Voices are characteristics of democracy but visions are seldom envisaged while raising the voices, which is why we see people more of speaking than acting. While expressing our thoughts out and discussing the matter in a mutual cooperation is what we called signs of progress, but the trend is that people speak out more of criticisms of minuscule value and tend to play a blame game whenever a problem arises. The fact is that prior to arising any problems, everybody remain complacent and ignorant of civic duties leaving the entire burden to those few, who are actually responsible. Actually, responsibility should be an inherent aptitude which every single head should be born with.
His eminence the Dalai Lama said, “Chinese Parliament too silent, Indian Parliament too noisy" and there is nothing wrong in the statement made by such a venerable religious head. Quite many times, I have observed on Television how the Indian politicians create havoc with noises in the house of parliament when indifferences arise. Indian being the largest democracy is also no less one of the most liberal democracies in the world. For democracy is rule of the people, by the people, for the people, with the people having the power to make the decisions that directly affect them, and as such, democratic moves start at grass root level.
However, the topic becomes so vast for me to analyze the real democratic moves and processes so I won’t be writing here any further than this few lines. The tract I am following is just to make realize how the freedom of expression works, to explain how it is just a piece of cake to speak out for others and how people not tend to think for seconds before blaming or complaining about others weakness, from my experiences of day to day customary.
“Let’s have a meeting for regulating the messed up mess and think for solutions of reviving the weakened management of it” called the hostel prefect exactly a month ago. So during the proceedings of meeting, all students gathered in the meeting room to discuss the issue and resolve it. You might be wondering what the real problem is? Well the problem is that in the past moths many a times, we have to rush for attending the lecture with a 2minutes noodle feed or sometimes even without that. Despite not having a regular meal, the meal rate escalated very high and this impregnated apprehension in me. I too became sceptic in times.
“So let’s hear everybody’s opinion and come to a vivid and strong conclusion,” one of the students pointed out. And everybody started saying this and that and, this way they call it democratic. They talked of the leakage in pipe causing seepage in the floor, of the unsatisfactory duties performed by the cooks and casual labours, of sanitation of kitchen and need for care of kitchen utensils, so every mouth has a word to speak. But as the topic shifted to the controversial issue of negative balance of few heads in the mess account, the debate became hot enough to make all of them speak together and there was hardly a single person listening. There was more of noise than a harmonious discussion.
The jackals howl because they don’t know how to sing, but Homo sapiens sapiens should be different for we possess the sixth sense, the civic sense or simply common sense, but such a common sense is not so common.
When the nonsensical noise finally eased, we discussed about the appointment of new mess manager for the coming month and when nobody seemed interested and least bothered, I once again held my head high and took over the charge with humility. There was a lukewarm response, but somehow everybody came to a consensus that it’s never a one man’s task. They said they will cooperate with me.
And I was to run the mess for one month, indeed my second tenure after six months. Well, what they would aspect from the mess manager now? A timely and regular meal, a quality food, and very low meal rate, et al. Now this is only possible if everybody come forwards and deposit their mess fees, advice the cooks to cook food in a manner they wish, ask the casual labours to work efficiently and maintain cleanliness in the home where we dwell.
But as days passed by, I could see that those noise which they raised during the meeting were mere bluffing. Forget about advising the cooks and casual labours, I was to go knocking the door of every student and request them to pay for what they eat. Few even dared to eat for days without paying, with lame excuses. And when the food quality deteriorated one day, they just put the blame on the cooks or me without realizing how difficult it is for the mess manager to guide the cooks, setting the menus, and most important of all checking the meal rate which they all want at minimal.
Without missing a single breakfast and feeding them twice with chicken, twice with egg, one meal with fish, and vegetable on other days every week, and finally when I declared that the daily expenditure for a student is Rs. 39.9 for the month of July, I could see a warm smile in their faces. I consider it a social service executed with dedication with my best ability. After one hectic month, in times scolding the casuals and cooks, in times exchanging heated words with fellow students, I was tired so with the mess more or less revived I handed over the task to another person. “Please don’t let us feed on Maggie in the coming month,” I requested the new manager. “Else I will make noise this time.”