July 2, Thursday, 2020
Privatisation of Railways: Self Subservience, Not Self Reliance
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) strongly opposes the decision for privatisation of the Indian Railways particularly the running of passenger trains by private investors over the Indian Railways network. This is the first time that this is happening in independent India. The private sector utilising the network established over centuries with all the required infrastructure will run passenger trains making super profits.
The Indian Railways remains as the most important network uniting our country and providing public transportation for crores of our people. The livelihood of crores of our people are dependent on the railways. Such privatisation undermines the basis of India’s self-reliant economy.
Contrary to the claim that this will boost job generation, past experience has shown that such privatisation results in a huge job loss creating insecurity for crores of employees of the Indian Railways.
The Central Government and Prime Minister Modi refuse to learn from international experience of how such privatisation of public transport has imposed unprecedented difficulties and burdens on the people. The Indian Railways is a public service. It is not a profit generating enterprise. This character cannot be undermined.
This decision has come at a time when the country and the people are in the midst of a serious effort to combat the surging Covid pandemic. Globally, as well as in our country, we have seen how reckless privatisation of health facilities have hampered and adversely affected the combat against the virus. Health, education, public transport are public services that need to be strengthened and not weakened through privatisation.
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) calls upon the central government to rescind this decision.