Sunday, 30 March 2014

Why Gandhi travelled 3rd class


We had gone on a 'holiday', a budget trip - Youth Hostel rooms, 2nd class train tickets and some unreserved tickets. After having seen poverty from very close up, spending plentifully on oneself does not come easily.

And on the return trip we got robbed ! Friends told us that this is why travelling AC class is better ... and I also started agreeing that the (unaffordable) loss was more than what might have got saved in cutting costs in all the many years of only 2rd class train travel.

A friend came home and hooted at the discussion, and again put things back in the original perspective. 'Of course we have to keep traveling 2nd class. And keep being party to all the problems there - the lack of hygiene, the robberies everything ! And fight to make it better, to make 2nd class travel safer and cleaner.

Gandhi was asked why he travelled 3rd class, and he answered, 'because there is no 4th class'. People have argued saying that it cost a lot to keep Gandhi travelling 3rd class. Thats OK. Much more than money is involved.

To be a stakeholder in the causes that affect the ordinary people ... so our own struggle matches their struggle.

If we the privileged put our children in government schools, the cause of government schools getting better becomes our own ... if we travel by buses, the cause of buses running better becomes our own.

The clarity of the issue is central .. and then we push as much as our courage and our morality permits.

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