When Mr Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, flagged off the Vande Bharath Express from the Trivandrum Central Railway Station, the travelling experience of Keralites underwent a humungous and unprecedented change, along with other States of India. For the last 24 hours, the politicians and media of the State of Kerala have been swaying, trembling, discussing, criticizing, analyzing, dissecting, worrying, consoling, accusing each other and, finally, wondering about one thing- Vande Bharath Express- a new age train- having most modern facilities, which was never seen before in the State. While the ruling party of the Nation is trying to get all the credit for the same, the ruling party of the State is trying to underplay the same by highlighting the advantage of K-Rail which is not existing even in the dreams, while the opposition of both the places are trying hard to get it digested. But one thing is sure, it’s a good gift to the State of Kerala, which is stagnated with growth and remain directionless, amidst the tall claims of being the Number One State of the Nation.
Though the Indian Railways is well acclaimed as the nerval system of India on which the people and the commerce of the nation move on, the travelling experience in those rusty, rodent-infested, dilapidated, gloomy compartments was a nightmare to many of us. While many foreign nations celebrate their world-class travelling experience and rejoice in the clean and tidy railways, we, the Indians were destined to drool over it and left to suffocate the unhygienic and horrible age-old railways silently. Then all of a sudden, the Vande Bharath Express got introduced as a Silverline in the mind of the common man, who was waiting for better and brighter tomorrow. Let us celebrate and rejoice in this new experience, without intentionally finding faults.
But as a bad patch on the said colourful dreams, the deeds of a few mindless followers of Mr V K Sreekandan, a congress leader and Member of Parliament from Shornur, had made the heads of Keralites hung with the weight of shame, by pasting his posters on the coaches of the newly introduced Vande Bharath Express with a sole intention to deface it. Though the MP is bluntly disowning the same by diverting the accusation of that senseless deeds to his political rivals, it is really a worrisome factor that we, as a society, are not ashamed to do such kind of disgraceful acts. Mr V K Sreekandan may not be directly involved in that dishonourable act or may not even be aware of the same, but such acts prove that a section of the so-called well-educated people of Kerala lacks one thing in common,- ie common sense. The next day morning I noticed a piece of news of a very sadistic nature in Mathrubhumi News Daily, celebrating a minor leakage in one of the compartments of the said Vande Bharath Express, as a bigger issue.
If we can add a pinch of common sense along with the educational qualifications and consider the common facilities as the assets and pride of our nation, we shall grow leaps and bounds in a limitless manner, otherwise, we shall remain as the frogs in the well, forever, hopelessly claiming for the number one position that does not exist!.
Bijoy P Pulipra Advocate