To commemorate the 70th year of the adoption of the Constitution, the sarkar is planning a nation-wide campaign aimed at educating the aam janta about the fundamental duties enjoined upon citizens. To this end, power point presentations will be made in schools to teach students as to what these duties entail.
Two nursery school students, a boy and a girl, both aged 4, excitedly discussing this latest sarkari initiative.
Girl: I think it’s a very good thing the sarkar is doing. As the citizens of tomorrow, we must learn to do all the duties that the sarkar wants us to do.
Boy: That’s right. And the list of duties that the sarkar expects us to do is very long, which seems to keep growing longer and longer.
Girl: I know what you mean. As fewer and fewer parents want to send their children to sarkari schools — which often don’t have text books or even teachers — it’s the duty of the citizens to send their kids to private schools, like the one you and I go to, and which charge huge fees, which our parents are duty-bound to pay.
Boy: Well, no one said being a citizen was cheap.
Girl: Being a citizen isn’t cheap. And it’s growing more and more expensive. Apart from paying huge fees to private schools, people when they fall sick have to pay huge fees to private hospitals, with rat-infested sarkari hospitals being what they are, no one wants to go to them if they can help it.
Boy: And our duties as citizens don’t end with private schools and hospitals. It’s also the duty of the citizens to arrange their own bijli-paani, because sarkari bijli-paani can’t be relied on, what with power breakdowns and water shortages.
Girl: I know. So it’s our duty as citizens to arrange our own private bijli-paani through costly diesel gensets and equally costly borewells and water tankers.
Boy: That’s not the end of our duties as citizens. As sarkari law and order isn’t always on hand, what with more and more crimes being committed, specially against women, citizens have to do a double duty to ensure their safety by living in private gated communities, like your family and my family do, and employing our own private security guards.
Girl: And because sarkari public transport is overcrowded and unsafe for passengers, particularly women passengers, it’s the duty of citizens to get themselves their own private transport by way of cars, SUVs, or two-wheelers.
Boy: Which brings us to another duty that citizens must do. Thanks to all those private cars, SUVs, and two-wheelers, and their emissions, there is so much pollution that in order to breathe, citizens have to perform the duty of buying face masks and home air purifiers. And who knows, the time may come when it becomes the duty of citizens to equip themselves with their own private oxygen tanks to avoid pollution.
Girl: Wow. The list of the duties citizens must do, because of the duties the sarkar can’t or doesn’t do, seems endless.
Boy: It is endless. Because on top of all the other duties they have, citizens have the duty to repeatedly vote for sarkars which, all these years after Independence, still expect citizens to do for themselves what the sarkar can’t do for them.
Girl: I can hardly wait for the sarkar to teach us what more duties citizens can do.
Boy: Don’t worry. I bet the sarkar is even now working on figuring out what extra duties it can find for us to do. That’s the one duty it does do…
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