By John Cheeran
Last week MPs from Kerala created a ruckus in Parliament peeved at the creation Salem Railway Division. Their protest centered on the fact that large chunks of Palakkad Division were lopped off to create the Salem Division for the neighbouring state Tamil Nadu.
Tamil Nadu, who are demanding the new division, had their arguments based on the geographical reality that the existing Palakkad division largely runs through that state. A fair argument, indeed.
So why were Kerala’s MPs going wild when there was hardly anything to cry about?
In a federal structure what happens if a new Railway Division has been created? Are these MPs are championing the cause of some of the bureaucrats in the existing Palakkad Division? There no job losses, no trouble to passengers, so what’s the big fuss about?
As far as I know not a single Kerala railway passenger will be adversely affected by the creation of the new Salem Division. All trains that come to Kerala will still come, observing the same schedule, carrying the same passengers. There are no changes at the boarding and alighting points.
The quality of the service will be the same. So why Kerala’s MPs, mainly belonging to the CPI (M) fold, were hopping mad at the Parliament Hall?
And mind you Palakkad Division is the route through which millions of Malayalis pass through to earn their bread in such far away places as New Delhi, Dispur and Shillong. And Chennai too.
Did anyone ask these railway commuters what’s their opinion on the Salem Division issue?
No. Not the MPs or the television channels and the newspapers in Kerala.Long live these divisions, long live India.
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