Being Indian - Bare Minimum Contribution to the Nation

Independence Day Special: This post is meant for Indians.

Independence Day
Independence Day

If you have ever been on 9gag or Quora, you would have encountered comments about India - unsafe to visit, dirty- "sh*t in the streets" culture, "rape culture"(bobs and vegana meme). This is how some or most of the foreigners view India.

We can't just say that it happens in other countries too. Nor can we say that it's the western media that amplifies every bad thing in India or clings on to the past even though things have improved over the last decade. We still have problems. There's at least an iota of truth in these perceptions.

This Independence Day, it's awesome to remember all those great people who sacrificed a lot - even their lives for our independence. But lets see what we-you and I can do(bare minimum) as citizens to reform India's image internationally. And these are just basics which we could abide by - civic sense and common sense.



Despite Swachh Bharat and many public toilets, people still urinate in the streets. This isn't just in some shady street where no one lives around, this happens even at the crossroads signal(Seriously?). This is where The Ugly Indian took some steps to beautify the strip of area where urinating is common - by painting it and planting some trees. Unlike everybody who gets disgusted and exasperated by the failed attempts to keep the streets clean, Ugly Indian simply accepted that it's going to take lot of time for people to stop doing this and till then we need to tackle this problem continuously.

Here's a TED talk by The Ugly Indian:


I don't understand why many kids are left to defecate in public as if anything shameful can be done if you are a kid.


Yeah, let's just paint our roads red. Even when a new road is made, people don't hesitate to spit on it. It's as if this is their way to leave their traces forever in history. But it's not just paan eating people who spit, even people who cough do this regularly.


Despite many dustbins, people just keep littering all over the streets. Cleaning doesn't mean throwing all the trash out of your house to the street.

Action Items:

  • Don't urinate, defecate, spit, throw trash in streets. Use public toilets and dustbins. If there's no dustbin around, carry your trash in a bag.
  • We don't have to keep an eye on the entire street's cleanliness. Just focus on at least 0.5-1 KM area around your house. Don't let anyone dirty that area. If you see anyone doing that, confront them - but be safe(Guy gets beaten to death for asking people to use toilets).
  • One approach that seems to be working a lot is painting or sticking God's images or religious symbols on the walls to prevent people from littering. Do this if you keep failing after multiple attempts.
  • Pick trash from the street. Litterati is an app that's like Instagram but for trash pics that you pick.

Traffic sense: 


We need traffic police despite traffic signals because no one follows them. You need to look in all directions even if it is a one direction road. But even that wouldn't save you sometimes, when drunk people's cars fly over your car's roof(Banjara Hills accident) and crush you.

Yes, there's lot of traffic. Yes, you are busy. Yes, you got places to be and people to see. But by taking the wrong routes and speeding up like a maniac, you are just contributing to the traffic chaos and will be stuck in there for more time.

We are all musicians on streets - honking at every step. It's difficult to gain attention of people when we have too many crossroads and too many people coming from all directions - so honking may seem like the only option. If we can follow proper traffic rules and cross streets at red signal, honking can be reduced a lot.

Helmet and seat belt don't make you look uncool.

For God's sake, give way to Ambulance. Stop tailing it to get out of traffic - more people will try to do the same and soon you will all get in the Ambulance's way.

Crossing the street : 

No, we can't just wait for the signal to turn red. We gotta beat the signal - the system. We must save 0.23 seconds by crossing the street before the signal turns red and bring all the vehicles to sudden halt and scare the sh*t out of the newbie drivers.

Action Items:

  • Helmet and seat belt are must.
  • Follow traffic rules and respect traffic signals.
  • Don't drink and drive.
  • Don't be on phone or distracted in any other way when driving.
  • Don't cross a busy street. Wait for the red signal.
  • Give way to Ambulance.

Staring at people: 

Movies show the Hero staring at the Heroine look cool. Staring is shown as a way of admiring beauty(yuck, writing this sentence disgusts me). But in reality, if you are starer, you look just like a creep - well, you may actually be a creep if you stare at people.

Reddit about Indians staring.

This happens a lot if you are a woman - even if you are wearing a scarf and covered your face.
Wearing a dress that defies your narrow mind's norms? Gotta stare even more and judge her character and morals.

