PM Modi is in a hurry to do as much self-projection and inaugurate as many projects as possible before the 2019 Parliamentary elections are declared. So he didn’t let a little thing like the Pulwama attack stop him from continuing with a Discovery channel shoot on the day of the attack and inaugurating the Vande Bharat Express semi-high speed train the next day. His Minister Piyush Goyal had already tweeted a speeded-up video of the train, some days before the inauguration.
However, the very next day the train came to a dead halt on its return journey from Varanasi to Delhi, with a rattling sound, smoke and a foul smell in its last few coaches. Railway officials later said that the wheels had skidded when the train ran over a cow. The Vande Bharat Express became the ‘One-Day Bharat Express’, and the whole incident made the train (and the PM) a laughing stock the world over, with even the BBC tweeting about it with comic emojis.
The whole thing could be a perfect metaphor for Modi-led ‘feku’ ‘development’: an expensive and ill-advised project whose speed is hyped up in a faked video, is then inaugurated by a boastful Modi, and then comes a cropper when it runs over a cow - that sacred Mother of the Sanghis! Needless to say, the Sanghis who keep lynching Muslims whom they accuse of killing cows, did not lynch the Vande Bharat Express.
But Modi threw a tantrum and declared that those mocking the train would be punished! He declared, “Is it right to insult engineers and technicians? Is mocking them right? Can they be pardoned? Should they not be given right punishment at the right time?” In Emperor Modi’s rule, it is apparently forbidden to laugh at the Emperor who wears no clothes!