Hall of shame

Cityscape: Look around and you’ll find Delhiites showing scant regard for the public or the private

March 19, 2014 03:36 pm | Updated May 19, 2016 09:51 am IST

People relieving themselves against a wall near Jantar Mantar and outside the main Post Office at Sardar Patel roundabout. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt

People relieving themselves against a wall near Jantar Mantar and outside the main Post Office at Sardar Patel roundabout. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt

Delhi is a city of extremes. Once renowned for its tehzeeb and generosity, today it often presents a sad picture, ugly, embarrassing, even humiliating. Partly because Delhi belongs to all but hardly anybody belongs to Delhi. The Capital is reduced to an earning centre, the home for the anonymous souls lies elsewhere. Partly because with its vast multitudes, it offers a cover of anonymity. But truth to tell, it is largely because people in Delhi lack civic sense, something which any Clean Delhi campaign cannot instil.

Just imagine the plight of a first-time visitor to the national Capital. What does he find?

Men piddling in public, men urinating against walls of private residences, public institutions, between cars in parking, against trees, even by the river. Even dogs show greater taste.

Or children, even adults on their haunches by the railway tracks or by the open drains.

Worse, men sitting inside gleaming cars, lowering the panes ever so slightly to spit on the road with not a nano second spared for the adjacent vehicle or a pedestrian being so showered.

If that is not repugnant, close your mind’s eye and imagine the scene at the famous ITO bridge or the Nizamuddin flyover, that lifeline for people living trans Yamuna.

Is it not common to watch people park their car on the left for a minute, take out a black garbage bag and dump it into the river on their way to office? By the way, millions regard the Yamuna as a sacred river!

Who bothers? Not those swanky office-going men and women who litter their garbage from atop flyovers, not those men who sit and spit, not those guys who piss in public oblivious to onlookers; they leave not a tomb, not even the Parliament House untouched.

If some cannot resist a wall, others a river and yet others the road, there are those who cannot get themselves to use a subway or an overhead bridge to cross the road. Run, dart and dash, rise and climb, is their mantra as they move from one side of the other, teasing traffic all the way.

Clearly, nothing shames the city.

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