Train travel in India has improved vastly since independence in 1947, in terms of more trains and routes, frequency, amenities and luxuries but much of the rural and semi-urban population continue to travel like cattle. It reminds me the book written by Our father of Nation M.K.Gandhi named “Third class in Indian railways”.
You can read the article: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/24461/24461-h/24461-h.htm#THIRD_CLASS_IN_INDIAN_RAILWAYS1
The manner in which Mahatma Gandhi travelled in the third class of an Indian railways train in the year 1917 is just like how millions of people still travel in the Indian Railways’ trains. It has been a century now but the experience felt by Mahatma Gandhi while travelling in an Indian train is just the same for the common man.
As Gandhi said” “On the 12th instant I booked at Bombay for Madras by the mail train. It was labelled to carry 22 passengers. These could only have seating accommodation. There were no bunks in this carriage where on passengers could lie with any degree of safety or comfort”. Gandhi writes. “There were during this night as many as 35 passengers in the carriage during the greater part of it. Some lay on the floor in the midst of dirt and some had to keep standing”.
One of the first things the Indian statesman Gandhi did on arriving from South Africa in 1915 — to lead the freedom struggle against the British — was to travel by Indian Railways, and travel as the masses did, third class. He knew the only way to gauge the mood of the people was to travel by train wherever he went and if he had to champion their cause he had to become one of them. Gandhi did so in all humility and without any qualms.
Gandhi always travelled in third class, which came to be known as Gandhi Class. Now there is no third class in any train of the Indian railway network. But You can still feel the pain felt by Gandhi while travelling in the second class or sleeper class of the Indian railway network. If you want to see the pain of the common man then you can visit stations from where long route trains depart. You need luck to get your own seat in the sleeper class and you can only imagine the condition of the second class in which the so called common man of India travel like cattle.You can inhale the unique smell which if you try to decipher then you can smell piss,shit and rotten things.If you order your food in train then the quality is very bad.
Yesterday the rule makers of India celebrated the birthday of M.K.Gandhi but what about his main concern common man?
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