The hue and cry over Shashi Tharoor’s “cattle class” remark on Twitter is much ado about nothing. His remarks sparked a controversy, thanks to some journalists who constantly search for sensational news. Every citizen has a right to voice his opinion on current issues. Mr. Tharoor may have annoyed some politicians but what is contemptuous in the words “cattle” or “holy cows?”
We live in a country where leaders preach education for all, though for millions of our children schooling remains a dream. Religious sentiments are whipped up for political gains with gusto. One wonders whether Mr. Tharoor’s remarks made in jest could even be true. Will his detractors stand up for once and prove him wrong?
Sunil P. Shenoy,
Our present-day politicians, except for a few like Lalu Prasad, would never succeed in emulating the tolerance displayed by Jawaharlal Nehru when he said to the most dreaded cartoonist of his time: “Don’t spare me, Shankar.” Incidentally, Mr. Tharoor hails from the land of Kunchan Nambiar who, as the court jester of Travancore, had all the freedom to criticise the king on his face.
Right from the day he was elected MP, Mr. Tharoor is being targeted by many. His “holy cows” remark is apt. Our representatives enjoy all the comforts, conveniently forgetting the common man who elected them.
Can they give up their air-conditioned luxury cars and use State transport buses? Can they give up the lavish parties they throw and attend? The age-old politicians in whom the common public has lost faith are scared that leaders like Mr. Tharoor will dislodge them, which is why they target him over trivial matters.
Considering the condition of many second class compartments in the Railways, there is nothing wrong in describing it as “cattle class” (although it may be too much to say so about the economy class in planes as the common people seldom travel by air).
Most of the railway coaches should have been scrapped years ago. They are hardly cleaned with detergents or acids. Thick layers of dirt are found in them. It would be better if the Railway Ministry paid some attention to cleanliness rather than increasing the frequency or introducing “new” trains with dilapidated bogeys.