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About railway development

I have been reading 'Mathrubhumi' right from my childhood. But till recently, I was not interested in the letters written by the readers. Just a few weeks back only I happened to read a letter by one of the readers, which prompted me to respond. Later, I wrote once again to reply to another letter from another reader. While writing these, I was expecting that somebody would eventually turn back on me - especially after my letter mentioning Mr. O. Rajagopal. So, I am the least surprised to see Mr. Raghuram coming out with guns blazing. I think I owe a reply to his 'doubts'.

I see that Mr. Raghuram is sarcastic about the name I had used for my email ID. Let it be so - I don't mind. I am not Vijayan, but I am from his neighbourhood, and I have known Mr. Vijayan since my childhood. Anyway, that's of no interest here.

First of all, let me remind Mr. Raghuram about my view of our MPs and Mr. Rajagopal. I have already made it clear that I am not 'blind' towards the contributions by Mr. Rajagopal to the development of railways in Kerala. I do agree that he had achieved a lot and done many favours for Kerala, and, Mr. Raghuram, you need not take a 'study class' for me about his services. I don't "need to know" any of those - I 'do know' it all very well, may be better than you do! My intention was only to bring to light the 'political angle' of his achievements blown 'out of proportions'.

Mr. Raghuram, you seem to be very proud of the line doubling work in Malabar area during Mr. Rajagopal's reign as Minister. No problems. You have every right to be. But, don't compare our present MPs with Mr. Rajagopal or anybody else. Mr. Rajagopal was Deputy Minister of Railways, so it was his DUTY to look into the matters the way he had done. Our MPs are just MPs, and have limitations in dealing in the Govt. related matters. I am not of them, so I can't vouch for what actions they have taken to voice the needs of Kerala. But it will be unjust to compare it with what a Minister had done while in power. (If Mr. Rajagopal could be projected as "one of the best men" just because of his work for Kerala, then one can also say that Mr. Laloo Prasad Yadav is not just "one of the best", but "The Greatest" judging by the facilities he has showered on Bihar. Will you agree, Mr. Raghuram?)

Mr. Raghuram, I think you are a Keralite working in Japan, right? So you may 'need to know' what is happening not only in Kerala, but also in other parts of India as well. I have been living in Mumbai during 2000 - 02, had left the city on job for three years and came back last year. I would like to tell you something about the railway here. The suburban rail network in Mumbai is one of the largest railway systems anywhere in the world, in terms of the number of people it serves. A huge majority of the millions - strong population of this Business Capital of India rely on the Railways in their race for the day's bread. Except for the political differences between us, I don't think that you will disagree with me if I say that the Railways should give the best services to such a community. If you do agree, read this: They are 'transporting' people in conditions worse than those of animals. (I am deliberately refraining from using the term commonly used to refer to such cases in order not to hurt the sentiments of the communities which you are advocating.) Will you believe it if I say we are travelling daily in trains which 'pack' as many as 16 people per square metre...? (You can't even dream of it where you are now!) We have stringent rules dealing with transportation of animals, but not for the mammalian 'animals' called humans! Accidents are a 'way of life', and deaths due to fall from crowded trains are a 'daily affair'. The only thing that the Railways must do to serve (and save) its millions - strong dependants is to provide more trains and improve the infrastructure accordingly. The most important prerequisite for achieving this is the quadrupling of the railway tracks (currently double line) between Borivali and Virar. Lakhs of people - including thousands of Keralites - who live in the northern suburbs have been raising this demand from years back, and the railways have been 'sitting idle' on the work since 200001. We are now in the year 2006 - six years, and the work is not yet halfway through. If the railways could complete track doubling of 30 km Chennai - Thambaram line in just 4 MONTHS as you yourself vouch, why the delay of 6 YEARS (NOT months) for a similar 30 km stretch here? Wasn't your 'favourite' Mr. Rajagopal the Minister during most of the period? Where were the MPs of the Ruling BJP, its ally Shiv Sena and the opposition Congress? Were all of them 'sleeping' in the Parliament? Why didn't Mr. Rajagopal lend an ear to the thousands of Keralites here..? Are they 'Second Grade citizens' in his regime? (He - and his Party - has nothing much to gain by showing any interest here, where their religion based political base is already pretty strong and they don't need to worry about their seats - That's why!) It is only after repeated protests and people's movements initiated by the DYFI that the Railways have started showing some 'signs of life' and taken up the work somewhat seriously.

