New Delhi. A large protest took place today morning in the capital outside Rail Bhavan and outside Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s residence over the issue of tickets being charged by Indian Railways.
The protesters were habitual ticketless travelers, also known as “Without-ticket passengers” and they were unhappy over decades old tradition of charging money for tickets.
Speaking angrily to this Faking News reporter, one of the protester said, “Modi has cheated us. He gave promises of achche din. We thought finally without-ticket traveling will be made legal, just like illegal colonies in Delhi are made legal. But, instead Modi has cheated us by not only continuing the policy of charging money, but charging more money!”
“Congress was far better, at least they gave many freebies to particular sections of people, and one day they could have introduced Right-To-Travel-Without-Ticket. But this Modi sarkar sucks!” the protester added.
Fearing being confused with normal protesters who are not happy with 14.2% hike in railway fares, these special protestors clarified that there protest was over principles and not over recent hike.
“Let there be rise in rail fare, we don’t care! We are protesting against the original concept of rail fare itself,” Mahesh Thakur, one of the protesters said, “We are already facing discrimination at the hands of Railway police and TTR. They are abusing us, throwing us out of trains and even abusing us in front of ladies. What is the difference between people who have tickets and us? Isn’t this apartheid? There was one Gandhi who was thrown out of train in South Africa last century, but today, we are all Gandhis who are being thrown out of trains for not buying train tickets.”
Thakur showed his injuries due to being pushed from train last week, when he was traveling from Patna to Delhi, without ticket.
Another protester said, “This whole railway system is totally corrupt. See, we have to give money for tickets and seats. This is similar to the act of politicians buying Lok Sabha tickets and Rajya Sabha seats by giving money. We are against this form of ‘cash for seat’. This is a conspiracy by the anti-poor ruling elite pushing the poor people to more poverty by charging money for rail ticket.”
“This also shows class difference in train; like first class, second class, unreserved class. This is again a reflection of caste system of Hinduism, which the RSS-BJP government is encouraging,” the protester with red flag insisted.
Protesters have planned for rail bharo campaign, similar to the conventional jail bharo movement. Leader of the protest, Dhananjay Jha, said, “We are going to do rail bharo movement across India. We will be occupying all the trains and travel for a month, without buying ticket, thereby showing our opposition to the government that we do not need to pay to travel in train.”
Normal ticket-buying train passengers have welcomed this rail bharo protest stating that this was better than rail roko protests by normal protesters.
Meanwhile to pacify the protesters, the government announced that the online IRCTC ticket booking portal will have free sign up and login facilities. This was welcomed by the protesters, latest reports suggest. Sources say that they have decided to stop protests after this announcement.