There was this new rule the government thought about laying down a couple of days back – and it made all train rides across the country completely free – it’d be all on the Indian Railways. They thought it’d make the people quite happy, given how they shoot big knives and bigger words at every ‘undesired’ move the government makes. But the people are never happy. They always, always, find a way to quibble – and it makes even the not-as-noisy neighbors unhappy. The people only look at what’s gone worse for the right now – and then they start shooting. So the government looked beyond that, and hiked the railway prices. They were running huge losses – along crores of Rupees – and to fuel the trains and keep them running – indirectly, literally – they are making the people pay more, at 14.2% more than they used to.
Now that is quite an increase. There are people who obviously will count their greens before booking another ticket. There are people who will think twice before travelling on train for quite some time now. And then, of course, there are people who will put up signs and scream for the price to go down again.
Okay, so the people and Opposition parties claim it’s a terrible idea, and want it taken down. Hell, what if they succeed in their many efforts and protests and stone-pelleting gigs? The fare will once again go back to the way it used to be. And the Railways, whom we owe everything to – for taking us to the next city where we are trying to get a degree in engineering, to get us to the dying grandmother to see her one last time, to get to a new job, a new life – can pay for that extra 14.2%. Sounds totally fare – I mean fair – doesn’t it?
We pay a mighty lot already – they hiked the prices by a few dozen few months back – and wasn’t that enough? As if they’re trying to tell us that they’re barely holding on to their funds. Sure, they provide clean sheets – proper seats, and sometimes – even the bathrooms are regularly cleaned. They’ve kept the trains and rails well-structured, and the stations are well-equipped with restaurants, food stores, even other stores where you can find almost anything you need for travelling. They still want our money? What, do the people of India look like filthy rich scums to the Indian Railway? Is that how they want to treat us?
The Indian Railways get a lot of money from their passengers – and how could one forget the revenues – and still they want more? Are they so immature that they can’t see the huge impracticality and imposition of their price hike on the poor people of India? The enormous protests – don’t they ever see how hard it is for the people? After all, if the people can’t see, let alone adapt, to the shortcomings of the Railways, are they really misjudged when they can’t ‘see’ the pressure the hike has on our pockets?
What do they expect? To pour more money for just travelling to a place a few hundred kilometers away? Why, I could take the cheaper bus! I just take the train to save time, and not to mention the help with the luggage space. And the speed, too. Come to think of it, if it hadn’t been for the train, I’d never have gotten to college as fast, and no bus would take me from Kashmir to Kathmandu. But what the heck, I’m already paying a lot for that. Might as well ask them to transport me for free.