Now, about Iran. I had written in support of Iran in the Nuclear Power issue, not because of any 'Trade Relationships', but to show the opposition to the 'double standards' shown by the western 'Super Powers' led by the USA under the leadership of Mr. George W. Bush. We may have 'multibillion dollar' relations with the US, but with due respect to the 'relationships' let me ask: Who are Mr. Bush & Co. to dictate terms for our foreign policy? What right has he got to demand that India should refrain from trade links and projects like oil pipeline with Iran?

Mr. Raghuram, aren't you aware that the USA have been keeping Pakistan as a 'dear friend' since years back and have been providing ample support to their arms - development plans? And do you still 'need to learn' that Pakistan is playing 'hide - and - seek' in supporting the terrorist activities against India? Should we turn a blind eye towards the support the US is extending to Pakistan (which, in turn, ends up in aiding the Anti - National elements operating in Kashmir and other parts of India) and accord 'red carpet reception' to the Head of the country, just because we have some 'billion - dollar trade links'? You are saying that Microsoft is employing 40% Indians; Oracle is employing 35%.... M/s XYZ Inc. is employing 99%.... Okay, Agreed but just because of that, should we keep on saying 'Yes Boss' to whatever Mr. Bush & Co. is demanding? Are we slaves of these 'Masters' of 'Billion - Dollar Trade'?

To be read with this is the recent US report on human rights (reported by 'Mathrubhumi' a couple of days back, on 10 March). The report accuses India of 'poor standards' in the matters of Human rights and that the Govt. and armed forces are using 'disproportionate force' in dealing with terrorist activities in Kashmir and the North East. (The fact that the US themselves are the greatest violators of human rights worldwide - the latest example being the jails in Iraq is safely overlooked!) Mr. Raghuram, are you saying that we should agree to this report also, because we have 'multi - billion dollar' trade with them and we don't have 'trade relationships' with the terrorists? Isn't it deplorable that our rulers (who happen to be the 'Most Obedient Servants' of the US 'Masters') have not said a single word in protest against this allegation?

Of course, the CPI (M) is voicing its opposition to the US and supporting Iran. But don't think that it is to please the 'Muslim Vote Bank'. It is quite understandable that you think so, because to those who look at everything though 'Communal Eyes', CPI (M) would seem to be indulging in amassing 'Muslim Votes' by voicing their support to Iran. But, just have a look: The Muslim population is just a minority everywhere in India, including Kerala, where a large share of the Muslim votes is in the hands of the Muslim League, which is in the political front opposing the CPI (M). So, instead of looking for ways to appease the minority vote bank, won't it be wiser to hunt for 'Majority votes'? Had the Party opted to go for the Hindu votes, couldn't it been possible for them to remain in power 'forever', considering the volume of the majority vote base? They could have very well taken a 'Pro - Hindu' stand and swept the votes of the community instead of hunting for Muslim votes, and that could have made the BJP a 'non entity' in the state. But that is not the way of Communist Parties. Don't take 'communalism' on par with Communism!

Mr. Raghuram, I am not going to brand you as a BJP man, nor am I labelling you as a 'communal Hindu', because I don't need to do so, and there is no use of it either. But let me tell you one thing - unlike what you think, I am not one of the 'brainwashed' people who support any party 'for nothing'. Anybody who can do that to me is yet to be born! There may be people who are 'brainwashed' and supporting one Party or the other 'blindly', but don't count me among them. I am holding an 'open stand' and do read not just 'Deshabhimani', but also papers like 'Manorama' which are willing to go to any extent in opposing the Communist parties, and also papers like 'Mathrubhumi' which holds an 'in - between' stand. If I still support the CPI (M), it is not because of 'brainwashing' but because I am aware of the facts that are in their favour.

I can go on writing for many more pages, but don't intend to do that, because it's of no much use trying to awaken those who are pretending to be sleeping. Neither do I wish to turn the readers' page of 'Mathrubhumi' into a 'political warfront'. Those who are blind can be given sight, but no chance with those who intentionally keep their eyes shut to the light.


One sided Editorial

This is in response to your editorial dated 6.3.2006 about Godhra tragedy criticising Gujarat Government. Your editorial is only a onesided attack. In 5th page of Mathrubhumi (same day) there is a small news of Gujarat DGP's opinion about Banerji commission's report.

