Shall we linger till death tears us apart before the penalty fits the crimes of drink and reckless driving, rock throwing at cars, armed burglary with or without actual violence, or any other offenses undermining our existence directly or indirectly for that matter?
It would be hard to meet any resident, citizen or visitor today who would claim not to be wary of experiencing a potential abuse or danger of any sort whether inside or outside. It simply does not work to single out what goes viral only, or to resort, singly, to hardcore punishment or, helplessly, an outright ban – seemingly our favourite response. Above all, simple-minded binaries and the pa-mwa-li-sa game must be invariably shut down.
Subconscious nudges designed to change our attitudes anywhere tend to be more efficient than awareness campaigns. For Biju Dominic, CEO of behaviour architecture firm Final Mile, even a nudge in the form of a change of name can work. “When you call it the Mumbai-Pune ‘Expressway’, it gives people the impression that the road is meant to be sped on.”
There have been a few voices flagging the coming mess in the wake of the global rat race since the 1980s. While some countries have managed to contain the overwhelming drawbacks, we have miserably failed. The very foundation of any functioning society, the rule of law, has been weakening and most among those expected to uphold the spirit of our institutions and set the conducive example have flunked.