A citizen is not one who stays in a city. A citizen can even be one who stays in a village or in slums. One who is a member of the society — of whatever status, is a ‘citizen.
As a social being every citizen has his responsibilities towards the society. Every society wants its citizens to be good, and it is the goodness of the citizens which makes the society good.
History tells how during the reign of , people did not need to lock their doors. No thefts would be committed; no robberies ever did occur. May be that it was due to the stern administration and strict policing but it does reflect the nature of the society. All men were law-abiding and law fearing. There was peace and comfort.
Today in the same India, every morning the newspaper’s front page news are there of dacoity, murder, kidnapping, and frauds. This picture of the society reflects the character of the citizens. To what low level have they fallen.
Just as to be healthy, every part of the body has to be healthy and in good condition. Similarly for the society to be good, every citizen has to be well-mannered, honest in his dealings, hard working in his pursuits.
What is meant by being a good citizen? The answer is not far to seek. A good citizen is one who is humble, polite to others, well-mannered, respectful to the feelings Of others. ‘Do not do unto others what you do not want to be done to you’ — this is a mental dictate that governs a good citizen. What hurts you can hurt others too, therefore do not do anything to others which if done to you may hurt you. A society which works on these lines shall have citizens following this rule and that is good citizenship.
Everyone wants to have his personal freedom. But personal freedom does not give one the licence to do whatever one pleases. If you have the right to enjoy personal freedom others also have the right to enjoy the similar freedom. The freedom of one has to be accommodated with the freedom of others. Mutual adjustments alone can bring about peace in the society.
Therefore, a good citizen has always to take care of the interests of others. Neighbourly relations means caring for one another; helping others in the time of their need and be helped by others in your time of need.
It is such a society that everyone wants to live in. But to make the society so liveable every citizen must contribute his ‘goodness’.