The fare hike and the cacophony surrounding it in the mainstream media is nothing but political skullduggery, meant to draw attention away from the larger issues concerning the Indian Railways. It is important to bring the focus back on the core issue at stake: resisting privatization and preserving the Indian Railways as a viable and modern public sector organization. Whether the railway minister is “rolled back” along with the passenger fare hikes, is a matter of much lesser importance.
Sudipta Bhattacharya of the department of economics and politics, Santiniketan, assesses Mamata Banerjee's performance as a disastrous railway minister in the backdrop of the 2011 budget. Cartoon courtesy, The Hindu newspaper.
The Railway Budget is high on promises and low on substance. This is the hallmark of bourgeois populist politics.