Also there is a question that, before the completion of Nanavathi commission, why did Central Government appoint other commission for enquiring about the same incident, for keeping secularism. There is no value for Hindu's life? Do you mean State DGP is saying lie? I can not understand why you are acting worsely than political parties' newspapers do. Do you think you could increase the circulation by appeasing minorities?

Rejeesh P

Who protects hindus?

The UPA government in the central is only for protecting the interests of minorities of India. The problems of the majority and the unfortunate hindus are incrasing day by day. The recent bomb blast in Varanasi is one example . Even after having a lot of intelligence reports, the govt. did not do anything to protect one of the important temple of hindus.The main responsibility of the government is to protect all the people of the country, their lives, shrines, their assets. Whenever it happens to minority community we have a better coverage nationally and internationally. People should come forward to educate the leaders what they should do.

I am sure that Mathrubhumi, the paper I am reading since 1985 will not publish this just because of the fear of minority extremists or may be due to pseudo secularism. As mentioned by a reader, Cong I thinks having a Muslim league MP as the minister is the gold crown for Indian secularism. Yesterday I posted my view in discussion group after seeing the pathetic photos of Varanasi blast, it never saw the light. I am also having many other community friends, but asking to take stringent step against the extremists in north Kerala is anti secular? What happened to the investigations of blast in Beypore? Now in Calicut city. Why this bloody UDf government is not taking any action against criminals?

Now the situation kerala is UDf and LDF are the biggest communal parties, competing each other to appease minorities.

One reader below keeps ( Viji Pinarayi I don't know whether he is viji or vijayan!) on praising CPI M for many things. Shouting against Bush is very important for these LDF MPs rather than asking for more railway linesw and trains. What is his right to criticize Mr Rajapopal? He was one of the best men who did many things for Kerala in a short term. Viji need to know one thing that the doubling work was so fast from Mangalore to Shornur at his time. Where is your MPS now? (The 30 Km doubling work in Chennai beach to Tambaram was done within 4 months. Here it took almost 2 year for the same distance)? And this guy was very proud to argue for Iran. What is the idiot trade relationsship we are having Iran? We have multi billion dollar trades with US and when President from such a country comes you people go on protesting? 40% of employees in Micosoft are Indians and that is the same with software companies worldwide. You and your party want to get Muslim vote in the coming election, and there are brainwashed people like you who will support CPIM for nothing. I know this guy may start labeling me as BJP, absolutely no problem. This is the tactic your party following for many years earlier if somebody criticizing you they were all CONG. Now congress is your "dhost" right?

There are many things to write. Wasting time for this type of things are meaningless in a place where many perceptions lead the news papers and political parties. Only one IMPORTANT thing I wants to remind you... there is limit for the tolerance. If it breaks and people start realizing then all will be in trouble. There are symbols already there like NSS and SNDP started uniting together. It will not be good for any community. So better think and do things that will benifit the people.


Welcome step

I read the news in Mathrabumi regarding thestep to reopen Malankara chrchues.It is a good decision ,but I feel that Chief minister is too late taking this step. Just one day before election declaration !!!!.He is the only Chif minister who know the faction fight than any other Chif Minesters because he is from one of these groups.He has taken a good step.

Hope it will work.Media also need to support this.Churches are not the private propertey of any Biship,it is a public property.We should never allow to close that.

james Mathai,Angola

Thought provoking Editorial

Kerala, a land of flora and fauna with vast expanse of hills and vallies, lakes and rivers, ponds and backwaters, etc., etc.,..... are now under the claws of greedy businessmen and scrupless polititions! They need only money; not a tranquil life.....

Glad that \'Mathrubhumi\' has taken up the issue. I congratulate. Let next Goverment be of government of peace loving (not pocketloving ) people of integrity and enthusiasm.


Tragedy worse than tsunami

As India and our neighboring counties are recovering from the tragic shock of Tsunami, I believe it is the right time to turn back and see what is going wrong. In Tsunami 1.5 lakh lives were wiped out. We have to turn our attention to yet another tragedy. A recent report ( ) states about Six million innocent babies are being killed every year in India alone by abortion. Some consider this an achievement in our fight to control population . Listen to the cry of theis innocent and then talk about the tragedies of Tsunami.

Tsunami catches the headline but this goes unnoticed... .

When will we wake up and sense the truth??

Who will deliver us from this evil?

