Thursday, March 16, 2006

great train robbery

it does sound like something that happened in the last century on a more or less regular basis, so its a little baffling that this would be in the current affairs section of all major newspapers today.

apparently, a bunch of naxalites have taken over a train that was travelling through some of our eastern states.

i don't want to get into the sociological, environmental and cultural reasons that justify the existence of the naxal movement. not in the least the economics of it all.

but from a logical perspective, it seems a little idiotic to highjack a locomotive driven medium of mass-transportation. i can't fathom the reasons for this act, not to mention the exit stratgeies.

it isn't an airplane, so you can't have it flown across the borders to some banana republic. it's a train, so its got to stay on the tracks, which doesn't give you too much leeway. and hence, its ridiculously easy for the establishment to keep track of you.

you better not be counting on recovering expenses by robbing the hapless passengers or your revenue generation plan could go for a toss. with all the low-cost airlines flying people all over the country the ones who actually travel by train are going to be the sorts who can't really be paying you much by way of ransom. needless to say, you won't get too much by picking their pockets either.

its not even very media savvy to hijack a train. even our headline hungry, news starved, 24 hour television channels wouldn't be too excited at the prospect of chasing a runaway locomotive in the eastern states for a soundbite. so if the intention was to call some attention to your woebegone plight in the hinterland, this is not going to be working in a big way.

the worst thing is that with the safety record of the indian railways these hijackers have a good possibility of colliding with some other train, jumping off the rails, getting blown up by bombs placed by other extremists at railway stations that they might pass through, etc.


cameron said...

maybe they want to express their protest that lalu yadav is the railway minister, and they don't want him to do to the railways what he did to their state.

since they haven't been taught how to read and write, the only way of protesting they could come up with was to highjack a train (symbolic) and ride to delhi, protesting all the way.

bano said...

maybe they just can't afford the tickets since they're all so poor. the disenfranchised lot probably just wanted to get to their destination without getting harassed by ticket checkers and rich people with reservations.

De Spe said...

maybe its an innovative technique for migration to a nicer place around...

i hope the bunch of madmen have a cause and that is achieved. that way , atleast the delay for the passengers is justified. :)

Legal-eagle said...

Isnt it obvious that they were ticketless travellers!!! They must have seen the TC and decided that the only chance of escape would be to take hostage of the wary travellers.. some of whom may be used to kidnappings, threats or ransom.
Besides Laloo should decrease the cost of General Class travelling rather than First Class AC. Atleast he can guarantee some railway revenue, instead of a complete loss like what may have obviously taken place.
The Naxalites anyways should learn a few tips of ticketless-travelling-and-getting-away-with-it from the mumbai local train passengers!!