A little respect goes a long way

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By Tinky Ningombam

A lot has already started happening in the new year. As Delhi launches its political brigade against corruption, the country waits for ripples. For the first time in ages, the elite class has started to call themselves Mango people. News from home brings good entertainment in the meantime as most of my friends come back after the holidays. The first is of course the low-salaried jobs that people run after even selling off their land to buy these jobs. I saw an ad recently of a certain TV channel looking out of people and the head editor’s salary was a mere 15,000 INR.  In this day and age when your mobile and 3G bill amounts to atleast 2-3 grand, how can someone survive in such a small salary. But how on earth are people spending so much and getting so much money from, where is this leprechaun gold, if I may ask. Where is the rainbow?

Another strong growing interest of mine is the growing insolence of three group of people: VIPs (The ones with a red beacon on their cars), Law enforcers (the armed personnels, the police) and the Doctors. I do not have to mention the rich. I mean mostly they have been presumptuous. But time and again, you find yourself almost on the verge of losing your cool. And honestly, preachers can’t breach this line you see, one cannot react in a way that one dislikes in others.

I have a long standing experience with the much (notoriously) talked about Sangai Festival which I will cover next time, but now narrate a story that I will like to share. So apparently this year, my dear friend and her family decided to visit this so called extravaganza, this cultural experience beyond par. They ended up walking in the pedestrian lane because they didn’t allow any cars to pass. And after a long walk they decided to take a shorter route and accidentally took the VIP lane. Only to be herded by the Security guards and the policemen stationed there with their sticks, (like cows and dogs, she said) so that the beacons can pass. I was not surprised but I was disgusted. My friend told me that she felt humiliated and couldn’t forget the incident, so much so that she told me about it the moment she headed here. The horror of this small incident is that this happens all the time.  And I do not know how many people take this as normal. Even the last time I was home, I was shocked when two constables in their uniforms followed us and eve-teased us from our way from the Govinda Temple to the road; These people who are (supposedly) there to protect women amongst other things.

Do you have to be dressed in fancy expensive suits and travel in a red beaconed car to gain respect from these police personnels?  Who are these senior officials who fill this false sense of superiority in their empty brains to treat people like they are not citizens or humans as a matter of fact? Are they hired to protect and serve or to humiliate the public who are paying them their salary though our public pockets? Are they being taught manners to conduct themselves in public?

Human Rights violations happens to everyone back to us everyday.  And this happens in the middle of the city, the so-called political and economic centre of the State. Violations are violations no matter how small or big they are. These so called minor forms of harassments, what are they if not human rights violations. Your right to attain the optimum mental, emotional and physical well being, your right against being bullied. And all these in the name of a “war” that apparently they are fighting against some armed men, they bully everyone who in their eyes seems suspicious ergo everyone. So if some of them beats a kid up for drinking, it is ok. This is the ugly truth we live in, this home, this state, this country. But I must say we are a positive bunch of looneys. Most of the guys laugh of the times when they have been beaten up by the cops or the famed IRB’s. So they grow up to join these uniforms and do the same to the other innocent young folks. Why? Because they got bullied by them too. If you ask me, all of them need correctional institutes first. Who are they reporting to again?

Moving on to our next set of “public servants”. This was a few years back when I was still in college and I went to RIMS to get some check-ups done and I went into OPD for my eye-test because of my recurring headache. So while I was sitting in the patient’s chair, the Doctor asked me about my medical condition and my reading habits and so on. To which in between, I told them that I sit in on my PC most of my waking hours. So he stopped and asked me “What’s a PC?” so I was like “a computer!” Now the fact was that there were these 5-10 interns who were following this Doctor around and half of them looked at me, snickered and whispered in each other ears after my statement. Apparently to them (I do not know for what reason) I might have come across as a braggart. If I was teaching those guys, I would have made them do two years of night shift duties to put some manners into them. In a profession where you are supposed to respect the patient and make them feel at ease to share whatever medical ailments “ailed” me, they were making fun of me. And this is where I am leading at, most of the time when I find people on duty in government hospitals, they seem rude but if I meet them at their clinic they seem nicer, don’t you folks think so. The answer, of course, is obvious. There are exceptions no doubt but those are always people who know my parents or someone in the family.

So as my ranting ends, what I have been emphasizing is that these “public servants”, the protectors, those who serve the public are apparently the ones who misuse their power and education. If these people do not bother about uplifting the morale of the public, who will?

(“Politeness

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