Thursday, December 22, 2005

Shubh yatra (bon voyage)

Traveling in India by train was always a miserable experience. One had to put up with stinking coaches and waterless toilets, cockroaches and rodents, leaky roofs and beggars. The threat of dacoits always looms large in every mind, but it was isolated incidents. But not any more. Our trains are not safe anymore. Yesterday a group of armed people barged into a Lucknow bound Pushpak Express and looted the passengers and before jumping off the train they gang-raped a 22 year old lady in the toilet. The most funny-sad thing of this story is the response of the railway spokesperson. He said “It’s just a minor incident since the rape is not confirmed”. The honorable (comedian?) Lalu Prasad (Rly Minister) also confirmed this by saying “Rape is not confirmed.”. to the great relief of these comedians, the terrified lady is not available for medical check-up and currently lodged in some private hospital.
Recently there was a surge in the crime figures related to railways. Spurned lovers throwing acid, befriending the passenger before drugging and looting, armed robbery and Rape. There were no GRP (Railway Police) when the loot occurred.
Before it was in trains that goes to Bihar, UP and Up north. But today the menace is everywhere. And the Railways are doing nothing. They want to confirm rape before initiate action. Now they may want the dead person’s affidavit to confirm death!
When comedians like Lalu is ruling, we couldn’t expect anything more. The time is not that far when every passenger has to wear a bullet proof jacket, a pistol and some protective gear before they embark on a train Journey. May be this is what railways had in mind when they say “Shubh Yatra” (bon voyage)

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