Apparently, Britain plans to make ‘art of queuing part of the citizenship test for immigrants’. It is no joke either. Apparently they feel that ‘lot of tension is caused by immigrants not understanding that they must wait in line for services rather than barging to the front’.
Not really surprising, isn’t it? How many times have we wished that people queued properly in India, instead of barging in, or trying to nudge their way to the front. Any way of getting ahead. People on two-wheelers trying to wedge into that tiny bit of space between two cars in an effort to reach their destination one second earlier. But does all this really work? I have been stuck in traffic so many times, because at traffic lights, people try to get ahead in so many ways that it takes a while for the traffic to start flowing and just as it starts, the lights change again. Even people getting into trains just barge in, without waiting for those trying to get off the train. Instead of poking and nudging their way ahead, if all of us just queued and waited, life would be so much more peaceful for all of us, wouldn’t it?
I remember the first time I saw the railway reservation queue in Bangalore – nice and orderly. After Jamshedpur, it was a nice change. And just because it was orderly, there were no raised tempers, fights or irritated tellers. And I do think it was much faster even though the number of people queuing was much more. I have no idea how it is now – but 8 or 9 years back – it was wonderful!
In Britain, I have seen people queuing up nicely for so many things. I wonder what makes people behave differently? Is it the attitude that is different or just that when a system gets put in place – people tend to follow it? Is it simply the lack of awareness that makes people behave in this way? What do you think?