Indian Railway – an ailing old man

Indian Railways is the oldest mode of transport available in India. It was first introduced in the year 1853. So in its more than 150 year existence how much has really changed. The progress of Indian railways has occured in snail’s pace. Modernisation of railways is long overdue.

The problems and challenges doged dy the Indian railways are aplenty. First and foremost the trains are never on time. In extreme cases they are late by over a day. Then the food too can sometimes be horrible. But the worst of them all is its toilets. It is for this reason that I hate travelling by rail. I can’t even imagine how the railways can still use the open toilets it has. How come we have not changed it even at this age when we are talking of modernisation and development.

The speed of the trains are also unbelievably slow. When everything in this world is trying to move faster and faster the Indian Railway seem to be frozen and detached from the rest.  When US,Europe,Japan are moving in bullet trains we are still in the electric train age that too in just one third of the entire rail network. The diesel locomotives of Indian railways are the modern bullock carts. The fastest trains in India Rajadhani and Duranto travel at 140 km/h are old laggards compared to the bullet trains that can touch speeds above 450 km/h. The distance Rajadhani covers in 17 hours between Kolkata and Delhi can be covered by just 6 hours in bullet trains.

The safety of railways is a major concern. With derailment happening in some place or the other the rail traffic is risky business. The signaling system used dates back to pre independence era. Then people travelling on roof tops of trains and clinging on the doors are also safety risks. This happens due to the non availability of seats. It is indeed very difficult to find seats in trains even if the bookings start before three months. This tends to show that more trains are required for carrying such a large Indian population. The fares in the railways are the lowest which is why it is the most preferred mode of transport for the middle class and the poor. You won’t find even an inch of space in general unreserved compartments especially in the Delhi-Kolkata route.

For Indian Railways to survive we need some nouveau and bright ideas. But more importantly a political will for the projects to get implemented. Railways which is under tremendous loss needs to be revived. Dinesh Trivedi who had some vision for the railways has been shown the back door. Now the future of railways is in the hands of political parties who are trying to play politics over it. But if we want to boast ourselves to be developed country this is not the condition the railway should be in. For aam aadmi the flight rates are really high. But when you see the pathetic conditions of the Indian Railway I am very much ready to give that extra money for a pleasant journey.



Mayawati’s statues and its future

So the much awaited elections are over. UP was a surprise not for the result but for the huge mandate SP has got. So after five years its time for Mayawati to leave. Looks like her  statues and corruption has not gone down well with the voters of UP. So now since she has left what can be done with her statues.

Lets look at each party’s perspective. The SP which is in power is accused of being a goonda raaj party. The SP can use her statues to hide their collated money, arms and ammunitions for their hooligans. With Mayawati busy with her political analysts to attack SP on policy matters she may not be bothered about what is happening in her statue parks. So it can be used as  a treasure park for the SP goondas to prevail. With police protection everything is safe. Now Rahul Gandhi can truly say that Haathi paisa kha gaya.

For BJP their one and only agenda is to see Ram Mandir constructed. If Ram Mandir is constructed then BJP leaders and their supporters have achieved everything in life. The Ram Mandir in Ayodhya seems like a long way ahead they can ask for another Ram Mandir in the place of these statues. All the Mayawati’s statues should be demolished and Ram Mandir should be constructed. That is what India needs at this moment.

But what can the Congress do? A simple thing is to place a statue of Indira Gandhi in front of the park and rename it as Indira Gandhi park. Renaming is in fact best done by Congress after their first family. They are unbeatable at least in that department

But can Mayawati sit quiet? What is she going to do with the statues now? Does she have any plan? Lets just wait and watch her political moves now after such a thumping defeat and with a young Akhilesh as CM

The state of being denied

Those who have gone through my twitter account in the past few days would know that I’m having some issues with my room mate. I want to change the room but the hostel warden is not in favour of this idea. I went really mad thinking that I’ve been denied of a room that is available but to the stubborness of the warden. But then I paused for a moment and explored the surroundings only to find out that denial is something that people experience in their day to day life.

Everyday we hear stories of how people are denied justice due to a host of reasons. They go to court for justice only to be given dates. The agony continues and it can be tough if you are fighting it alone. Justice delayed is justice denied is not just a rhetoric but the reality for many who fight against the system.

Victims are denied of their compensation. Tragedy happens to them or their loved ones but then they have to face heartless officials who are least bothered about this. Compensation cannot change what happened to them but at least it can give hope of a better future. But for many these compensation packages doesn’t reach them.

In many places women are denied of their basic rights because she is a woman. Women can’t go out, they have to dress in a particular way, they are raped, they are the victims of domestic violence, they are denied of their rights in every turn of their life.

In our country where caste is given so much importance many people since they are from lower caste are denied of even their basic rights. They are not allowed to work, study or enter certain places of worship. Their caste is a stigma for them.

Now with the rich and poor divide increasing to be poor can be very difficult. If you are poor you can’t get proper education, no health care facilities, no basic facilities like water or sanitation, government programmes hardly reach you and the life can be really tough. The onus is on the government to make sure that such things don’t happen.

Everyone must have experienced some denial in their life. But a more relevant question to ask is will we deny others of their basic needs due to our stubborness and laziness? Everyone has the right to lead a peaceful life and we are no one to deny them of their needs.