Happy Independence Day

I celebrated the 15th August in a unique fashion. To deeply enjoy and fully celebrate the day, I traveled to Saharanpur in a second class train.

Pathetic is a word, that can truly describe the experience of this particular train journey. Yet it felt so Indian.

The fan of the general class compartment is not working.There are too many people in the train than it can accommodate. Most of them seem to be without ticket. Many people, who are in groups have not got a ticket for at least one person, usually a child. I have been in this train several times now, and am sure that the Travel Ticket Examiner shall never come to inspect our tickets.

I have a reserved seat for me, but the trick is to locate the seat, which is virtually impossible, for the bogeys of the train have not been marked. In some trains of Indian railways, they mark it with chalk, which gets rub off very soon. In this case, even that effort seemed to have not been made.

More than 60 years have passed since the English, exited the Indian Railways and India. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi played an important role in it. He himself seemed to have been inspired after being insulted in a train in South Africa.

Hundreds of years hence, the same discrimination prevails. Now,we discriminate against ourselves, our own countrymen, our own caste and creed. We have encouraged things to stagnate, systems to rot and our country to decay.

My train journey in humid conditions, without a fan, intoxicated with human odor, filled with visits in between with beggars, blind beggars, eunuch beggars, very small children beggars, handicapped beggars is a testimony to the fact.


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