Railway accident: Demanding Minister’s resignation unjustified
Voice of The Reader

Railway accident: Demanding Minister’s resignation unjustified

June 20, 2024


There is a tradition in our country that whenever rail, road, air or other accidents occur, the Ministers concerned are put in the dock and demands are made for their resignation as if these tragedies happened at their behest. No one can deny that any accident resulting in loss of life and property is unfortunate and agonising. That is why it is called ‘accident.’

However, we must also examine the factors responsible for these accidents: Sudden failure of the mechanical system, tracks being sabotaged or explosives planted by terrorists, signal failure or any other human error.

The Minister concerned is not an omnipresent being who can personally oversee everything.

While the Ministers and their associates can be held accountable if there are delays in relief and rescue operations or if the respective officials fail to reach the site for assistance, blaming them solely for the accident itself would be unjustified.

We need to look at the root causes behind these accidents instead of making knee-jerk reactions and demanding resignations. A comprehensive inquiry and efforts to strengthen safety measures would be more prudent.

— Dr. Shiban Krishna Raina, Bengaluru, 17.6.2024

Note: This trend of demanding Railway Minister’s resignation began when Lal Bahadur Shastri submitted his resignation voluntarily following a railway accident when he was a Railway Minister in Prime Minister Nehru’s Cabinet.

Those were different times and of different political values. Lal Bahadur Shastri resigned purely on moral grounds though there was no need for him to resign on legal or political grounds. In fact, Nehru                                                      wanted him to withdraw the resignation which, of course, he did not.—Editor

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