Guarantee sans responsibility

  • Khushwinder Singh Surya, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Jan 08, 2014 09:44 IST

I went to the mechanic who had repaired my washing machine one month ago and told him that it was not functioning properly. But he was not interested in my complaint. I reminded him about the guarantee and promise he had made to me after the repair.


He replied rudely and expressed his helplessness in keeping his word. I asked him why he gave one-year guarantee if he himself was not satisfied with the repair. But he was in no mood to compensate me or feel sorry.

I realised that we Indians have a habit of promising guarantee without knowing its meaning. After that heated exchange, I noted in my routine life that every one is interested in guarantee without responsibility. Shopkeepers do it, but they never take their defective goods back.

Mechanics also do it, but they never bother about customers' complaints. Big companies give their customer-care numbers for complaints about their products, but don't bother to respond.

Why do we do this? My cousin, who lives in London, told me about the value of guarantee in the UK. He says the British are very responsible. They always keep their promise. They are quite transparent in their work and behaviour. They never tell lies. My cousin called them innocent souls.

It was a shocking fact for me. We always claim that our culture is richer than that of the West and accuse Westerners of spoiling our culture, but perhaps reality is different. It is true that the British exploited and divided our country for their own interests, but during that time, we faced them unitedly. We were united, true and responsible when the British were here, but what happened after they left India?

There is no point in blaming the West. We have become so irregular. One can find this irregularity in our deals, promises, driving etc. Where did we get this corrupt culture from? I thought for a long time for the answer. The answer is: 'From our corrupt political class'.

Yes, this is the right and appropriate answer. Our politicians always make big promises during the elections, but never keep them afterwards. They know very well how to break promises. People always learn from their leaders. Now, our people have also got infected with this disease.

Our corrupt political class did what the British could not do. They (the British) looted only our money but our politicians spoiled the whole nation. They gave birth to this irregular, irresponsible culture.

Only God knows when and who will make our country free from the clutches of these 'Brown sahibs'. I can't give any guarantee about that.

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