Monologue of a great Indian litterbug:
“For God’s sake, please let us pee in peace!
In recent months, the Garbage Nazis are coming out in full force. Under the Burqa of Swachh Bharat they are persecuting the litterbug’s community. The Ge-stop-o is infiltrating our group and turning us against ourselves. The state now has total control of the media, where every other day some or other TV channel or newspaper is shaming and ridiculing us through their articles and campaigns. Our creed is getting extinct throughout the world. India is one of the last bastions where you can litter away freely without caring about the nanny state which wants to toilet train its citizens! In places like Singapore where once there were a teeming number of litterbugs, there are almost extinct now. They are being punished and fined for being who they are. We are starting a civil disobedience movement against this raising bigotry, with the slogan ‘Je susu anywhere’ ”.
I asked some of these litterbugs the reasons for their behaviour. And the argumentative selfs blamed everyone except themselves for their behaviour. Here are some of their reasons:
- I am born this way-as a litterbug and this is not a ‘disease’ or a ‘lifestyle’. The ‘L’ in the original LGBT movement is actually ‘Litterbug’, the damn lesbians took over it, from us.
- I am a diabetic whose bladder gets bloated every 2 hours, I do not care, whether my relieving buddy is a wall or a tree. I am not making myself soiled while trying to find a non-existent public toilet.
- Those toilets which are present are like the dating den for all the germs and viruses which come there to mate and mutate to produce more deadlier versions of themselves. I do not want to get urinary infections or get pee all over my legs as the basin is most probably broken (every Indian male who visited a theatre, bus stand or any public toilet can explain this).
- I blame it on my early childhood experience, you don’t believe me? Ask Freud. I was toilet trained not in a bathroom but in the open, near a drainage line in front of the house. Now my ‘super ego’ which is largely unconscious drives my behaviour which convinces me that it’s ok and it is actually healthier to pee in the open.
- My religion says that God had calculated all my good duties I did in my previous life and after tallying my Karma he (I am assuming He is a he) placed me in the house of an ‘upper caste’ who have a licence to litter, cleaning is the duty of my lesser country men and women.
- I think of myself as an environmentalist because I am fertilizing the roadside bushes and trees which are not cared by anyone else.
- From the days of my being a litter-baby-bug, I was taught by my family and peers to find shortcuts and that only by cutting corners do we get ahead. Do you expect me to have a ‘Jugaad’ mindset in all other aspects of my life but not in cleanliness?-its an art to jugaad the right place to pee. The ‘perfect public pee place’ has many conditions: it should be semi private, the surface should not reflect back the liquid on to my legs and make sure the police wallah is not around etc. It is becoming very challenging these days to find the right place in the city with the bushes and open garbage areas increasingly being replaced by houses and shops.
- I am like the white hat hacker. Until you fix all the problems in the sanitation system, I will invent new ways to litter. You might say that I am highlighting the loo(p) holes in the system. This will force you to come up with better systems and processes. Sadly, instead of awarding me for this service, I am being lampooned and criticized.
‘To sum up, until and unless you do what you are supposed to do which does not give me a reason to litter, i will continue to do so. Until then, I am the victim who is being forced to litter and is being blamed for doing it’.
Though the reasons may sound wacky, there is some truth in their reasoning. Instead of coercing and ridiculing people through blogs and media, should we not first address the root causes of the problem which include our inefficient local governments, our myopic city planners, the entrenched casteist mindset and the pride-in-jugaad society?
Now, how many of us have never peed in the street before?-If you live in India, for majority of people the answer is yes, we relieved ourselves in the open and enjoyed it! People who are riding the high horse(Amir Khan’s advts) may think that, it is disgusting to do so, but khan sahab, please construct a functioning toilet that i can access when i need it, and then you may have a right to ridicule the open pee-rs.
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