Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Hygiene? Modernity is dirtier than ever

For years I was told how we should not spit and litter on out roads and public spaces.

APJ Kalam wrote profusely on how we as citizens are responsible for so much dirtiness, and I believed him.

Even the private sector, companies, industrialists, waxed eloquent on the need for better cleanliness, sanitation, hygiene.
Poor people were portrayed as being uncivilized, unhygienic, spitting and pissing anywhere and dirtying the city.

While all this while, all these years while our media has been hammering in how we spit and litter on our roads and how bad it is,
While we were being poked every moment for spitting a few organic compounds onto tarred roads,

Our most hyped, respected, reputed companies, have been spitting and shitting TOXIC CHEMICALS into our countryside : Into the land, into the water, into the air, into the plants and birds and animals, into our food, into all our lives. They make the plastic so they can push their goods to us, and then they just can't be bothered about the return trip. All that plastic trash littering my planet and forming floating islands in the oceans wouldn't be around if it wasn't for these few industrialists, well-educated as they are, who knew fully what the consequences will be, who took a decision so they can increase the length and time their goods can travel and get some percentage more profits.

And in all the rush to tell the people that look, how dirty they are, we were deliberately made to miss out on the fact that the industrialists of this country are, by sheer volume, spitting 1000s of times more toxics onto our motherland than all the citizens put together.

We were told to piss in toilets that take fresh, drinkable water, mix it in with shit, and transport it into the rivers and seas that we once worshiped as our Goddesses. We were told to do our bit, while the authorities that took charge of disposing of our crap, just dumped it wherever convenient while promising to solve the problem one day, with regular monetary boosts from us. We ended up doing our bit, and paying on top, to pollute our environment.
Instead if we were to dispense of our waste in our own backyard (as we have been for thousands of years), merely through digging holes, our crap would have completed the cycle of life and become food for the organisms that produce our food. And we'd be getting "rid" of the "waste" without spending any penny.

With the pretense of getting cleaner, civilization as it stands today, is actually making us dirtier than ever. The motive was never to make us cleaner. It was only to make us outsource our tasks so that a heavy bureaucracy can leech off it. Those sparkling clean streets and places : they're just the screensaver, and we fell for it.

And as for all those who proclaim India as a filthy, dirty country, here's a bouncer for you : We're not dirtier than the richer nations. We're only not as passionate about getting rid of our waste as they are. Their trash is piling up all over Africa, Asia, South America, and even Antarctica! We don't go to such great lengths to hide our ugliness as you do, we don't think it a good idea to destroy other people's lands and lives just to maintain cleanliness in ours. If you make any trash, there is nothing bad in keeping it to yourself. So f**k off.

A clean country isn't one whose streets are clean, but one that doesn't produce anything that pollutes, devastates eco-systems anywhere. Spitting paan on the road doesn't really harm this planet as much as the rivers of toxic effluent thrown out by the company that proclaims 10 lakh children educated under its CSR initiative, whose consumer goods are packaged and delivered to us in nice, shiny, clean containers. That's not being clean; that's just throwing your trash in your neighbor's backyard and then chiding the neighbor for being unhygienic. We'd make much better use of our resources if we focused on restructuring our worlds so that we don't make waste in the first place, rather than cleaning up and then throwing it all elsewhere. If it's dirty, let it be. All the more incentive to move on to a more cyclical way of life.


manmohan mp said...

Hi Nikhil,Long time!

Read your post, interesting observation. But I don't totally agree.Modernity is not dirtier. Industries polluting the Sea and Sand are not to be compared with the people of India Littering everywhere,Spitting all the way,Defecating anywhere from compound walls to Railway tracks. Such activities can never be justified. They indeed are filthy activities.

Hope you remember the Delhi 2010 CWG incident,the west complained about the filthy accommodation provided. Education related to hygiene need to be provided to the rural Indians.

Yes,the developed east and west are Sparkling Clean,and they maybe doing it by putting their waste on the neighbors backyard.What about the Neighbors? They aren't complaining? they are happy welcoming this western garbage,in fact they maybe proud of it. Why is that ? West is doing fine job then,clever and smart enough.

at least the better countries don't do activities which India does,India on the other hand pollutes organic and inorganic. India ranks among the top 10 polluting countries in the world,does that have any justification? Coca-Cola plant at Plachimada,Plakkad.Kerala is a simple example,why because India welcomes it.

The "go green" "funda" also started by the west. The west does something negative and tries to find the solution for it too. How about the 3rd world,all they do is follow the west..deaf and blind.

We need something innovative than going back to the primitive style..there will be far undiscovered. That's what we need to focus on.

Modernity is always better and cleaner is what i would to conclude.

Nikhil Sheth said...

Hmm. Thanks for commenting here rather than on FB!
I've spent the last year handling cow-dung now and then, seeing composting happen, pissing and defecating in the bushes a few times, spending some days in villages untouched by modern civilization. Those villages were super-clean and beautiful. At all these places, organic waste : defecation and food waste : are not considered waste; they have uses and are precious resources.
We construct our cities in ways that are neither designed to take these wastes nor do they have ways of using them. Example: if our crap went into the ground and was buried, it would make food. If our piss went on plants instead of marble tiles, it would help the plants and would not stink. (I have tried it myself). Modernity as it stands today, is like a plane that has one wing facing the opposite direction. It's all poor design. Because the intention was to make money, not to take civilization forward. I don't advocate going back; I only advocate practicing common sense and taking the best of all worlds and moving forward. Comprende?

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