New Delhi, May 29: When someone said ‘Sau mein se ninyanve beimaan hai, phir bhee mera bharat mahan hai’, I always disagreed. Whenever someone got into the ‘Mumbai vs Delhi’ debate, my trump card to clinch it would always be ‘Mumbai has better and more honest people, end of the story’.
But last week when my friend pointed out that it was the very Mumbaikars who had plundered headphones and damaged screens in the Tejas express, I had little else to do but hang my head in shame and wonder if all my spirited debates against the first statement and in favour of Mumbaikars in particular and Indians in general had been futile.
This is no isolated incident, rather it’s the latest piece of evidence in favour of how as Indians, we make all the hue and cry over our fundamental rights (Intolerance, Human rights, freedom of speech and expression; sounds familiar?), but when it comes to our duties as citizens of India, we couldn’t care less.
About the Tejas Express
Tejas express is the latest of the innovative ideas put into action by our efficient and passenger friendly Railways Minister Shri Suresh Prabhu. It is India’s first semi high speed luxury fully AC train equipped with modern state of the art facilities like automatic doors, infotainment screens, bio-vacuum toilets etc. It runs from Mumbai to Goa and back. Tickets are priced at Rs. 1,190 for an AC Chair Car seat and Rs. 2,590 for an Executive Chair Car Seat. The idea is to provide facilities at par with or better than air travel at competitive prices and herald a new era in the Railways sector.
Even before it could make its maiden journey, some unknown miscreants damaged the window panes of the train as it was being brought from Delhi to Mumbai.
Windows of newly launched Tejas Express damaged by unknown people, while it was travelling from Delhi to Mumbai, yesterday pic.twitter.com/LHMUbW4vkp
— ANI (@ANI) May 21, 2017
The train made its first journey from Mumbai CST to Goa on Monday, May 22, 2017. After the journey railway officials were left in a state of shock when they inspected the condition of the coaches. The toilets were in shambles as people had simply not cared to show the basic most of decency and coaches were heavily littered with trash. Moreover at least 12 headphones were found missing post the journey as people had conveniently siphoned them off. The worst is still to come- many infotainment screens were found to be badly scratched and buttons broken.
What it says about us, the common men and women of India?
To put it point blank, we don’t deserve a better state of affairs than the one in which we are presently. Hon. Prime Minister can stress on Swach Bharat all he wants from the ramparts of the Red Fort or the Railways can do all it can to ensure a modern luxurious travel for the masses, but till and unless something is done with the mentality of every one of us, we shouldn’t really hope for much of a change in our nation.
Secondly, one can no longer get away by blaming the so called ‘poor and illiterate’ classes for the problems facing us, hygiene and sanitation being one of them. The travellers of Tejas Express were most definitely well off and also most likely to be educated. It’s not a problem of ‘them’ and not ‘us’ as most sitting in AC Drawing rooms would have us believe. The lack of respect for public property, civic sense, hygiene and sanitation is there to some or the other extent in every one of us.
Thirdly, while fines and strict punishments can bring about some improvement (as the Singapore model shows), the change must start right during the formative years of the children who would be the future citizens. Our education system needs to do more towards inculcating civic sense into our citizens of tomorrow. Only then can we hope to make India Great Again………