“Chalta hai!” — Attitude in India; Ab nahi chalega

The ‘Chalta Hai’ attitude.

There is no cop near the signal, lets just escape and jump the signal… is chalta hai.

You don’t care to wear a seat belt.. is chalta hai.

You aim to throw a waste paper or a small chocolate wrapper in the dustbin and it misses and falls on the street. You don’t pick it up and put it back in dustbin…. is chalta hai.

You don’t seem to have much work at office, you plan to skip office without applying leave.. chalta hai..

Chalta hai.. can be defined as “it is ok, doesn’t make a difference”

The main ‘chalta hai’ attitude comes in the government services and work. It has been employed to justify virtually anything. From little infractions like the practice of jumping lights, breaking queues, petty bribes, to larger crimes such as corruption, political vendetta, bribing for votes, everything could be explained away by two words and a shrug of the shoulder.

The examples are numerous. All of this have to end, and we are seeing a change away from this.

If you seen the website www.attendance.gov.in last Sunday Sunday, you would have found that 586 government staffers had logged their presence. A little over a month ago, this was not an option. This alone can’t be taken as the example, let us see some more.

  1. The recent decision of the Supreme Court to cancel all the coal licences issued to all but four of the 218 coal blocks awarded between 1993 and 2010. To put it simply, the apex court found that all the licences violated existing law and, hence, even if the mines were operational, they were illegal. Further, the court emphasized the fallout of not following a rules-based regime: crony capitalism.
  2. Similarly, the apex court had ruled last year that politicians once convicted will have to immediately forfeit elected office. It effectively plugged the loophole wherein lawmakers could file repeated appeals against their convictions and, thereby, hold on to power — something that forced Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalithaa to resign after her conviction by a Karnataka court in the case against her for disproportionate assets.
  3. The humiliating defeat of the Congress, in the recently concluded 16th general election was the political reaffirmation of a country towards zero tolerance to corruption — an implicit thumbs up to a rules-based regime.
  4. This is exactly why the idea of Swachh Bharat is resonating; the people are ready to listen to the notion that clearing garbage is as important in creating it. In other words, dealing with garbage is as much the responsibility of every individual as it is of the civic authorities. To put it simply, it is no longer acceptable to say chalta hai while littering.

Now, that some beginning. If we start moving away from this attitude, we can truly re-quote “India Shining”

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