The bullet train was one of the biggest and most important election manifesto of the Bhartiya Janta Party during the 2014 Lokshabha election.
Winning with a majority, the BJP came to power, and Narendra Modi was the new prime minister of India. The bullet train was the manifesto of the BJP, but it was somewhere, the party tried to personally connect it with Narendra Modi to make the emotional impact on voters.
Modi often mentioned during his election rallies that he used to sell tea in trains during his childhood, and that’s why he had a special connection with trains and wanted that there should be a bullet train in India. When the PM visited Japan, the Indian media looks more confident than the government about bullet trains. The press visited Japan and started making special shows on a bullet train, by travelling in Japan’s bullet train, talking to the passengers and staff on the train, and showing the speed, cleanliness, accuracy etc.
By all this, the citizens of India also got excited about the bullet train and started praising the government and PM Modi for making efforts to bring bullet train to India. But the situation is not same now nor similar. The government’s decision for introducing bullet trains is getting criticised on large scale, from opposition leaders to the general public.
So what is the reason behind it? To understand it better, let’s go back to the time of prime minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru: huge poverty, high unemployment, food crisis, etc. and yet PM Nehru decided to start India’s indigenous space program. He also had to face a lot of criticism that time, not only from India but also from the abroad. They said that, when there is a nation where there is not enough two-time food for its citizen, then why is the Indian government focusing on space programs and technology.
But the vision of PM Nehru and Prof. Satish Dhawan was very clear. If India has to stand with developed countries, it has to be self-reliable in science and technology. Today the result of the thinking and vision of PM Nehru and Prof. Satish Dhawan are in front of us. The ISRO is helping the nation’s popularity go leaps and bounds.
Now if we compare both the case of setting up the space program and building bullet train, then we will get the answer that India must have a bullet train. When China built bullet train,it was not developed. When Japan built the system, it too was also not developed. Therefore it will be true to state that if India waits till all its integral problem to solve like poverty, health, education etc. before building bullet trains, then it will going to take a very long time which is not good for the nation.
After knowing all these facts, we think that India must have a bullet train. Yes, India should have them, but the way the government has planned to bring the bullet train in India is questionable. Bullet train is a way of transport which is fast and very costly. Costly means that only a minor percent of the public can afford it. Thus, setting aside so much of money for such a project will always be questionable.
This can be the reason that most of the people are criticizing the building of bullet train. But the most dangerous and hidden part is the funding from the foreign country to run bullet train. India is taking the help of 70,000 crores from Japan for the bullet train, which India will pay it back in a certain year of time. Also, Japan itself is building it.
This was not the case during the space program, India had never taken any foreign help for funds in its space program, and it is fully indigenous, yet ISRO is one of the best space agency in the world. India is capable of self developing any technology, And nation will never be against any project if it will be fully indigenous. The method used by government is making India more and more reliable on others, this way India can never make any position of itself in world leaders., therefore government must bring its focus on self reliability of India,whenever it will going to start any new project.