The Amritsar train mishap where two speeding trains mowed down people watching Dussehra celebrations has taken the country by storm. On 19 October, two trains running in the opposite direction ran over scores of people killing 61 and injuring over 100 people. While the driver claims he did apply the emergency brakes, the main question is that who is responsible for such an avoidable tragedy. Who needs to take responsibility for this horrific incident and what steps need to be taken so that such accidents don’t happen in future?
It’s been more than three days since the accident took place, but the blame game between the government and the organisers of the Dussehra celebrations is continuing. Moreover, many are even blaming the driver and the people standing on the tracks to witness the Dussehra celebrations. While the Centre has expressed condolences and announced a ₹2,00,000 compensation to the families of the deceased in the accident, it wouldn’t fill the void of losing loved ones.
The recent tragedy brings out the loopholes in our system and its functioning. The organisers of the function, government officials who gave the permissions for the event, and the railway department’s process of providing signals to the train drivers need be investigated. Also, there’s a need for an in-depth analysis of what led to this mishap and how can it be avoided in the future.
This tragedy is more devasting because it happened on an auspicious day, where people harbour the hope that good always prevails. A tragedy of this scale on such a day is disturbing and heartbreaking, to say the least. Not only people lose their faith in the government but also in the world in general. Justice needs to be provided. And most importantly, let’s not blame the destiny for this tragedy. It was a collective failure of people in power, who have to be made answerable for this mishap.