I’m a big fan of Pete Cashmore @mashable. I happened to come across one of his tweets this morning, which shared some beautiful pics of Big Apple in #NYC’s Facebook contest. Some of the pics were so amazing that I gave in to my urge to share them on Facebook. In the next couple of minutes, I ended up sharing the pics on Discover Bhubaneswar, a popular Facebook Community I admin. For obvious reasons, it generated quite a few responses from the fans across the city. Many of the answers were funny, some of were thought-provoking and the rest were what essentially brought me to write this post in the first place.
After I read all the comments, some of which carried a rather hypocritical undertone, made it evident that we, as a city or country fellowmen, have a looooooong way to go. Let’s forget about the geographical context for a while, and what you get is a true perspective of the popular mindset here.
The shared pics were indicative of the infrastructural wonder the NYC is known for, and therefore, were good enough to reflect the underlying essence of the question asked in the post. However, a few of the participants apparently read between the lines and perceived the question in a manner not intended by the admin. Their insights simply cast light on the shallowness of our national thought process. What was also interesting to notice that many of our people still prefer to dwell in utter hypocrisy, a tag that some of us have been trying to get rid of.
One would lose count of how often we discuss the infrastructure, movie theatres and KFCs on our community, or how paranoid we are about the growth of our roads and IT infrastructure in the city. Even if we compare our city to NYC as a model, it’s NOT offensive at any stretch of imagination. Many choose to selectively forget about the number of city dwellers that still live under the poverty life, struggle to make their ends meet on a daily basis. Many choose to turn a blind eye at the state of public toilets in the city, or an absolute lack thereof. Many choose to officially throw garbage at their neighbor’s empty land, taking it for granted that it’s a dumping ground. And, lest we forget, many of the so-called upwardly mobile people would abuse their discretions and authority to thrive financially at the cost of others on one hand, and delivering ethical discourse on the other.
Forget about the NYC; just browse through the pages of the history, and one would see a lack of public awareness, governmental apathy and popular indolence contributing, in tandem, to the cultural poverty of this city. The condition of the roads and bylanes in Saheed Nagar, the epicenter of so-called bureaucrats, and city heavyweights, remained ridiculously pathetic for years, and it took nearly a couple of decades for the local authorities to wake up from the hibernation and fix the roads for offering a decent “STANDARD” of living to the city dwellers.
More often than not, I have brought up questions to check the Awareness Quotient of our fans, and either their participation has been exemplarily ordinary, or their awareness level has been pathetically on the lower side.
Well, there are examples galore to define what our city lacks, and let’s have no shame in the admission of the truth or find no pride in taking refuge in hypocrisy either. Let’s call a spade a spade.
I, for one, believe that if anything pollutes our psyche and disables us from thinking like a world citizen, it’s our inability to accept allegiance to a piece of the planet earth outside our territorial limitations. We don’t feel hurt comparing our city with that of one located within our country, as much as we do when the same is compared with one that lies outside of our national periphery.
I’m born and brought up in Dhenkanal, a district 90 kms away from the capital city, but I barely feel hurt when people compare it with the capital city. I’ve been living outside my hometown since 2003, and never felt any closer to it. That doesn’t make any less responsible a citizen of my birth place. It’s just a piece of land where I was born, but I was destined to relocate to the City of Temples.
As they always say: a piece of land is just as great as the people dwelling over it. As 13th April, the Foundation Day of the Temple City is just two days away, it’s the perfect time to ponder over how we contribute to a better city, and not take away from it.