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The Uncommon Common Civic Sense that Indians Lack and Need to Develop

CIVIC SENSE means social ethics. It’s examples include keeping roads, streets and public places clean. It reflects the actual personality and shows the responsibility of any person. It encompasses unspoken norms of society that help it run smoothly without someone tripping on somebody else’s toes.

With this definition stated, I would like everyone reading this post ask themselves…. have you really witnessed some “Civic Sense” around you lately?

For most of you I’m sure the answer is a NO. And for some of you out there, I’m sure you never really tried to give a fudge about what “Civic Sense” means. Civic sense is basically derived after sugarcoating the word Common sense. Civic sense could be something as simple as not spitting on roads or turning off the tap so that you help in saving some water. Unfortunately such common sense is not very common as you may have already witnessed.

On an average I witness at least 2-3 people spitting on the roads every day on my journey from home to college. If you do the math that makes it about 14-21 people every week which makes it round about 42-63 people a month. Not going too deep into math but that could be a bucket or two load of spit right there. (Trying to control my puke and still managing to keep writing)


Another example of “Civic sense” would be, firstly understanding the meaning of the word “queue” and secondly..actually implementing it when necessary. Petrol Pumps. A place where you almost always get cut in the queue that you have been so patiently following for the past hour….and then realize that your queue doesn’t even exist anymore coz a new queue has just been made right next to yours. Now if that doesn’t grind your gears I don’t know what else does. I honestly have witnessed cows and goats follow a better queue on road than people do in places like petrol pumps.


Looking at the chaos you sometimes wonder…what kind of an important executive meeting does the topi waala uncle in front of you have to attend?  Or are the people haunted by the phobia that petrol is limited and it’ll soon be over if you don’t hurry up to the front of the line?

Traffic signals nowadays gives me the feeling of  being in an episode of Need For Speed with drivers glaring at each other through their tinted cars and helmets, reving up their engines as loud as possible (with the rickshaws being the loudest). Where common sense or civic sense tells you to switch off your engines at the stop signal, people rev it up all the way up to the final seconds of take off or the green signal. And specially, the women drivers in India!


What follows after that is panic and chaos on the road where people avoid bumping into each other while at the same time trying to cross the imaginary finish line accompanied by some more imaginary hot girls at the end of the road.

Civic sense for some is a relative term. If the person next to you shows some “uncivic” behavior by (for example) littering, spitting on the road, apparently you can do it too. That’s what logic is all about right?… WRONG! All you need to do is look to your side, there are chances you might just find a dustbin around………….somewhere.

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One comment

  1. Its really helpful article on lack of civic sense in India…by teaching small things in daily life they can be a better human being..

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