advertisement in newspapers, hoardings, telecast, and so on.
* Laying foundation stones (even if the project remains unfinished years and years later)
Not only is the Government occupied with important events, every Department Under Its Wing is, as if by a united stand, hell-bent to remain UNANSWERABLE.
* Potholes on the roads. Garbage. Stray animal menace. Municipal department is busy.
* Electricity is temporary. Electric poles hang dangerously. Common man paying bills. The VIPs and VVIPs stealing power.
* Water shortage. The same old woes even in modern day age.
* Government structures – Government schools, banks, hospitals and so on. From infrastructure to the staff – who listens?
Yes, the Government is extremely busy. Yet the common man still keeps harassing the questions –
* Why the Government does not listen?
* Why we stand in queues to Vote and Elect a Government?
* How an Act of Formality it has become? The democratic system of government.
* What are the CIVILIANS supposed to do?
* Cry? Exclaim? Clamour?
* Beat his/her chest? Candle light vigil? March in the sun?
* Protest and face assassination? Protest and face public lynching? Protest and face exile?
Indeed, what should a civilian do?
Civilians in unity meanpower
What Should A Civilian Do?
Unite. Yes, it is the most clichéd, bland, corny and hackneyed thing to say. Yet, civilians hear this. Unite.
A Civilian, If alone, Is not heard. But Civilians, Standing Together, Will Be Heard. Not As A Mob. But As Empowered Citizens. One man/woman would be turned away. But in a group armed with knowledge, commitment and activist selflessness, you will be heard. Stop living in this apathy, indifference and carelessness that why should we bother about our NEIGHBOUR. This attitude has severely weakened us that our grievances are ignored with impunity.
* Why should I lodge a complaint, let them do it?
* Why should I act as a witness, let some other guy/girl do it?
* How is my voice going to change anything, let them scream?
* Not my problem, it is the problem of the colony, state, country!
Power of the public : civic sense
Instead of an unconcerned, uncaring, and insensible attitude, the civilians should join hands to solve most of their problems than leaving it to the next-door neighbour or the Government.
Many problems we face can be handled by our own Unity than begging the Government or its minions.
* No shade in the surroundings. Plant saplings together instead waiting for the Government to act.
* Drains dirty, blocked and garbage everywhere. Do not litter yourself. You litter there, litter will find your doorstep.
* No parking outside home. Be decent and park inside your homes instead of causing nuisance for the neighbours.
* Traffic jams. Reckless overtaking. Horn-blowers. It is upto us to maintain discipline and hence enjoy peace.
*  Walking the dog. Clean the litter afterwards.
* Standing in queue. Do not shout. Jump ahead. Harass the receptionist etc. While being orderly, time spent would be less and work done fast.
* Loudspeakers in the religious places. It is upto the civilians to sensibly stop such a practice. Why seek police help?
Most of our problems can be addressed by our united actions as a community. Our logically proactive stance on neighbour issues, community problems, and societal troubles can serve to keep colony, state and country clean. By doing this, we become aware citizens who cannot be fooled by any Government or its department.
It is in our lethargic carelessness that the government without any public check becomes corrupt and this very corruption comes back to haunt us.
It starts with us – the public. We get the Government we deserve. So let’s act like a united team of empowered neighbours to fix our problems and deserve better.


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