In a move that is bound to stir up a hornet’s nest,Union Railways minister Tinesh Dwivedi today announced his intention to replace Bholu,the endearing,cuddly elephant mascot of the indian railways with a mouse,named rather aptly as Sahyatri.
Speaking at a press conference, he revealed that it was something which was on his mind for a long time,and he felt that this was the opportune moment to roll it out. “I have talked to a lot of people,both as a minister and as common man,and I feel that I speak for a wide cross section of the junta”,he said.
Explaining the logic behind the move,he said that the ubiquitous mouse had become an integral part of any train journey. “ Among the things that you would take back from a train journey,the mouse would be right on top of the list,its actually your sahyatri, something you would inevitably associate with the Indian Railways, and hence this change in the Railways’ mascot is apt and befitting”.
The move seems to have struck a chord with frequent travellers, with a lot of them voicing their support for the same. “It takes time for the import of the move to sink in,but when it does,you marvel at its compelling simplicity and novelty and bask in its glory,absolutely splendid,one of the best things to have happened to the Railways”, said a rather eloquent and visibly thrilled gentleman. “Just to look at these harmless,amiable creatures diligently scurrying up and down the aisle is in itself a source of inspiration,and when you are sitting in a train,with little to do,these things seldom go unnoticed”,averred a psychiatrist.
However,like any other government policies,this move has had its fair share of dectractors as well. The most vociferous opposition has come in from Statue City,with a visibly upset Bhaiji trashing the move as being absolute rubbish. “The elephant has over the years come to represent the trials and tribulations of the socially downtrodden,this move is paramount to a slap on their faces,we strongly condemn this atrocious move”, he said. He also informed the press of the party’s intention to erect a statue of an elephant outside the Statue Central as a mark of protest. Joining Bhaiji in expressing displeasure over the decision,Ms DeeDee has alleged that the states were not taken into confidence at the time of drafting the legislation. “The Railways might be centrally owned but the very fact that rails pass through all states makes the Indian Railways a state subject. The government’s policies seem to be in direct conflict with the principles of a federal structure,and this sort of autocratic rulership is not acceptable,the government must get off its high horse.”,she said. The season of rollbacks was not lost on her,and she wasted little time in asking for the Minister’s head. “He has proved that he is not capable of running such a crucial department,and has lost the mandate to be Railway minister. I demand his immediate resignation and a rollback of this nonsensical proposal. In fact,I ll be going to the Capital,on elephant back,to see to the matter myself”,she concluded in a hurry.
While the proposal is set to hang fire for a long time to come, it is obvious that the move has captured the nation’s imagination,and it remains to be seen whether the government gives in to popular demand or satiates its political allies.