Shimmy J. Charles

True secularism

What is the cause of repeated bomb explosions and other violent activities in Kerala,God's own country? We can see that strong actions are not being taken because of the appeasal of minorities by the "secular" government. The "secular" parties fear that they lose the vote of minorities if they take action against criminals. By doing this they are trying to make communal riot in our country.

The UPA government in which the two rival fronts in Kerala having no common agenda are included was formed to

keep communal parties (i.e, BJP etc) away from power. But what about Muslim League? What is the reason of giving ministership to a 1 MP party? To uphold secularism in the country? What is the secular action taken by him? Increasing hajj quota and hajj subsidy ,things benificial only to his community ? Yes, this is the true secular activity to be followed by an honest politician. Do any other community in this country get subsidy to go pilgrimage ? Did common man in this country get any benefit?
Coming back to Kerala, we know the after effect of giving an important department namely education, to truly secular parties Kerala congress(Joseph) and Muslim league. I read an editorial in Mathrubhumi criticising the alliance of Janata Dal with BJP in Karnataka. If Congress can tie up with Muslim League, what is the problem of this alliance? All people know that these alliances are for party and personal benefits and not for keeping

values or serving people. Then why Mathrubhumi is criticising only majority communalism and ignoring minority communalism?

The old untouchability and communal distinction is being continued in this country in a new but reversed form in job reservation, hajj subsidy, benefits to minority institutions and separate department for minority rights and other activities. How could a Government become secular if it is doing good things to some community which are harmful to others? Is there any country other than India where combined minorities have control over scattered majorities?

I wish to conclude that all these activities will be dangerous to the future of our nation.

Rajiv Menon

About the open letter

Just now, I saw a mail from Mr. Ramesh from UAE. It is claimed to be an 'Open Letter' addressed to our MPs, and though I'm not one of them, I would like to respond to the same.

The writer has taken an 'anticipatory bail' claiming that "I am not attached to any political parties in India or abroad.." But, Mr. Ramesh, let me tell you one fact I can see a huge banner right on the face of your claim, shouting "LIE". Your socalled 'Open Letter' speaks all too loudly about your political affiliation. (I'm not surprised, because it is the 'common trait' of the followers of your party in Kerala to claim 'nonattachment'.) It is clear from the very outset that you don't know how to pretend to be an 'independent observer' even though you are claiming to be one.

I do not intend to say what our MPs are doing out there in Delhi, neither am I looking into their ability to communicate in whatever language. But don't compare what they achieve with what Tamil Nadu (or, any other state, for that matter) gets. If Tamil Nadu has got so much favours, it's NOT because of the 16 DMK MLAs, but because of ONE Minister, Mr. Velu (who happens to be the deputy to to Mr. Laloo Prasad Yadav), just like what Bihar has got is not because of Nitish Kumar and his JD(U) MPs.

Another fact that has must be considered is that the Central Govt. can't ignore a state like Tamil Nadu, from where as many as 39 MPs are elected. Any 'wrong treatment' can affect the political balance at Delhi, if nor now, in the next election. But, that's not the case with Kerala, (which have just half the number of MPs) because of the political scenario of the state. (Whoever wins whehter LDF or UDF would support the Govt. So no worries!)

Mr. Ramesh, it seems that, like all political opponents of Left parties, you have also jumped onto the 'AntiLeft' bandwagon, branding the Left Parties as 'Antidevelopment minded'. It may be true that they had made some mistakes in the past, in the case of tractors, computers etc., but they can't be blamed for their stand against SelfFinancing Colleges, Smart City etc. (Isn't it enough proof that the Central Govt. itself is note forced to make new law to control these colleges?) And, regarding Smart City, I am not going into the details, but let me ask you one question: Why are you turning a blind eye to the sellout of prime land in Cochin at throwaway prices? What 'development' are you talking about which throws out the InfoPark, which already employs 12,000 people, and wherein many more companies have applied for floor space, in favour of some (expected) 30,000 jobs, which has no guarantee whatsoever? By selling out the govt.developed infastructure to some private company 'free', what development do you think will take place? (Development of the pockets of the company's top brass?) you are in UAE, so better you try to know how many people Dubai Internet city (the company which is behind the Smart City Project) has given job to in all its sites. It's nowhere near the 30,000 mark, and yet the Govt. claims that they are going to generate 30,000 jobs here!

