Pledging to make Vizag a no-chalta-hai-zone

In an incident in Vizag which left me appalled, I asked a young school boy a question that should have offended him. Why was he urinating in public? I gave him a piece of my mind, yet indifferent to my presence, he walked away with the “chalta hai” attitude.

‘Chalta hai, madam’ is a phrase I hear too often for too many things. From quietly yielding to the demands of bribery, because it is easier to give in (chalta hai) rather than question, we hop-skip-jump over potholes never expecting them to be repaired till the next elections. We drive against the traffic in a one-way because it saves us time and fuel. We carelessly litter the roads with plastic disposables only because ‘who wants to carry it all back home’ or search for a trash bin? We safely tuck the helmets under the seat and drive with the breeze in our hair, because, hey, who needs a helmet for that short distance? We run and jaywalk across busy roads and dexterously climb over road-dividers, we leave lights, fans and even air-conditioners running in vacant rooms…the list is endless.

The ‘chalta hai’ attitude is so deeply entrenched in our psyche, that as a society, we automatically make compromises, avoid responsibility, and accept mediocrity. We accept unquestioningly substandard work only because it is ‘okay’. But, in actuality, ‘chalta hai’ is deceptive and perilous. It is a phrase that justifies inaction and laziness. The lackadaisical attitude on part of people to accept averageness and the reluctance to overlook minor aberrations is the root cause of this attitude. Do we have to wait for the inevitable to happen in every instance before we wake up to the perils of being so ‘accommodating?’

Imagine if we didn’t have the ‘chalta hai’ attitude to fall back upon? How would our society be, if perfection or at least near-perfection was not preferred, but obligatory? Why can’t we as Vizagites set the trend? Let’s not compromise because it’s inconvenient. Let’s question the ‘chalta hai’ attitude and insist on quality. Let’s respect the rules that are meant to better our lives and ensure our safety.
Let’s make Vizag a ‘no-chalta-hai zone.’

Dantu Shilpanjani
Editor & Publisher

This post was last modified on 15/09/2018 7:00 pm

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