Remember the line from the
play Hamlet by William Shakespeare? “Something
is rotten in the state of Denmark”. I can truly use that line for India now.
There is something very rotten in the state of India. Forget about religious
and political intolerance and decadence, I want to simply talk about
lawlessness on the Indian roads.
The other day I was shocked to
see my neighbour driving his huge vehicle with his barely three years old son
sitting on his lap holding on to the steering wheel. Here was a man who was
educated and aware of the rules of the land when it came to driving, but he
seemed to show no concern for the safety of his son or the traffic rules.
It brought back bitter
memories of the past when I saw this. I remember how my neighbours, a doctor
couple (both obviously educated!) while
driving with their new born son, while not bothering about a child seat, made
him sit on his mother’s lap next to the driver. While the man was driving the
vehicle, his wife had the baby seated on her lap. To make matters worse, nobody
was wearing a seat belt. And then the inevitable happened, they met with an
accident and the child was flung from her arms. The baby crashed through the
windscreen and landed hard on a tree. He died instantly.
Safety continues to take a
back seat in this country. Aggressiveness and boorishness continue to rule the
roost when it comes to traffic rules. Where do you go to for justice?
No seats belts for policemen, ambulance driver and military
I have personally not seen a single police
vehicle driver wearing a seat belt. I have personally not seen a single
ambulance driver wear a seat belt. I have neither seen a military vehicle
driver ever wearing a seat belt. Are they not supposed to wear a seat belt?
While it is mandatory for cops
and everyone else on two wheelers to wear a helmet, why are not seat belts made
mandatory for these people driving a vehicle? I guess, the fault lies in our
upbringing. From a young age we are taught to follow a wrong path. You think I
am exaggerating? All you have to do is to go and stand in front of any school,
public private or government, during morning hours or in the afternoon when the
school gets over and you will notice how parents and children are flouting
traffic norms. Parents do not wear helmets and neither do children wear them.
Mothers and fathers are seen riding without helmets. Children sitting at the
back also do not wear seat belts. A similar scene is enacted when it comes to
cars. Children are often seen driving vehicles while their parents gleefully
watch them. No seat belts are worn and children are never seen seated at the
back seat. They are always in the front seat, without seat belts.
Isn’t there something rotten
in the state of India?
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