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Monday, December 08, 2008

Why hasn't anyone banned 'Rail Roko Dharna' yet?

The Indian Railways transports large amount of our population from home to work every day and reaches much larger number of essential commodities for our people. It qualifies as an 'essential service' certainly. 

So, why do we allow people to stop trains from going on time just to show their anger and dissent on one thing or another? Why does the state and the railway department permit people this photo opportunity?

Yesterday noticed yet another 'rail roko' announcement in a large poster, a group has announced that it would stop train to show their protest in different towns on different days! And has its leader stopping another train, sure enough for some other issue on an earlier occasion. It was as though the stopping of train was a birth right of any political party or movement for any kind of protest? Why does the nation state and department allow people's essential service to be held at ransom?

One can understand the spontaneous gesture of road roko that often happens in our rural areas where a group of  villagers resort to it to ensure that people passing by their village pay attention to the status of the village, but, a pre-planned, announced (and celebrated) kind of rail roko does not stem from the same spirit. It was as though the state was happy as long as people were dissenting in certain ways that it can watch and manage.

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