And, finally, a couple of lines about Mr. Rajagopal. I am not denying the role he has played in the development of Railways in Kerala. But, can he claim that he has done it just because of his 'commitment' to the state? Whatever he has done is, at least partly, with a view to gaining political mileage to his Party in Kerala, where they have never got a single MLA, let alone MPs. If he was showing "commitment" and not political interest, would he be able to point out what he has done for Madhya Pradesh (from where he was sent to Delhi as Rajyasabha MP)? He and his party has nothing much to gain from his services to that state, where they are already in power, whereas there is lot to gain in Kerala. That's the reason why he has done many things in Kerala and nothing in the state from where he was an MP. Had the political scenario in Kerala, been different, and BJP had some four or five MPs from the state, whould Mr. Rajagopal have shown that much interest? No. So, don't try to degrade our MPs in comparison with him.

And, Mr. Ramesh, before winding up this 'reply', let me clarify one more point. Unlike you, I am not claiming that "I am not attached to any political parties.." and trying to hide behind the mask of 'anonymity'. I can claim so, because I am not a member or even worker of any party. Instead, I am proud to declare my affinity to CPI (M), the major party in the Left Front. And I have a request to you please don't try to hide your 'political face' behind that badly torn mask. Come out in the open and show the courage to declare your support to the party that you are now 'worshipping' secretly.


Bush's Rajghat Visit

In your editorial, you expressed indignation and anguish at the entry of a dog in the Rajghat. But, I feel a bit relieved. The stigma of Bush's footprints on the Rajghat was slightly blurred by the innocent quadruped's presence. The dog was a very welcome guest at the Rajghat compared to Bush and his wretched team. So rejoice!

Somanathan T.V.(

Kerala is ignored

I appreciate the efforts mathrubhumi is putting forward to bring our people aware how much we (peoples of Kerala) are ignored on a national perspective. Residing outside and looking back, we feel very bad about the way we are kept aside in almost all the sectors, be it in railway, industry or road transportation facilities.

Are we lacking a wake up call or lost in silly things around? Yes we need it badly and as one of the top mass media in the country and Kerala especially, I sincerely hope, Mathrubhumi will make some more serious effort to bring these issues infront of the public and bring up some awareness..

Dallas, TX

An appeal to our MPs

I am an NRI from Kerala. With due respect, may I request you to spent few minutes for this brainstorm which will improve your ability to perform your work as Member of Parliment.

This letter is addressed to all MPs from Kerala but I could not get all email IDs, so kindly forward to all MPs.

As NRI, I am proud of India particularly Kerala \"God\'s own country\"

I am not attached to any political parties in India or abroad so please consider this as open letter to express my feelings and many other NRIs.

I have been watching your performance particulay the Left MPs from Kerala.

Please check yourself, Did you perform your job for what you have been sent to Delhi? It's shame on your part for not able to achieve anything for Kerala on Railway Budget. Left MPs are supporting UPA government in Loksabha and then coming out of Parliament and telling media "what was given for Kerala is insufficient." Why don't you protest against Railway Minister as you are well known for street protest. The main reason for your failure is lack of cooperation within you and poor communication. I can imagine your frustration when you face pure Bihari, Lallo Prasad Yadav.If not all, most of you does not know to communicate in English or Hindi, but again you could have taken help of some officials and media persons.

This is the second budget where you came out with empty hands from Loksabha. Our neighbor Tamilnadu is bagging what best they can using only 16 DMK MPs. MN Krishnadas need not keep up his collar for approval for modification of PalakkadDindigul line from meter gauge to broad gauge.This is the result of tireless effort from our "annans" from Pollachi and other western Tamilnadu districts.

At least from now onwards stop playing Kerala 'dirty' politics in Delhi and start working for the people. You 20 MPs can make a difference in Loksabha and out side. but you should be sincere to people.

Being left, you don't like development of Country in General and Kerala in particular. The history tells that you had tried to stop Tractor, Computer, Cochin Air Port, Self Financed Professional Colleges, Smart City and now Express Highway.

This was the first time Keralites sent their 19 MPs from LDF and I hope Keralites will not make this blunder again next time. Although you have two odd ones in your group, their contribution also nothing recordable.

Whatever you see the latest developments of railway facilities in Kerala are from hard work of former Railway Minister for State Mr O Rajagopal who had no recognition for all his good work from any one. You all sat back and criticized him at that time and now it's your turn to perform.

I look forward to receive your reply.

Ramesh K


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