- Benign and sympathetic
- Caring for other’s rights
- Duties performed by a good citizen
- His respect for the laws
- Well-wisher of the people
- A tolerant Muslim
A good citizen is one who is not a source of nuisance for others. His aim of life is directed towards removing the hurdles, which impede the free action of those about him. He tries to avoid what may cause unpleasantness, uneasiness and chagrin in the minds of his companions. He tries his best to put everyone at his ease and to make everyone feel at home. His attitude towards life is “Live and let others live”. He always acts upon the golden principle, “Respect and be respected”. A good citizen never thinks of making an encroachment upon the rights of other citizens. He looks with an eye of reverence upon that rightfully belongs to others. He lives in perfect harmony with all the inhabitants of the streets. He never tries to pick quarrels over trivial and petty affairs; never insults his companions and never assaults anybody wantonly. He does not harbour the feelings of ill-will and animosity towards his neighbor. He is not like Lord Byron, whose motto according to Macaulay was, “hate his neighbour and to love his neighbor’s wife”. A person who sets fire to his neighbor’s house because he is jealous of his enormous wealth of who cannot tolerate the success of his neighbor’s son in any department of life does not deserve to be called a true citizen.
A good citizen has many duties to perform. The first and foremost duty of a citizen is loyalty to the country of his birth. At the critical juncture, when the clarion call demands sacrifice for the country, a good citizen never hesitates to sacrifice to his own life. The sacrifice of human life is the fairest offering at the alter of one’s country when its freedom is being jeopardized by exotic aggression. Truly the blood of heroes and martyrs is the seed of a nation. One should even be prepared to spill his blood rather than bring a blot upon the fair name of his country.
A good citizen must have great respect for the laws and institutions of his country. He should have no sympathy with crime, which is, at best a sheer breach of law. He may consider some law imperfect, unwise and even unjust. He may use all constitutional means in his power, such as public speaking raising a protest against them in the process, and use of his vote to get such laws reformed or repealed. But, so long as, a law is a law, he must obey it.
The good citizen must be a friend of law and order. He must strain every nerve in putting down crimes and eradicate the forces of disorder and disruption that ravage the country. He must assist the Government in bringing law-breakers to book. Criminals must be made to feel that they have, not only the police but also all respectable citizen against them.
A true citizen is not only the well-wisher of the people among whom he lives but he is also the sympathizer of the whole humanity. It would be wrong to suppose that a good citizen is not disturbed to see people suffering from famine, epidemic and dogs of war in the world. A good citizen is never self-centered, never fanatic, never prejudistic, and never narrow-minded in his loyalties and outlook. He does not consider himself to be a member of one petty society. He always regards him as an inhabitant of the globe, and a member of that society which comprehends the whole human race.
A true citizen is not a bigot. He may belong to any community or creed, he is never jealous of those who profess a different creed, if he is a Muslim he is wise enough to see that a Christian is as perfect gentleman as any other member of his own faith. If he is a Christian, he respects all Muslims as he does the members of his own community. He is always above communal considerations and jealousies. He is always anxious that different communities should live like peaceful and intimate friends. He is born enemy of communal rivalry and of communal competition. When passions run high, he never makes matters worse by instigating people to fight among himself, but advises them gently to settle and sink their differences, to forget and forgive. It is never his ambition to fish in the trouble water, he is for the “olive branch” rather than for the apple of discord.
Lastly, a true citizen is always loyal to his city. He is ever willing to serve it like a faithful soldier. If an enemy invades his city, he is the first to lay down his life for it. If his city is devastated by famine, flood or fire, he is the first to volunteer his services to the distracted humanity. Like Wordsworth, he is moved to pity when he hears the “still and music of humanity.” He is never tired of doing a good turn to his fellow-citizens. He is always anxious that the inhabitants of his city should be considered as the most cultured and refined people to be met with anywhere. He knows that to help other to achieve perfection is to help him in reality for to make the whole world cultured is to increase and hasten our own happiness. Thus the good citizen never to leave others in the lurch-he always carries other along with him in his march towards perfection.