It’s all over the news today .. a new milestone for India, the first ever bullet train project has been flagged of by a very smug Mr Modi. Oh yes it’s a big leap forward and as we hear on every news channel Mr Modi says it’s a time for raftar or speed in other words. Mr Modi your words would bode well only if .. only if out country is ready for that kind of a leap. Alas! All old wisdom including the very common one “look before you leap” have all been forgotten because common sense and wisdom are unfortunately just words that are almost obsolete.
The very publicized Shinkansen model train will cut the 316-mile journey from Ahmedabad to Mumbai from eight hours to around three. And for this we would be spending an astonishing $19bn. I’m aghast, flabbergasted and literally speechless at the sheer stupidity of this whole idea. Mr Modi is a man who has set out to be a hero. One can’t discredit some of the good stuff he might have done yet today I feel somewhere down the line the need to become heroic over takes basic common sense and intelligence.
We are talking about spending billions toward cutting a journey into less than half when a majority of that very country are living below the poverty line. When just yesterday a child dies because his mother is denied basic medical care and she delivers her baby on a bench outside a hospital and the child dies as it fell off the bench . Accident victims die on the road because there is no first response or basic infrastructure that makes sure an ambulance reaches them in time. I have a really hard time believing that a bullet train is more important than making sure everyone has a right to basic medical care.
There are many places in India that lack basic sanitation, basic amenities like good schooling , clinics, or even fresh water let alone providing for the welfare of the old or the orphans. Small kids scrounging waste for scraps of food to eat, beggars with kids barely covered at every red light in any city today is not a rare but a common sight. Child labour, unemployment these are all just a tip of the iceberg, I could go on and on about how our country needs so many basic things that are a PRIORITY a NECESSITY and thr Modi gone decides a bullet train is far more important. How can the govt even justify this kind of expenditure to save a few hours!!! Save a few hours for who? Rich business men who can and would rather take a flight? Who will be able to afford this train? What is the justification of spending the big money that will be required to build the special infrastructure to support such a train?
Thr horrendous safety record of the railways is no secret. In2012 in a government report referred to the annual death toll from the country railway’s system as a “massacre”.
In just the recent past two major accidents have happened and many people were killed and instead of improving our existing system we jump to creating a flashing, bright and merely ornamental bullet train!! As it is being said I also believe it is nothing but an election gimmick.
I don’t know who is impressed by these gimmicks.. certainly not the common man reeling from all the taxes and inflation or those living below the poverty line who will never be able to afford such a luxury.
Honestly if these are the kind of gimmicks that will win the government another term, I for one will give up my faith in humans left with any common sense.