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Gurgaon Speaks
Nisha Singh
HUDA Administrator: Dreaming and Actioning a new Gurgaon 16 December, 2011
There is a nationwide movement going on against corruption and our city is witnessing an..
I RECENLTY re-read ’s autobiography and I found two of his observations really interesting and topical. I had read the book as a teenager and maybe I was not mature enough at that time to fully appreciate the book or had simply forgotten about some of the salient issues highlighted in the book.
 
During his South Africa days, just after the Boer Wars, a number of civil servants who had earlier worked in the Indian sub-continent were transferred to South Africa to form the an Asiatic department. Gandhiji observed that there was big surge in corruption in the government, especially in the Asiatic department, with the advent of civil servants from the sub-continent. He went on to say that, like many other governments, there was tardiness and discrimination in South Africa before this but rampant corruption started only after it got ‘imported’ from the sub-continent.
 
The second observation pertains to our inadequate civic sense, especially in matters relating to cleanliness and sanitation. Gandhiji mentioned about this a number of times in his autobiography, be it while describing the Indian ghettos in South Africa, his experiences during the plague outbreak in Gujarat at the end of 19th century or during his innumerable train journeys across India. He made a special remark that this problem did not discriminate between rich and poor or between urban and rural or between different religions. All of us seemed to be plagued by this disease.
 
As I was reading various mentions of the above two issues, one thought kept coming back to me – ‘we do not seem to have learnt or progressed much on these matters in the past 100 years’. In fact, if anything, the gap between us and the western countries seems to have increased.
 
The gravity of issues of corruption and lack of civic sense on sanitation has been known to all of us for quite some time and there have been number of attempts to eradicate these right from (and may be before) Gandhiji’s times. But either the stakes are too high or we give up too easily. As I mentioned in one of my earlier articles, any large-scale transformation requires some sacrifice and change by all of us. Unfortunately, majority of us have not been ready to make this sacrifice and tend to revert to status quo as soon as our personal interests are taken care of.
 
But we can not afford to give up this time around. There is a nationwide movement going on against corruption and our city is witnessing an unprecedented focus on making the city clean and more livable. Let us all appreciate, encourage and support these initiatives in our own little ways. Unless we all contribute to these movements, these too will be damp squibs. And when I say contribute, the best way we could do it is by living these values every day. Things that we teach our children to do but forget ourselves from time to time - keeping our surroundings clean, not misusing public property and refusing to pay or accepting bribes.

 

 


About The Author
Ms. Nisha Singh , an MBA from the London School of Business, is the MCG councillor for ward NO.30 gurgaon. She is actively working towards the development of the city by getting the civic authorities to do their job in clean and effective manner.
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