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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Frightening Railways!

The existing state of affairs in the railways frightens me.

That the major issues of any large organization should always remain on the radar of the top management is a philosophy that is being defied with impunity in the organization. What is also being defied are the well established roles defined for the board, headquarters and divisional offices with almost everyone jumping on the bandwagon to perform mundane jobs. Mundane jobs because perhaps they come naturally even to those in the hierarchy who are meant to impart vision and a sense of direction to the organization.

It saddens me to witness that the use of intemperate language in meetings, discussions, file notings and official communications is on the ascension. Frayed tempers, high decibels and use of abusive language, traits that are identified with family owned under performing business houses have started emerging as a hallmark in the functioning of the railway bureaucracy. A grand spectacle of one up man ship based on belittling others is on display almost always in the ministry and headquarters offices. That the working of a commercial organization that is in monopoly in a massive sellers market can be unpleasant to the core is a reality that can be experienced only within the confines of the railways.    

It defies logic that after almost a hundred and sixty years of existence, we still lack clarity on the type of organization we are. We swing alternately from being a department of the government to a commercial setup and end up being neither. Our performance therefore takes a direct hit as we have perhaps emerged as one of the finest examples of a commercial setup defying the established practices and systems that should be the building blocks of any setup that identifies itself with commercial activities.

The smooth rise of mediocrity up the hierarchial ladder is a cause of discomfiture for all those, and there are still many of the kind, who have the welfare of the organization as their sole concern. Yet the state of affairs is likely to continue as long as pygmies continue to hold sway in this organization that till recently had a great prefixed to its name. How times change, for the worse?


  1. All railway officers are clear about their objective-live and retire peacefully.

  2. Times do change, however, for better. As children, sometimes we used to hold dear toys not becoz those were dear to us but, just becoz they are not taken by someone else. That fear used to pull the toys to us. Today, it seems, not becoz we are concrened of things in Rly.s that we hold it so dear but there is a hidden fear of imminent take over by someone more competant. All energy is therefore, guided towards a single direction to misguide someone who is to watch.
    In marathi, there is a saying, Yeda bankar Peda Khao. Focus should be where there is focus. Very few people have the capability to see the unseen within the seen. It's sorry that though, we have many who can see the unseen but unfortunately, the desire to acknowledge & accept what their eyes have seen and further the courage to change it for better is absent in the many that we have. The most unfortunate thing is one who has the courage to change for better is pulled like the scorpion was pulled by fellows in the open pot of the fisherman.

    Few lines for doers,

    Is neeche giraney aur upar hone ki ada se,
    wo ya unka Khuda zaane wo kya paayegein,
    Gair nahi, apne hai wo, ashwin,
    Kab jaanegein, Hum Zameen ke Zameen par,
    jo paana hai issi Zamein se issi Zamein par,
    paa kar issi Zamein mein mil zayenge.

    Jeewan yahi, yahi jeewan,
    Jaan kar, Paa kar,
    issi Jeewan ke ho kar,
    issi Jeewan mein kho zayenge,

    Rahein lambi nahi,
    ghoom kar yahi pahunchti hain,
    Karna zo hai, tum se ho na sahi,
    Zigar wale to kar ke hi zayenge,

    Din aaj nahi to kya, Kab tak rok paoge,
    Ujala mein wo hasti hai ki,
    Andhere mein bhi ujala kar zayenge.

  3. what a Philosophical response!

  4. Really a deep thought. It deserves comment.