The internet world in India is busy discussing about the ‘Metro Man’- Mr. Elattuvalapil Sreedharan and his decision to join politics via the membership of the Bharatiya Janta Party. While many people are happy about this, a group also exists that is discussing his scientific credibility and even questioning his very contribution to India.
There cannot be enough articles to cover his scientific and technical endeavors. However, the need of the hour is to focus more on how the same group that is ever ready with placards and slogans in protection of democracy is attacking someone’s national service due to his political ideology. Isn’t one of the basic tenets of a healthy democracy is co-existence of various ideas and ideologies? And who could be better than an educated and qualified man, who has known the needs of this nation, to talk on the ideals of the Hindutva Realism- as many consider it being the principle of the party he has joined, the one which has its’ reflection in the Government’s decision of the Balakot airstrike, Surgical strike, etc. He can present it better than the ones who enter politics for the only desire to gain money, fame or/and power. The man we are talking about has already achieved all these with his hard work and dedication and has an experience of working with people from various backgrounds and thus he deserves respect for both his contributions and his decision of joining the active politics.
People with minuscule knowledge of science, technology, administration or management, standing at the forefront giving the excuse of age against police actions, must realize that their stands an 88-year-old national servant, whose only mistake is that he unapologetically owns up to his right to choose the platform through which he can continue serving the nation, targeting whom only makes them more unconnected and irrelevant to the masses. From rebuilding the Pamban Bridge in Tamil Nadu to Konkan Railways, Metro etc. Mr. Sreedharan with his work on the transportation system has removed a major impediment in between an individual and his/her dreams, that is, the lack of accessibility. Time and cost-efficient connectivity after all are the backbone of the overall economic and industrial sector of any nation.
Since the BJP has won its second term to form the Government, a large part of Indians is being portrayed as communal, backward, and even intolerant. The citizens of a nation like India that owns a splendid scientific heritage are being mocked at with ‘gau-mutra’ jibes, being called pseudo-scientific for revering their ancient epics like Mahabharata or Ramayana or for following their religious and Dharmic ideals. Is Mr. Sreedharan’s joining the party becoming so controversial amongst the same elitist cabal because it shows how India has always been a land where culture and science have walked together? Is it because it shows how their inclinations towards imported ideologies of left and right holds no substance in this vast ocean of the Indian democracy that by its very nature is inclusive and adores equality? Thus, all that is needed is genuine actions along with genuine intentions to target the needful and the pitfalls in politics, governance, or administration instead of targeting everyone who owns certain ideology. And yes, this can be rightly achieved by people like Mr. Sreedharan.
Lastly, I would like to share how his work fill me with gratitude for him. It is very common for girls from small towns getting overwhelmed with all the negative news spread by media about the National capital. Metros, thus, not only help us travel with ease and sense of security but also helps bust many stereotypes Delhi holds. Metros made me see why New Delhi is rightly called the ‘Mini- India’.