Last week, I happened to visit Alibag near Mumbai. While coming back from Alibag, I took a bus from the Alibag main market. I was not surprised to see the state of buses as I have been witnessing the same since my first encounter with a means of public transport. This definitely reflects on the negligence on the part of the government, but what was disheartening to see was the mentality in people that have persisted for times immemorial.
Somehow, we as citizens are not accustomed to speaking and voicing our rights out. Somehow, we are always toed by the corrupt practices that are followed in our environment and we never seem to stand against such practices. One of the examples of the same was explicitly visible in my recent trip, where the bus conductor issued more tickets in comparison to the seats available. As a result, the seats were grabbed on a first-come-first grab basis and the rest didn’t have any other option but to stand causing inconvenience both to themselves and others.
Some of the travelers on the route commute daily and seem to have got used to standing in the buses. They are well aware of the way things are being done and would never want to change things, may be because they know nothing would happen, so why waste time? They have much better things to focus upon than this silly half an hour or so journey to a ferry point. It is much easier to compromise than trying to make things right.
But if one wants the change, one needs to speak out. Yes, one might have to go through some opposition, but at the end of the day, at least in my personal experience, people in general prefer right ways to wrong ways and if someone stands for the right, people do tend to offer full support for the same, as was well visible in the Anna Hazare campaign.
So, the most important thing to do is to speak out and vouch for a change. The question though is do we all want to go on compromising with what’s being offered or would we want to change our mentality and way of thinking and stand and support the right thing?