Rajat Sharma

Vandals who stoned Train 18 are enemies of our society

akb_k (1) (003)The fastest train of Indian Railways, Train 18, on Thursday made history by touching a speed of over 180 km per hour, on its trial run between Delhi and Agra, and back. It cost Rs 100 crore to build this gleaming blue-nosed train, which has been fitted with amenities on par with the best in the world.

With onboard WiFi and GPS-based passenger information system, touch-free bio-vacuum toilets, LED lighting, mobile charging points, this train has a climate control system that adjusts the temperature according to occupancy and weather.

Train 18 has two executive compartments with 52 seats each, and trailer coaches with 78 seats each. Each seat can be rotated to match the direction of the train. The inaugural run will be from New Delhi to Varanasi, which it will cover in eight hours. The tentative date for inauguration by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been fixed for December 29.

And now the bad news. During its first trial run between Delhi and Agra on Thursday, some vandals thew stones at this prestigious train, breaking the glass window of a coach. Police is now on the lookout of vandals, but it appears to be a difficult task.

Such vandals are enemies of our society. On Friday night, we showed visuals of the broken glass pane of this train in the show ‘Aaj Ki Baat’, to give our viewers a feel about such a shameful incident. It reflects the mindset of a section of our countrymen.

Whenever Indians travel abroad, they marvel at the nice and clean look of trains, and wonder why we cannot have similar trains in India. And when we, in India, create such a beautiful train, some sections of our countrymen vandalize it.

I have never seen or heard such acts of vandalism abroad. This is not the first time such incidents have happened. Stoning of trains have taken place at regular intervals on the Mumbai suburban routes, and recently on Rajdhani and Shatabdi Express. A few years ago, Prime Minister Modi inaugurated Mahamana Express between New Delhi and Varanasi, which was fitted with latest gadgets and fittings. Hardly a week after the inauguration, it was found that soap dispensers, lights, headphones were vandalized, and some worthies even sliced the seat covers with a knife.

People having such a vandalizing mindset should be arrested and punished. Acts of a handful of people bring India and Indians a bad name. There may be some who can argue why we are raising such a hue and cry over a broken glass. This is not about a broken shard of glass. It mirrors the mindset of some sections of our countrymen, who derive sadistic joy in carrying out such acts.

This is the age of social media, and pictures and visuals of such acts of vandals are forwarded across the world, which bring India a bad name. My appeal to all of you is: let us join hands in stopping such vandalism.

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