In December 2004, Orissamatters had conducted an investigation into the fabric of secularism that was on the path of erosion, thanks to the religious color with which our state buildings were being painted. The usual administrative rationale then offered was that the images of Gods/Godesses were meant to preserve the beauty of the structures.

After more than two years, in a new exclusive article now, Kautuk Mitra reports for Orissamatters. Appears like, this time, the dismal state of administration requires some divine interventions to save its own face.

By Kautuk Mitra
For Orissa Matters

Call it the administrative rule to control spitting here and there or using the God-fearing human instinct, the administrators of Cuttack have found an all new way to carry out cleanliness mission. It was amazing and shocking at the same time. Lord Jagannatha, Jesus, Muhammad or Ramakrishna Paramahamsa portraits are placed on the walls which have been badly used by common folks as spittoons. Spitting on the God’s face is something really can’t be imagined of. Did the administration think in this way to stop the menace? What do common mass think of it? Has this really been effective?

Wherever you go to any place of Cuttack whither you go to Cuttack collectorate, S.C.B Medical College, Revenue office, any Banks, ATM’s or any public place you will be aghast at the spits thrown with élan on the ceramic tiles of various Gods & Goddesses. When a higher official was asked regarding the matter, he took no time to give a clean chit to the issue. He profusely explained that finding no other way the best tool sort out to prohibit this bad habit was turning the abandoned corner into a holy sentiment. But when the question regarding the effectiveness was put forward he avoided with a simple smile.

Dinesh Kumar Behera, a Public Relation & Advertisement student said, “I felt very much ashamed when a gentleman who had come from Haridwar had questioned me why do you people place god in such a dirty place? Don’t you people give any respect to God? If not then please don’t hurt the sentiments of those people who belief in God.” And Dinesh hardly could answer the person with a positive feedback because for people spitting on God’s face was hardly an issue. In turn Dinesh stood as a sorry-figure and felt that the administration is simply misusing human sentiments and the consequence is a boomerang on the authority’s part.

Kaushik Mitra a business man of Cuttack shared one his experience that “When any important meeting was organized and when any ministers or any senior officers visited these places at that moment they clean those ceramic tiles or covered it. Just like on 13.December 2006 when the Revenue Divisional Commissioner visited the collectorate at that time the collector covered those ceramic tiles with beautiful flower pots.”

Mr. Sambit Samal, a local resident pointed out, “To keep the premises clean the government can put up close circuit camera to catch the wrong doers and can impose a heavy penalty on them.” Ranjeeta Swain, a student of MLIS, gave a direct solution. “If dustbins and spittoons are placed in the compound at every corner of the staircase and in the corridors, then no one will spit hither and thither. The moment he will think of doing so, a spittoon will be ready to help him out.”

Dr. Arun Dash a political Science lecture of N.S.M.City college has put forward an interesting question, “Just as the administration has made a conscious effort by putting up a notice board outside the gate of the collectorate that no vehicle except that of the collector will be allowed to be parked inside the gate, in a similar manner if such notice boards are put up near all those offices asking people to stop the nuisance of spitting, then a change can be surely warranted.”

You too can opine on the issue and come up with effective alternatives to check this nuisance and also protect the philosophy of Indian culture and tradition. But it’s high time to act and stop spitting anywhere you feel like to help the government function smoothly. Had you been responsible then the Government wouldn’t have taken this step. Though the utility has been put at stake with this solution, help the government to devise a better one.

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