ArpitGarg's Weblog

An opinion of the world around me

Posts Tagged ‘general

The Apathy of General Class

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This weekend I was travelling by train. I had a slight argument with train attendant. According to him, “Bedsheets don’t belong to railways, they belong to me”. I didn’t completely understand why he said so; have raised this query with railways, which I know would go unanswered.

Since rail budget is round the corner, I would like to touch upon a topic that has been neglected year after year. The General Class compartment. According to a news report around 2.3cr people travel by trains daily. Out of them around 1.5cr travel by General Class. Tectonic 65%, around the same as total voter percentage last General Elections.

Whilst train fares have been increased time and again, the situation of General Class Compartment has not improved. Wooden seats, People fighting a war to get inside. All of you would have seen long lines, manned by policemen, waiting to get inside the train. Those lines are to get inside the General Compartment.

Whenever you feel things are not going well in your life, imagine the apathy of people in General Compartment, you will stop complaining. 65% figure does not mirror Govt.’s priorities. I see hardly 3-4 General Compartments whenever I travel.

I would have expected 65% Compartments to be of General Class in trains, Alas! It’s not the case. Well, Democracy works differently in theory and in practice.

train

Written by arpitgarg

February 25, 2015 at 3:18 am

Posted in General/Society

Tagged with , , ,

General Dyer @ Ramlila Ground

with 6 comments

After an unusually long Saturday, I made a last dash to my TV remote, before going to sleep. Little did I know that sleep would be the last thing on my mind soon.

A betaal lookalike yoga guru, who has raised hell about black money, prevalent corruption and a long-dead system, with a tinge of political ambition, was about to be turned a martyr.

A veteran leader from the party in power stated, “We are not afraid of Baba. Had we been afraid, we would have jailed him long ago”. The relevance of his remark came haunting back with the sad scenes from the capital.

Sending in Police and Rapid Action Force at dead of the night to lathi-charge sleeping innocent common men, reeks of colonial hitlerocracy. When I first saw the movie, Rang De Basanti, the scene where peaceful candle light protest was crushed forcefully. I was sure such thing could never happen in my country. China perhaps, but not in India.

What has happened today has shamed me. How can I cite General Dyer now, when Jalianwaala Baag has been re-enacted in Delhi. Lathi-charge, tear gas and burning the stage are akin to the gunshots in today’s democratic times.

Thousands of people who have come from across the country, where were they supposed to go at the dead of the night? Why not do the same operation during the day? Tear gas is to be used on rioters and miscreants, not on peaceful sleeping people.

If I can’t even protest peacefully against the issues that are haunting me, what should I do? Should I become a naxalite? Should I become a terrorist? Should I hang myself? Should I leave my motherland and live a life of an orphan?

Yes, I am corrupt. But I support any such popular movements against corruption. Even if it’s political then so be it. Coz quite frankly, I am simply fed up of being corrupt.

You are not razing down Adarsh. You have not realized a penny out of 2G. You have not brought back even an cent of black money stashed abroad. But you do sent a 2000 strong force to raze down the shivir.

Baba has been extern-ed out of Delhi. If tomorrow I will raise my voice against corruption, Will I be extern-ed too? I think I will quote from a famous movie, Go to hell DK Bose.

Smell of blood

with 3 comments

Chukk…Chukk…Chukk…Chukk…Thud!…Silence…Realization…Rush…Bachao…Bachao…Wait…Relief… Compensation…Chukk…Chukk…Chukk…Chukk

If one asks you, how many train mishaps took place in the country last month? You wouldn’t be able to answer, leave aside naming the trains involved. Like most other Indians, I am a regular train traveler and a keen one too. Even amidst the stats of two accidents taking place daily, neither do I change my travel plans, quiet frankly, nor can I afford to.

Only when it hits you close enough that you come to feel it. A train rammed into another during the heavy fog. I read the news and turned the page over as routine. It’s only when I found out that a dear friend of mine was on the same train that I became anxious. Now he is a guy who is least bit affected by such things. “These things happen”, is his attitude. But something he experienced that day forced him to change his outlook. A newfound respect for life, perhaps. He wouldn’t admit this, so no point drooling over.

According to him a real accident site is nothing that we witness in movies and quite far from the well shot clips that run through news channels. The sense of shock can’t be explained. It’s the state of cluelessness. It takes time to gather the composure. You fear to get down at first, not knowing if it’s a terrorist attack, an accident or some alien invasion. Such is the mental state. People start reciting Holy Scriptures.

If you are the one who would get down to take stock of the situation, you might see some smoke and dust at the rear of the train. The closer you get to the injured bogies, the more anxious you become. The smell of dust and sand gets strong and so does the crowd. You come near the huddle where people are trying to help the injured. You sense a smell which is intoxicatingly nauseating. What is this smell? You wonder. It strikes you just as you near an overturned and smashed bogey. It’s the smell of fresh human blood and raw human meat.

You see a wailing mother whose child is stuck inside. You can’t help her. You are struck by a feeling of sheer helplessness. There are scenes you would have never wished to see. Somewhat similar to the ones you might have heard from doctors working in emergency ward. The ripped open stomach, cracked bone, crushed skull and hanging leg (only leg and nothing else). All this and the intoxicating smell. The head feels dizzy.

You witness a whole new world. Everyone becomes a family; tries to save as many lives as possible. Consolations…Water…Medicines are collected from everybody aboard. Anyone who had had a doctor in the family becomes one today.  And Ah! no help from the authorities still. You see a bogey which is crushed to half with no way to pull the people out. Near it, you see a person, who in lieu of helping, try to pickpocket the unconscious and you feel no strength to confront him.

When the help arrives, you find the authorities helping the AC coaches first followed by reserved ones followed by general ones. The worst part of it is that nobody cares. Such deeply engraved is the class system into our psyches that we don’t see any wrong in what is being done. Neither do AC coach people feel embarrassed, nor do general coach people complain. Within few hours the train departs.

Witnessing death from that close tends to turn you towards faith. You vow to enjoy each and every second of your life from then on. After sometime you forget and it becomes a part of your documented memory.

Written by arpitgarg

January 27, 2010 at 2:48 pm

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