Apparently, it's not just women, men get stared at too. And foreigners - they get stared at a lot that it seems as if an alien landed in your area.

Action item:

  • Stop staring.

Religion and caste:

It's 2018. Humans have made a great deal of progress even in space. And here we are, asking a person about their caste, sometimes in the first five minutes of meeting them.

Action Item:

  • If you are someone who asks about caste, STFU.
  • Don't answer people who ask you. (The best answer I have seen in Telugu is from Viva -        Q: Meeru Emitlu? A: Bobbatlu)

Free stuff and Not-ours-stuff:

Free stuff is abused a lot by us. If something is free at work space, some people tend to take lots of it home.
Government had to chain or fixate showpieces in the street so that no one would steal it.

Vandalism is not art - Graffiti and sticking ads to walls, wood carving(you aren't Michaelangelo), "Raja loves Rani" on historical monuments, destroying anything else that can be destroyed.

Action Items:

  • Stop abusing free stuff.
  • Stop vandalism.


We tend to be curious about how other nations perceive us and our culture. But it shouldn't become so obsessive that you start seeking validation from anyone who is a non-Indian. The amount of questions on Quora on what others "think" about India are way too many. And it's a known fact on Quora that if any writer mentions anything remotely related to India, they will be blessed with infinite upvotes and staunch followers.

It's not just Quora, there's a rising trend in the number of reaction videos about Indian movies/shows etc. Just search for reaction videos on YouTube and more than half of them are about Indian things.

Action Item:

  • Stop seeking validation.


Okay, this is the last item because I probably can't do justice to this in one small section. This deserves a full blown article. But while we are here, let's see what's going wrong. *Holds breath* - asking for dowry, preferring boy child, neglecting girl child's education, marrying her off as early as she reaches teens or marrying her off against her will, restricting her at every step, making periods a taboo even in 2018 and making her an untouchable during that time, judging women by their clothes or the way she goes to parties(oh, the blasphemy!), marital rape, harassment, stalking...and infinite more things.

Note that all these are the things "civilized" people do and which we see everyday. These don't garner nation's attention.

And these kind of outrageous statements - She should have begged them(rapists) calling them Bhayya,why did they go to such place when it's unsafe at midnight - will you go to a place where there is a bomb? , boys do mistakes(rape), she was asking for it by wearing such dress...and so on.
You will be amazed at how many people in your own family have certain backward thinking.

Action Items:

  • It all boils down to "Live and let live". Stop judging. Give women equal rights in everything. 

Other minor things:

Following are based on the stereotypes we are often attributed to - being smelly, not having proper etiquette, asking personal questions etc.
  • Stop obsessing over celebrities(sports/films/politicians) to the extent that it causes riots.
  • Celebrate regional differences instead of debating on which is the best place.
  • Respect everyone-do not ill treat people who have low paying jobs. If you can afford, then try not bargaining with small vendors.
  • Let people in the lift come out before you get in.
  • Maintain queue everywhere. Do not jump queues.
  • Stop minding others business - marriage, kids, job etc. Don't be too nosy and stop gossiping about everyone.
  • Personal hygiene and etiquette: Use a deodorant, we live in a tropical country. Don't burp loudly. Don't open food that has strong smell at your work space - go to canteen/pantry.
  • Please stop posting creepy messages to random white girls on Facebook.

We must get the underlying things right to improve our conditions:


All the above said things may seem obvious, but they are not so to everyone. Did you know that the first physician to suggest washing hands before surgery was treated as insane? Yeah! It wasn't so obvious to people then.
Education is one thing that will enable everyone to be less ignorant.

Action Item:

  • Sponsor a child's education. Most of the corporates are tied up with NGOs. Check at your work place how you can contribute to it.


Despite being educated, many people do many of the above things. Even if education will empower you financially and intellectually, morals are tough to be enforced with out the values being taught at home.

Action Item:

  • Teach values to kids. Explain them few core principles instead of setting a million hard and fast rules.

Finally, be proud to be an Indian and contribute your two cents. You don't have to join politics or become an activist, just do the bare minimum :)

"Koi bhi desh perfect nahin hota ... usse behtar banana padta hai" - Rang De Basanti
(No country is perfect ... one has to make it better)


Happy Independence Day!


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