Law abiding citizens We, being the citizen of a tiny Himalayan state should always strive to build the idea of inclusivity and disdain the idea of divisiveness irrespective of caste, community and political ideology.

Sikkim is one of the peaceful states is always talked about for its peace, tranquillity and proper management of the system throughout the country.

We imagine, we project and we vision our ideas of a utopian society. We always want our towns and villages to be unblemished from dirt and stink and above all, we want our place to become what we deserve for.
But amongst other things, let’s ask a question to ourselves on what we have to do to build an inclusive society and become a law-abiding citizen no matter how perfect our state is.

  • Ask yourself: “Can I wait in the line and stop at a red light, avoid incessant honking and refrain from parking in a No-Parking zone?”
  • Ask yourself if you can forbid smoking and spitting in public places?
  • Ask yourself and imagine the consequences of if you become spellbound and encouraged by the party in power to such an extent that you start exploiting the situation and tweaking undue benefits in your favour, which is meant for public?
  • Ask yourself if you are nourishing a bribe giving culture in government offices when your work is delayed or undone instead of confronting it?
  • Ask yourself if you can abide by the norms prescribed by the government on the burning of firecrackers and stop using it during any celebration to contribute a bit for a clean environment?
  • Above all, one important question to ask yourself – are you raising a legitimate voice loud enough against wrongdoers and bringing it to the notice of the concerned authorities and inspiring others in pursuing the things you are great at?

These questions are worth asking and answering in affirmative; among many aspects of modern law-abiding society, Sikkimese aspire and adore the culture of Switzerland and other European countries, but do not follow its values and ethics. Instead, sometimes we tend to obfuscate rather than illuminate the things around and create a philosophy out of a term as vague as “aich bhaye halcha”, a phrase which is nothing but a euphemism for corruption. Handling a problem with an “aich bhaye halcha” approach has always put our state into regression and disdain.

No matter where we are, there exists a clear constitutional duty, legal liability and moral responsibility to ensure due implementation of lawful orders and to maintain basic rule of law i.e., every citizen should respect the law and must stand in conformity with the prescribed rules. The same has been espoused by our Constitutional principle enshrined under Article 51A which prescribes 11 Fundamental duties and is very well enjoined in every citizen to so direct their individual and the collective activities so that the nation constantly rises to the higher level of endeavour and achievement. Let’s not compromise our integrity and always stand in conformity with the rule and let’s seek a change from within, rather than just hobnobbing only with the revolution but instead seek an evolution from within.

By Pramit Chettri. The author is an Advocate who hails from Malbassey, Budang village under Soreng Sub-Division, West Sikkim and is currently practising law before the Supreme Court of India and Delhi High Court. He can be contacted via his email Id pramitchhetri@gmail.com

NB: Views/Opinions expressed in the article or write up is purely of the author or writer. For any queries or contradictions, the author can be contacted in his/her email id.

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