Recently in the ongoing FIFA World Cup held in Brazil, so many uncommon sights are part of the world’s most popular game — yes, this include Brazilian magical sensation Neymar’s new hairstyle, semi nude fans, specially women, painted fans in different colours. But it was a match between Ivory Coast and Japan which pulled the attention of entire world and that was truly a surprise not only about Japanese mannerism, cleanliness but the greatest of all the patriotism. Despite the fact Japan lost their World Cup opener, Japanese fans, after the match, actually took the time to clean up their section of the stadium. In fact this practice is quite common at sporting events in Japan and the good tourists were simply carrying on an inbuilt practice. Generally, football fans of a losing side go into depression or fits of rage and but here instead Japanese clean up the stadium themselves seemed nothing short of a miracle to the entire of the world.
This exemplary behavior pulled the attention of entire world and most talked about incident of FIFA World Cup and ignited a big debate about civic sense and public conduct world wide. Even citizens from arch enemy of Japan, China have applauded the behavior of Japanese fans. Host Brazil and Brazilians have good lessons for high standard for civility and public conduct even well after FIFA-2014 is over.
In India sports fans and common citizens are hardly known for cleaning up after the tournament. On the contrary they leave the public place very dirty and littered after the use be it school, college, hospital or even public toilet, parks, cinema hall. Even India politicians and administrators tell that Indians have ‘different’ hygiene standard. They have no courage to admit that Indians are dirty, ill-mannered and un-civilized. Even India never understood why Lalit Bhanot, secretary general of the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games, didn’t get an appreciatory remark. In India no body takes it as a national insult. Who cares about a little filth and poor civic sense? We are proud of shallow slogans like the world’s largest democracy, secularism, multiculturalism etc.. Indians are most unpatriotic people.
One can see fashionable boys, in large numbers, at any public place, wearing designer and branded labels — Ray Ban, Polo, Reebok, Buffalo, Omaxe, Rolex — from head to toe; hair jelled in stylish spikes but elbowing and pushing and shoving to get ahead in the Delhi airport queue in which his co-passengers were standing. He is never shy of these bad manners because bad manners are become inseparable part of his DNA.
The young man wasn’t being willfully forceful and offensive. For him, what he was doing was normal and natural behavior; there was nothing wrong for him. And it can struck to any non-Indian that the young man, wearing the outer accessories of international stylish labels, was a walking — or rather, pushing and jostling — is a real example of almost everything that is wrong with India: it has almost lifted like shop lifting, the outward symbols of global modernity without understanding and internalizing the foundations of basic civic sense and social behavior of which these are just the fake or artificial external tokens.
Nobel Laureate V S Naipaul very rudely mocked such Indians as The Mimic Men, the ‘brown saheb’ Indians who after Independence stolen the shoes of their former British masters and mimic their ways in style of dress and speech. But became a pathetic subject of stupidity. But as comically pathetic as Naipaul’s puppet people were, they at least tried to observe the codes of conduct — however inappropriate they may have been in the context of an sovereign India — of their majestic white mentors.
These mimic Indians blindly and slavishly follow western styles in clothes and fashions with no understanding and sense about social values, civic sense, manners and discipline. Even an educated city guy can be seen breaking the queue or elbowing people aside, talking loudly, peeing in open, over eating, driving BMWs, Landrovers, Jaguars but breaking traffic rules, abusive and murderous on meaningless things, sexual advances towards girls, spoiling any public space etc., etc..
Indians even mimic western names mindlessly in naming housing societies and colonies like Manhattan Heights, Malibu Towers, Oxford Apartments, Sun city, Lavasa etc., but bras, panties and other laundries hanging in balcony. Similarly, quarrelling every day on lawless parking. Indian cities, too boast of the world class Metro systems, roads, world class transport system, malls, banking etc., but citizens have never been taught to learn good manners and civic sense— or they too have taken oath never to learn? — the elementary discipline of allowing a-lighting passengers to first get off before trying to jump their own way inside. We build multi-crore highways and expressways, without any footbridge or cyclist’s track or safe pedestrian crossing and as a result of that thousands of fatalities happen each year with people being run over by speeding vehicles, and nothing ever gets done about it. When you have a population of 1.25 billion, and growing with rapid pace, what’s a few thousand deaths a year?
India mimics the modern world of space-age technology while khap panchayats, Sharia Courts, minority and caste institutions, routinely and with impunity order ‘honour’ killings, issue fatwas, triple talaqs, and brides are burnt alive in everyday cases of ‘dowry deaths’ or women wrapped in burqa. In India now mindless mimicry of all that might be called modern, liberal, free and secular? It’s more than that. It’s a mockery of civilization, ancient or modern. Instead of our “one thing needful”, justifying in us vulgarity, hideousness, ignorance, violence – our vulgarity, hideousness, ignorance, violence are really so many touchstones.