Days after the Elphinstone railway station tragedy, this paper carried detailed reports about the first working day after the incident. After a long weekend, the station saw mammoth crowds once again on the same bridge on Tuesday morning.
While there was a sense of helplessness, reports cited commuters feeling fearful of a repeat. Numerous other reports showed political parties taking 'credit' for having woken up the government to take notice of crumbling railway infrastructure and need for expanding the same in the city.
While the authorities of course need to do something with immediate effect, we hope that there is a larger plan in place for potential disasters, which will demand crowd control. Railway police presence has already been stepped up in this regard.
As for the political parties, the Shiv Sena in particular is in let-us-pat-our-backs mode, saying that the government has become sensitized to the problem because they have pushed it to do so following the tragedy. Meanwhile, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena has claimed that they will not allow one brick to be laid for the bullet train until local amenities are not improved here. Commuters, though, should be able to see through the old trick of political parties that are quick to make capital out of a calamity, and are trying to take credit for certain measures in the wake of this tragedy.
Do not fall for the tired old trope about this or that party coming to your rescue. This is simply an old game of practiced politicians. Instead, concentrate on making life safer for yourself, do not panic on hearing rumors and be as sensible, alert and wary as possible in crowds.
External factors in disasters cannot be controlled, but one thing that can be is saving yourself from being manipulated by politicians that want you to believe they are the ones saving you from them.
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