~Pranav Kishore Saxena
The 2014 election’s victor, Mr. Modi tossed his “Swacchh Bharat” coin in the field which was meant to clean up the entire country and create the culture of sanitation. Although, a ‘toilet’ which even the people of the Harappan civilization were aware of became a topic of discussion, especially, political discussion in India.
Littering garbage on the ground, spitting ‘paan’ and tobacco almost anywhere is a mundane Indian habit. This is something most of the Indians are far from either regulating or correcting. The question arises, “Why are Indians so filthy? Is it just because of our intrinsic nature, or is it related to the way we are brought up in this social structure?
The reason for this strange habit, or temperament could be understood if we take a close look at the caste system prevalent in the Indic society. The idea of ‘pure’ and ‘impure’ has always prevailed in the caste structure which was largely based occupation. The ‘sudra’ was the lowest category in the ‘varna’ hierarchy and was tasked with cleaning the dirt created by the members of the so-called higher ‘varna’. This division of labour became an intrinsic element in the Indic mindset and derogatory terms like “chura” and “chamar” were associated with this section of the society.
Even now when people are advised to pick their litter and throw it into the dustbin, they ignore it and say that it’s the ‘sweeper’s task’. Even today when the constitution has legally ended discrimination on the basis of caste; division of the society based on occupation still prevails. This is an important factor why India is still dirty.
The Modi government or any other political entity is not to be blamed. It is more about dirty minds than anything else.
Pranav Kishore Saxena is the Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The True Voice India.