Budget Politics

The Railway budget presented by Mamata is meant to win votes.  First of all, Mamata wants to establish her party strongly in her own state of West Bengal.  Secondly, she wants the Congress to come to power again.  This much is obvious from the sops she has given to various states in her third Railway Budget.  And all the three times Mamata spared the passengers of any fare hike. 

Is it the fare hike that the railway passengers fear in India?  As an annual passenger and a keen observer of the Indian Railways, I think the safety of the passengers is more important than the fares.  Mamata has named her party Tinamool which means grassroots.  Is she really aware of the meaning of the word ‘grassroots’?  It seems she thinks ‘grassroots’ means playing to the gallery.  And the present gallery in India is the rising middle class. Mamata has presented a budget to please that class.

The chief problem that is plaguing the Indian Railways today is corruption at all levels.  You cannot get a ticket through the proper channels.  There are too many agents – authorised and unauthorised.  Worse, you don’t need a ticket at all if you are travelling in certain areas of India.  There are certain trains which are particularly targeted by thieves with the support of the Railway officers.  Why does Mamata fight shy of dealing with such problems?

Is Mamata running a system or playing politics?

How many Indians give up a plan to visit their hometown just because they cannot bear the extortion and filth dished out by the Indian Railways?  Quite many if you leave out a few states in India.  Lalu Yadav with all his histrionics managed the Railways far better.  Lalu knew how to sell through advertisements and make up for the sops he gave in the budget.  He sold through advertisements and gave us, passengers, certain basic facilities.  Mamata has too big an ego, the typical Bengali ego, which knows only how to aggrandise itself.  Who benefits in the end?  Only Mamata and her ironically named Trinamool Party.

Mamata di, we are ready to pay a few more rupees provided you can give us a safe journey by your Railway system.  Don’t bluff us with so many promises which you seldom keep.  You may win the next elections with all these hoodwinking ploys.  Do you want to give us a good system?  Give us security and cleanliness in the trains.  Take action against ticketless travellers and ensure the economic part of the Railways.  Provide more trains where they are really required, not just for your state or the states where elections will be held in the next few months.

My last journey by the Indian Railways: A Train Journey


About matheikal

My more regular blog can be accessed at www.matheikal.blogspot.com
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5 Responses to Budget Politics

  1. Raghuram Ekambaram says:

    The photograph almost looks like a photo-op, matheikal!

    How can you blame her for the thrid time? There were quite a number of extenuating circumstances. The first such circumsytnace was her first budget. She has to keep the pretenses. Then came the second, circumstance and the budget. Then the third. Then, the fourth the Assembly elections in WB!

    I do not know why you think she wants Congress back to power. With BJP she would be better off, because then the Left would come nowhere near her!

    I did take exception to your snide comment, “Mamata has too big an ego, the typical Bengali ego, which knows only how to aggrandise itself.” I think this was unwarranted, the subordinate clauses. Ego is characterized by, indeed defined by its compulsion to inflate itself.

    Raghuram Ekambaram

    P.S You may wonder why I am trawling through your blogs. I do come here as and when and today I thought I will exchange thoughts here, unasked. taking liberty with you, matheikal!

  2. matheikal says:

    Raghuram, I’m always happy to get a comment from you. A comment from you means much to me for reasons that I don’t want to elaborate here lest you feel flattered.
    First of all, I agree with you that the sub-clause about the ego was unwarranted. You should, however, know that I had edited that sentence at least ten times before I let it go. Why did it happen? I ask the question to myself. I worked with a group of Bengalis for about 8 years. That’s the reason. No other community has made me feel so strongly about any particular community trait as the erstwhile Bengali-colleagues of mine did. When there’s something so strongly entrenched in your mind [at any level of it], I think it has some reason.
    Regarding Mamata, I think she has no ideology whatever. She can support the Congress, the BJP, the Maoists, or any group at all if it suits her convenience. Does that have something to do with Bengali consciousness, I don’t know.

  3. Aditi says:

    Matheikal, 🙂 aggrandisemnt of ego is not a monopoly of Bengalis as a race, much as your limited sample of colleagues might suggest otherwise. More often than not, aggrandisement of ego is the brandmark of a feudal mindset. Such aggrandisement is also manifest in those who are vain about their bookish knowledge related superiority complex.

    • matheikal says:

      You are right, Aditi – as I have already admitted to Raghuram, it was an unwarranted appendment which became irresistible to me for reasons that are ‘silly’ when I look at it rationally.

  4. Pingback: Swami Ramdev Steals Electricity « Matheikal's Blog

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