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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Change or Perish!

Deep introspection is the need of the hour.

Simultaneous beating on many fronts is what the railways is now getting everyday without exception. The recent accidents have brought the issue of safety in full public glare and the railways needs to urgently do something in this regard. The public clamor for improving punctuality is also becoming louder by the day. Rapidly rising disposable incomes are also leading to higher expectations about passenger amenities and services.

While it is true that the railways is still the most visible symbol of dynamic delivery in the nation, it is also true that its working systems and procedures are archaic and totally unfit for the twenty first century India. This is the crux of the problem, and needs to be addressed, if the railways is serious about its role as a transport service provider and also its image perception. Mere lip service to issues that we have become adept at, shall not carry the railways any further in the present rapidly changing world.

That the malaise is a symptom of a deep rooted disease borne out of our inability to change with the times is a fact that needs appreciation by the mandarins of the railway bureaucracy, the earlier the better. Merely flogging the system and indulging in drives, counseling and punishments without giving any concrete inputs has time and again proved to be counterproductive for the system. How can, in the present times, deliverance be expected from a system that has succeeded in only created fear, not pride and commitment in its constituents? Yet, our over indulgence in cosmetic and peripheral handling of the organization is borne out of a mediocre mentality that seeks solace in following the simpler and the oft trodden path that leads nowhere. Our archaic decision making and contractual mechanisms that are based on mistrust towards one and all have also been failing with predictable ease in the present times.

We need to change. Any commercial organization that has achieved the impossible by going almost bankrupt despite being in monopoly in a sellers market needs to change its processes and systems in totality.

Perhaps the time for change is now knocking at our doorsteps. Insha Allah we may respond!

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