Despite the lethargy and inefficiency, it has a whole lot of good things to offer

A ride to college, accompanied by a slight feeling of fear, led me to pen this article. This would be the tale of every commuter, especially the more often targeted gender, who tries to avoid the usual race that manifests every morning on the streets of Bangalore. The association that I am making may seem too arbitrary but it’s the second time that I had the same experience. Honking is not unusual, but add to that two private buses making every attempt to sandwich a timid two-wheeler, is not a pretty scene.

For me, this kind of an experience has exclusively been with private buses, whereas our BMTC buses seem to be comparatively much more humane and slow, whatsoever be the reason. This is just one instance that I am stating, to emphasise the fact that our public sector isn’t in that much of a devastated condition as it is usually projected to be.

If there are sophisticated airlines owned by tycoons, there are also very well-maintained road transport systems in most cities under the supervision of the government. If we have plenty of superfast private mobile networks, the Indian postal service is the largest in the world; if we have gigantic malls coming up, the government bus stations look no less snazzy; and if the efficacy of the private world is mesmerising, the sustainability of the public field is unmistakable.

The government is often picked on for its tardy processes but seldom applauded for all its goodwill. Perhaps, that’s the reason for the bleak image it suffers. While none of us would either endorse red-tapism or procedural delay, would we want to live in a society where only a so-called elite class enjoys at the cost of a poor man’s hard- earned money?

Our means might have been outdated but the ends towards a welfare state have never changed. Our system might be corrupt but its very purpose cannot be altered.

All that it needs is a generation filled with integrity and a desire to reach out to a hand that is longing for one. With the little knowledge I have about public sector and privatisation, I would prefer to stick to our slow and steady government sector.

Although it could be inefficient, lethargic, left far behind in the race and too slow to even reach the desired goal, at least it keeps us away from the cut-throat competition, uncertainty and lack of social sensitivity that prevails in the private world just like the horrifying private buses on our city streets.

(The author is a first year B.A. student at Mount Carmel College, Bangalore. The views expressed are personal)