When the country was cheerfully observing Subash Chandra Bose Jayanti, the Kalka-Howrah Mail got its widely known name changed to Netaji Express. Is it a big honour to the country’s great freedom fighter? What sense does it make? What are the objectives of this change? Does it encompass any political motive? Can we not think of a better way to honour a great patriot, his contribution and his life than to put his name on a train?
Certainly, it ensues the third time that this older long-distance train is getting its name altered amid a time when changes in the name of cities, streets and fruits have appeared to have a political or logical condition. Originally started as Howrah-Peshawar Express, this train had begun its rail operation on January 1, 1866. Afterwards, it came to be known as Kalka Mail and now becomes Netaji Express just because of some particular rationales. Jansatta writes:
एक जनवरी 1866 को कालका मेल पहली बार चली थी। उस वक्त इसका नाम 63 अप हावड़ा पेशावर एक्सप्रेस था। जानकारी के अनुसार 18 जनवरी 1941 को अंग्रेजों को चकमा देकर नेताजी सुभाष चंद्र बोस धनबाद जिले के गोमो जंक्शन से इसी ट्रेन पर सवार होकर निकले थे। कालका मेल ट्रेन अपने पुराने नंबर के साथ ही 12311 अप और 12312 डाउन नेताजी एक्सप्रेस बनकर चलेगी (Kalka Mail started its journey first on January 1, 1866, by the name of 63 Up Howarh-Peshwar Express. Dodging the British rulers, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose boarded this train at Gomoh Jn railway station in Dhanbad district on Jan 18, 1941. This train will run with its old number 12311 Up and 12312 Down even after renaming it as Netaji Express.)|
It was reportedly written by Mint that once Subash Chandra Bose boarded the train from Gomoh railway station under Dhanbad district in Bihar state to elude from the cruel and callous British administration 80 years ago. The present generation takes it as a historical fact, though they would not have missed the travel by Kalka Mail up to Howarh, the railway station where the passengers alight and enter the city of Kolkata through the famed Howarh bridge over Hooghly river, unlike the Yamuna bridge carrying train passengers right into the precincts of the Allahabad Junction station. This difference remains since the British days.
There might be few alive who had the privilege of taking this train from Kalka to Peshawar. The younger lots must be thinking why the third-class compartment in trains was invalidated when Gandhiji used to complete his journey by sitting in that compartment? Was it not necessary to keep his remembrance alive?