Wagon Rides in India

'As for you, you return, your bladder unrelieved, to your berth and wonder why an emerging superpower can't have vacuum toilets on its trains, which apparently are running at a profit. You do more. You admire the genius of the Indian State that turns railway travel into a scatological circus. The State as crap-artist .

You are an optimist. You see no reason why trains in India can't be cleaner, why the Common Man-even if he is genetically programmed to prefer a LCD TV to a clean toilet-can't travel like he belonged to a society that can send a rocket to the moon whenever there is money to spare.

You lie there and think, staring in the dark at the berth above, that even as you thought, 1.5 crore people crisscrossing the holy, Vedic land in 900 trains daily are spraying crap at over 100 kilometres per hour across the length and breath of the nation. The nation through which Ganges flows! The nation of pure vegetarian food! And purer ghee! The nation of Brahmins who bathed thrice a day! The nation of perpetual hand washers!

Overhead, the sturdy black beetles of fans whir unstoppably through the pestilential air. You want fresh air. You tug at the glass window. It doesn't open. Ah, never engage with recalcitrance. You give up and look out. There is a full moon rising through the trees like a frisbee. It looks clean, white, beautiful. Another country. And you know for sure the train you are on is not going anywhere near it, no matter how fast it moves.'

- C P Surendran, 'Tale of a wagon tragedy'.

Comments

nikhil said…
all government run organization's are like this in India.
disinvestment and later their privatization is the only solution.

Even public sector companies which are making profits like BHEL, NTPC because their major client's are government companies only.

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