In Defense of Unpunctuality

My class section is C. Its a quite interesting section. All the student of this section can be categorized into three ‘elite’ groups. The first group consist of those people who come to class half an hour (+,- few minutes) before the scheduled time; the second group consist of those people who come just 5 minutes (+- few minutes) before the exact time and the third is the group which consist of students who always come late in the class, the time range varies from five minutes to half an hour. In addition to this there is an other out-caste group that is situated on the periphery of those three groups. This group is made up by those people who are alternatively falling in the any of the above mentioned three groups, trying to acquire the membership of any of the three ‘elite’ groups and moving upward on the ladder of punctuality! Thus these are the people who do not have the permanent citizenship of any of the three countries (here i am assuming that one group = one country)! And i conjecture that the same categorization is applicable to other section as well.

My real intention here is not the categorization of people but to raise the issue of punctuality and unpunctuality. In our day to day life we often come across people who are unpunctual and I also think that we all must have been unpunctual in our life at some point of time. The general notion about the unpunctuality is very negative. Here my concern is not to go into the moral debate of punctuality and unpunctuality, but to just put some arguments in favor unpunctuality. Why the existence of punctuality is very much contingent on the existence of unpunctuality itself.

It would be better to start with the basic definition of unpunctuality. Unpunctuality is the ingrained habit of regularly failing to fulfill people’s expectations regarding the specific time at which certain of our actions will take place.

But the above definition is not free from the shortcomings. As we have studied in the educational theory paper and educational psychology paper that something we are not sure is not knowledge and we should not trust that and if we expect that by providing some stimulus to a particular object, it would act in a pre-determined manner is very deterministic.

Thus, whenever we (read as sir, ma’am, or anybody) expect that someone or everyone would or should be on time, it is merely based on an assumption (not certain, without any evidence) that people would act in a specified way. So here we can infer that they think that we are the pre-programmed robots who would always be on time, which is in contradiction to our free will (humanistic approach of psychology emphasize on free will and independency of human being-recall the psychology practical class). But we are the Indian social animals! How can we always be on time?

The second point is that the very existence of punctuality depends on the presence of unpunctuality. There is a complementary relationship between the two e.g. good vs bad, wrong vs right. All these exist relative to each other. There is existence of unpunctual person and that’s why, who are punctual considered good and praised. Thus unpunctuality is necessary if punctuality is to exist.

About anandroy

I am a restless soul who likes to do anything which pushes me towards equilibrium. In particular I like travelling, reading, debating and reflecting on current socio-political situation of the country and the world.


  1. I could see you are in the process of teacher educator than teacher(!!!)

    Liked by 2 people

  2. what’s the quote…………

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Un-punctuality also gives an aura of importance (especially in our Indian society).

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is very true. There is a famous incident associated with Rajesh Khanna. A director asked him, sir please come studio on time and in reply he said – time per babu/clerk aate hain, star nahi !

      Liked by 2 people

  4. ha ha ha, yes we are all punctual in maintaining our unpunctuality.


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