Why This Kolaveri 'didi'? : The Rail Budget

By: Namita Singh




As the Union Rail budget -2012 ,set against the backdrop of electoral results, political tension and inflationary pressure made its way into the parliament, Rail Minister Dinesh Trivedi , made his way out of it. Things clearly don’t seem to be going too well for the Trinamool Congress , who are still dealing with the aftershocks of the Rail Budget.
On march 14, Dinesh Trivedi , stood up to present his maiden budget in the Parliament with the main focus being laid upon security , hygiene and infrastructural facilities. Other initiatives included the attempts to reduce the operating ratio from 95% to 85% and increment in job opportunities upto 1 lakh (which was around 80,ooo in the previous year). But the key proposal, gathering large-scale criticism and TRPs for various news networks was the price- hike from about 2 paisa to 30 paisa per kilometer and this happened for the first time in nine long years.

Little did Mr Trivedi know, that , in an attempt to bring the railways ‘out of the ICU’ he would himself have to be on ventilatory support, counting his last days as the Railway Minister. The fact that Mr Trivedi chose not to consult Mamta didi before proposing the price hike in parliament followed by a public display of defiance , forced fire out of Banerjee , reducing Trivedi’s seat to ashes.
An in-depth political analysis may give an insight into what Mamata calls ‘a big conspiracy’. Trivedi, who was not the first choice of  the TMC as the candidate for succeeding Banerjee as the Railway Minister, went on to become one , when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh , allegedly rejected Mukul Roy as inexperienced . Also the rising proximity between Congress and Trivedi seems to have made the TMC uncomfortable and he was hence, seen as an opportunist within the party.

On flipping the coin, Mamata who appears to be the antagonist , is struggling hard to retain her image of that of a social reformer. Whatever it may be, the Congress does not seem to be very unhappy about it, as this is helping in crumbling the image of ‘didi’ and portraying her as a Hitler of sorts.
On a concluding note, Trivedi might appear to be a holy cow , slaughtered in the battleground of politics, but, one must not forget , this happens to be Indian Politics , where everything is not what it seems. Till then, all we can do is ask: ”Why this Kolaveri didi?”

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