Was looking at a senior citizen railway ticket the other day, and below the tiny, computer lettering, which only the TC can understand, were bold letters, not thanking you for traveling by rail and not by air, not welcoming a senior citizen on board, but a line which blatantly asked, ‘ Are you aware that 43% of your fare is borne by the common citizens of the country?’
Which if you ask me, was nothing short of the government burdening a senior citizen with guilt that the discount he had got for his ticket came out of the charity of tax payers!
Hello there sir, you who have envisioned this ‘government guilt trip’ do you know how much of tax payers money was just used in giving voters, freebies, free electricity, free housing, free entries into colleges, schools and jobs?
Are those who used my tax money also told that the job they hold, or the TV set or free laptop they were given was borne by the common citizens of the country?
Or maybe I should speak directly to a farmer, “Hello sir, how are you doing?”
“Well I’m still alive. I haven’t committed suicide, you know what I mean?”
“That means you owe your life to me sir!”
“Yes sir, my money has given you free electricity, free water, and subsidized much of your fertilizers and seeds! So, whenever you see me, please thank me! It’s because of me you live isn’t it?”
But I don’t see the government reminding the farmer about this, nor to those who have got their jobs and college seats through reservations and not merit.
Ah yes merit: So, shouldn’t all those students who became doctors, engineers or who’ve got government jobs through reservations and quota and other means not have a sign put up by government officials outside their clinics or offices saying, “Our medical degree is due to the sacrifice of meritorious students!”?
And what about our dear politicians?
“Mr Karnataka MLA: Are you aware that 100% of the common citizen voters who backed you did so, because you were their representative against the policies of another party? Don’t you feel guilty about betraying your constituents?”
“And you, the party, accepting these betrayers, don’t you feel guilty?”
“No we don’t! We are above RTI! We are above guilt! Those guilt trips are yours to bear!”
And so at every railway station, watch old men and women, who’ve served this country well, brought up children through hard work, now, struggling with hardly any income, glancing with guilty eyes at their railway ticket, reeling under a burden of guilt the government has so callously thrust on them, while they themselves ride guilt free despite their guilt filled activities..!(Published on 29nd July 2019, Volume XXXI, Issue 31)