Life should be oozing from every nook in the Indian subcontinent with it’s rich soil, warm temperatures and yearly monsoons. But cities, towns and villages in India have long defaced this natural order. I miss tree lined streets, the daily walk home from the subway station and the state parks of Massachusetts.
2. A Constitution with teeth
- Delhi Police have check posts through out Delhi where they randomly search vehicles and check ‘papers’. Mix this power to search at will with corruption and a legal system without redress, and you get a meek citizenry constantly pleading for mercy.
4th amendment – you lose to hollow arguments of security everywhere in the world (including NYC).
- Banning of books and movies, rioting religious groups, etc. are not uncommon in India. If your comments offend anyone powerful (or one of their goons), the law steps aside so that they can have a go at you. This isn’t only a philosophical irritant – on a daily basis, the Government of India’s has the time to block pretty advertisements in the Wall Street Journal. Now they are talking about playing moral police on the internet (New Delhi’s New Gag WSJ May, 2011, Google objected to Indian Internet Rules WSJ May, 2011).
Freedom of speech, limited government and good old maturity – now I appreciate you!
For more, read this article on NYT about the quality and evolution of constitutions around the world
Delhi roads rarely have sidewalks. Moving cars, parked cars, people, cows, dogs, elephants, goats, hawkers, tractors, camels, rickshaws, motor cycles, cats and bicycles ply on the same broken roads. Still, I tried walking to a market near by but did not return more relaxed.
4. Self dignity
Living the ‘might is right’ philosophy, especially when you are ordinary, pushes you to make expedient practical choices over better judgment. I don’t want to bribe, drive like I don’t care or not improve the community that I live in. On the other hand, I don’t want to be Gandhi by making this my full time job. A livable grey between these stark choices would be great.
But you see happy and funny things too. Here’s one from a cousin’s Facebook status:
Walking in Nehru Place…saw a man sitting and repairing the zipper of another mans trousers…while the man was wearing them…the other man was standing with his zipper open and the mans hands all over it…and he wasn’t the least bit embarrassed…wish I had my camera…