No Plan To Allow Begging In Trains, Clarifies RailMin Spokie… I Beg Your Pardon?

Photo: Security staff keeping a watchful eye on an Indian Railways station

Gopal Gwalabansi

We are sure whoever in government did the tweeting was perfectly serious. As was the person who approved the tweet. And the person who approved the approval to the tweet.

Because governance is serious business. And the government likes being in business. In many sectors. Except its own.

Anyway, getting back to the tweet, here it is:

Yes, it is real. This is the link.

These days, the Indian Railways is quite busy with denials. Privatization: No, we are not doing it. Fare hikes? No, we are not going to do. Cancelling hundreds of trains? Nope, not going to do… not yet. Deleting unnecessary stops? Now, why would we do such a sensible thing?

Fine, problems with the bullet train project? No way! Running at top speed! Perhaps we just can’t see actual movement because it is faster than the speed of light.

But one innocent news item unwittingly made this game of ping-pong a little more interesting.

Headline from The Print
Excerpt from The Hindu’s coverage on the issue

As both outlets report, the Indian Railways is considering decriminalization of begging on Indian Railways. This will help reduce burden on the already overburdened Indian courts. This is not the same as allowing beggars to operate in trains and on stations.

The Indian public is globally famous for its mastery of objectivity and nuance. The quick-witted immediately saw this gameplan for what it really was. Backdoor privatization, perhaps?

Naturally, some spoke out in admiration and gratitude.

The more practical among Twitterati got down to more important issues quickly.

Helpful suggestions also came forth for the future.

There were also those who could see through the fog with complete clarity.

One can understand the Indian Railways’ need to keep the denials coming as soon as possible in this age of hyperactive media coverage.

To ensure proper focus, is the restructured Railway Board actively considering the appointment of a Member-Denials?

We will wait and see if the Railway Ministry issues a denial.

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