‘Dussehra tragedy kills 61’
‘Train from Amritsar slices through crowd’
‘Piyush Goyal rushing back from the US’
I was rudely interrupted while talking to my best friend Friday evening in the wake of this tragedy. We were talking about school as usual, when a news reporter announced the above headlines, with a clip of the incident along with it. I watched in horror as a train travelling at the speed of almost 68kmph literally cut through an entire crowd of people busy celebrating the triumph of good over evil watching the Ravana’s effigy burning about 70-80 meters away. I dropped my phone in shock. How? What? When? My mind was overflowing with questions about this horrific incident like-
1) How did the festival organisers lay the effigy right next to an open track?
2) Why was the track unprotected and unfenced?
3) Who let the people line up on a live railway track like it was some art gallery?
4) Were the railway officials sleeping or on Dussehra ki chutti?
5) If the effigy was being built for so many days (which is obvious considering that the Ravana was quite tall!) then how could no one notice the danger?
6) How could the driver not see all those people? No attempt was made to warn the people on the track by honking or applying emergency brakes, even though the people standing there were bathed in light!
Ministers now are saying they’ll give a total of five lakhs as compensation to the affected families ( the value of human life is now only five lakhs, this is for all you readers to know!) and how people will be “rescued”? Excuse me, I beg your pardon Mr. Minister, but people were crushed within seconds! There is nothing left to “rescue”.
Innocent people have been butchered by a speeding train driven by a careless driver. Who is to be blamed? Let us list out possibilities-
1) The railway authority- Why was the track unprotected? Who gave the green light signal to let the train pass by when people were covering the rail line?
2) The event organisers- Why was the effigy built so close to the track? Why didn’t anyone notice the danger?
Of course, in my country, all that will happen now is politics. 60+ families lost their loved ones, few will get a sum of five lakhs, and everyone will forget about it within a week.
I am a die-hard patriot, but events like this have shaken me to the core. Little Asifa, the atmosphere of hate politics in the country, and now this.
Is this what the great republic of India stands for? Is this what our freedom fighters died for?
I am only 14, and witnessing what my nation is going through is painful for me. In these fourteen years, all I have seen in a country that I am ready to die for is rapes, unsolved court cases, even kidnapping of one of my relatives!
Why are politicians dividing my brothers and sisters on the basis of their states? Aren’t we all sons and daughters of the same mother, mother India?
Thinking about the families of people affected by this accident has reminded me of my brother who works in the merchant navy. So, every time he goes for work, he is gone for seven months or so and that separation is unbearable for me.
Now let’s look at it this way- what about a girl who lost her brother in this train mishap? Who will she talk to when she feels low? Who will she go to at Raksha Bandhan? Whose arms will she run to after a breakup? All that remains of her brother is the cut up body parts… I have tears in my eyes just imagining it. Think of a weeping mother or father. Think of a little girl or boy who lost his or her parent. An innocent, blameless child is sentenced to a life of only half affection of a parent. What about relationships out of the family? A friend, or coworker or lover? How would you feel if they just suddenly disappeared?
What you are imagining right now has become a reality for someone out there, just a few thousand kilometres away.
What about the people inside the train? How would they feel knowing that their train journey cost someone their life? They’d be scarred forever. Anytime they’d travel ever again; the incident would haunt them.
We need to change.
Our government needs to pay more attention.
The railway authorities need to wake up!
If not for each other, then at least for Bharat Mata, for Hindustan, for mother India…