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And Still They Talk Of Righteousness

By Aditi Munot

23 February, 2009

Everyday, each one of us commits several sins. But no one wants to take notice of or acknowledge our mistakes and fallacies. We are comfortable in the cocoon of our righteousness. We are happy to believe our goodness, our correctness, the lack of evil deeds on our part. We all need to take a closer look at ourselves and our daily actions. We need to be more honest with ourselves.

Just look at the amount of water people living in cities waste. People get their houses washed and their verandas washed and their gardens watered every other day in the name of cleanliness and hygiene and beauty. Washed! The planet is parched and starving for water and rich urban families waste thousands of litres of water every day. The tap is kept running while doing the dishes and rinsing the clothes in every household. Everyday, lakhs of litres of wasted water runs down drains and gutters when young children in villages carry pots of water on their heads in the scorching sun for kilometres together.

It is no different when it come to electricity. Most urbanites forget to turn off the light, the fan, the boiler, the air conditioner. Its just about, ‘I can afford to pay for it’. Half the country does not get electricity, and of those who do get it, most face power cuts for several hours a day. But the privileged few can afford to waste! They are happy with their malls and multiplexes and hoardings. They feel they deserve it while others spend their lives in darkness.

The same is true for almost anything consumed by urbanites. Dams are a necessity for their water supply and electricity generation. So what if thousands of villages are submerged and millions of people displaced and rendered homeless. Fuel is their birth right- for a long drive maybe or a road trip. Who cares if thousand of species are being driven to extinction and the planet is boiling. Diamonds are an urban girl’s best friends. Let it be that generations of people have been forced to give their blood to this trade. Nike, Gap, Banana Republic are a statement of urban lifestyle. Forget about the women and children who toil away their lives in inhumane sweatshops. Wider roads, flyovers, infrastructure are basic amenities a city needs. So what if the millions of trees felled are hundreds of years old and a necessity for the planet. Plastic is the most convenient option created by mankind. Leave aside the fact that it takes over 10000 years for it to decompose. Buying more stuff out of sheer boredom and throwing away things for the need of variety and change is the way of life. It does not matter that this accounts for unnecessary consumption of resources and piling of wastes.

The list can go on forever. Be it food, water, energy, clothing, houses, jewellery, infrastructure and development the wastage, plunder and greedy consumption just does not stop. And these very people talk about being good citizens, good human beings, aware and educated individuals. These are the pundits who talk about good and evil, right and wrong, responsibilities and duties. Who are these people fooling? Themselves or the whole wide world? When, when will these people get out of their self created righteousness and enter reality?

We need to stop committing these crimes against humanity, against all species, against the planet. We need to understand and accept that everybody has an equal right to live and an equal right to all amenities. We need to understand no one is or should be allowed to be more privileged to live at the cost of the lives of so many others.

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