Socialist Party (India)
11 Rajpur Road, Delhi – 110054
Phone/Fax : 110-23972745
41/557 Lohia Mazdur Bhawan, Dr. Tufail Ahmad Marg, Narahi, Lucknow – 226001
29 September 2917
‘Save Indian Railways’ Dharna by Socialist Party
Be it travel or freight transport, Indian Railways is the socio-economic lifeline of the country. Among the largest rail services in the world, Indian Railway is also the biggest public sector enterprise in the country. The British used the Railway very astutely to exploit the country in order to consolidate their empire. The railway services were built and expanded in free India with the view to strengthen communication networks, economy and defense networks. Invaluable resources and labour of crores of Indian people went into building the Indian Railways.
A safe, convenient and time-bound rail service is the first condition for the progress of the country. This is the job of the government. But this government instead of fulfilling its responsibilities, is busy handing over the Railways to the capitalists. By the decision of merging the Railway Budget with the General Budget, and by the decision to sell 23 railway stations to private bidders in the garb of public-private partnership (PPP), the BJP has made a solid beginning of privatizing Railways.
The arguments given are the same ones that are given for selling public sector enterprises into private hands – lack of efficiency and losses. Instead of filling the lakhs of vacant positions in the Railways or laying new tracks as needed, or repairing worn out tracks or ensuring proper systems for safety, security and punctuality; the government is making the Railways the scapegoat for inefficiency and losses. It is the government’s strategy to first defame the public sector and then to sell it to the private sector.
The government’s whacky decision to run a bullet train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad after incurring a debt of one lakh crores from Japan, is a cruel joke with the poor public. Besides, it also exposes the ruling elite’s mentality of indulging itself at the cost of others.
The Socialist Party believes that the privatisation of Indian Railways in any form is unconstitutional and anti-people. The privatisation of Indian Railways is different from the privatisation of any other public sector undertaking. The Railways is intrinsically connected with rural and urban economy, composite culture, education and internal security. If the government sells the Railways, it is as if it sells the country.
In view of this serious calamity, the Socialist Party has launched a nation-wide awareness campaign against the government’s decision to sell the Railway. This campaign was inaugurated by a ‘Save Indian Railways’ march from Mandi House to Jantar-Mantar in Delhi on 22 June 2017. In that series a ‘Save Indian Railways’ Dharna has been organized at Jantar-Mantar on 2 October 2017 from 12.00 to 5.00 pm.
Kuldip Nayar (veteran journalist), comrade Shiv Gopal Mishra (general secretary, Northern Railway Men’s Union), Ali Anwar (Member Parliament), Rajeeb Ray (president DUTA), Dr. Shahsi Shekhar Singh (member, Academic Council, Delhi University), senior socialist leaders Raj Kumar Jain, Arun Srivastav, Shyam Gambhir, Dr. Harish Khanna, Dr. Prem Singh (president, Socialist Party), Renu Gambhir (vice president), Manjoo Mohan (general secretary), Faizal Khan (organising secretary), Syed Tahseen Ahmed (acting president Socialist Party Delhi Pradesh), Shaoor Khan (vice president), Tripti Negi (vice president), Yogesh Paswan (general secretary), Shahbaz Malick (secretary), Niraj Kumar (president, Socialist Yuvjan Sabha), Bandana Pandey (general secretary), Ram Naresh (secretary, SYS, Delhi Pradesh), social-political activists, writers-intellectuals-journalists and students in large numbers will participate in dharna.
A memorandum will be given to the President at the end of dharna requesting him to stop the privatisation of the railways.
Kindly send reporter/team of your newspaper-magazine-channel to cover this important program.
Thus Stands the Socialist Party
Upholding Brotherhood and Equality
Dr. Prem Singh