There are many characteristics of our behaviour that make people give us the title ‘Ugly Indian’. It is not that we are physically ugly, it is our behaviour that is ugly. Some of our habits make it unpleasant for people to live with us. As we make progress in science, technology and industry. It is important that we also learn to become more cultured and ‘civilized’. Let us look at some negative behaviour which should be avoided.
You might have seen Leonardo Di Caprio in the film Titanic teaching Kate Winslet to spit. That is put into the film precisely to show the difference between the low and high culture of the two of them. Spitting is very unhealthy, dirty habit.
Spitting spreads disease. We should spit only into the washbasin or the toilet. Grown up people chew paan, and make our offices and public spaces horrible to look at. It is even more disgusting when people such phlegm from their nose into their mouth and then spit it out.
Another habit that betrays our low culture is that of urinating in public.
Cultured people perform this essential bodily function only in a toilet or a urinal, not on the roadside.
It is considered bad manners to scratch ourselves in public, if we feel itchy, it means we do not bathe or was often enough, or that we have some skin disease.
Picking the nose is another dirty and disgusting habit. We may do that in private, but not within view of people.
Biting of nails is done only by little children. People who are nervous or are mentally disturbed may also do this, going to the extent of biting till their fingertips bleed. The proper way to deal with long nails is to cut them with a nail cutter.
We are a big country with a large population. We often have to stand in queues for various purposes. It is an ‘Ugly Indian’ habit to jump queues and try to get our services before those who have arrived before us and have been waiting for their turn.
Similar to this ugly habit is another –that is forcing someone to serve us while he is still dealing with someone else. We find officers trying to serve three or more persons at the same time, not satisfying any one of them and wasting the time of everyone.
We have a very ugly type of curiosity. We read the letters/chats of other people, listen to their telephone calls, overhear conversations, look through their personal diaries, rush to watch fights between people or to look at people injured in accidents, etc. Cultured people have better self- control and respect for the privacy of others.
We seldom say ‘please’, ‘sorry’ or ‘thanks’. Frequent use of these words is a habit of gentlemen and ladies.
Our table manners are also poor. We chew with our mouth open, put our personal spoon into the common plate, we burp and slurp, pick our teeth, choose the best part of the food for ourselves, take too much of an item we like leaving nothing of it for others, etc.
While travelling in a group in public vehicles like buses and trains, we shout, we sing and run around, disturbing our co-passengers.
We litter everywhere –buses, trains, roads, picnic spots, etc. Even where there are garbage bins in our neighborhood there is more rubbish outside it than inside. Educated people throw their waste in waste baskets and leave a place as clean as they found it.
We scratch our names on monuments and draw things on walls of toilets. We have no respect for public property. We have no respect for women. We indulge in eve teasing and passing comments on girls.
All these ugly habits of ours make the title ‘Ugly Indian’ appropriate for us. We need to develop good manners if we are to be seen as an educated, cultured and civilized people.