Millennium Post

Behind the furore lies lousy service

The issue of ‘force-feeding’ a Muslim staff member that resulted in untimely breaking of his Roza is really a multi-pronged matter that needs to be interrogated from all angles. Naturally, the Shiv Sena MPs who shoved the chapati down the throat of the IRCTC worker, who happened to be a Muslim, must be condemned for their unceremonious and unparliamentary behaviour at the Maharashtra Sadan.

In fact, their bullish violence borders on bigoted and is an example of how we have elected uncouth and ill-behaved MPs who routinely flout basic code of decency, even within the hallowed governmental premises. There must be a full-fledged probe into the matter and whether the Sena MPs were aware of the staffer’s religious identity when they committed the minor assault and compromised his sacred fast ritual should be established in court of law. A glaring example of how MPs play roughshod and allow themselves entitlements over and above fellow citizens, the Sena MPs must face prosecution and penalty, if found guilty. Moreover, if there’s a deliberate communal premise behind the incident, proper action must be taken beyond the token apologies from Shiv Sena chief Udhav Thackeray as well as the MPs themselves.

However, there remains another side to the story that’s getting completely overlooked in this competitive hue and cry over our parliamentarians’ brutishness. It is that we are habitually putting up with very poor quality service in most of publicly-financed operations. While Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), a subsidiary of the Indian Railways, which is responsible for supplying food at Maharashtra Sadan, has stopped its operations in the government building, should we not ask and also examine if the food served was indeed substandard?

Inasmuch as the Sena MP under question, Rajan Vichare, is a known bigot and a firebrand Thane leader accused of more than two dozen charges of violence and vandalism, there is no question of not following up what really transpired in the Sadan on 17 July. But given IRCTC’s flagging reputation and the dwindling quality of food and allies services in railways and other publicly-operated facilities, including tourism centres and ministries, cultural and educational centres, we also need to find out how effective it has been in providing and meeting basic standard services.
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