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In 1990 Travelling on a train with two politicians to Gujarat: Anatomy of an Incident

Experience of two women coming from Assam to Gujarat in Indian Railways. They met two great politicians of the state of Gujarat who has gone down in the history of India forever.

It was the late summer of 1990. As Indian Railway Service probationers, my best friend and I went via train from Lucknow to Delhi. Two politicians were likewise going in a similar coach. That was fine, yet the conduct & behaviour of approximately 12 individuals who were going with them without reservation was unbelievable.

amit shah politician inside the train
Amit Shah and Piyush Goyal in Indian Railways train inspection

They tried us to leave our booked seats and sit on the baggage and passed profane and oppressive remarks on us. We fell in trepidation and wriggled with rage. It was a nerve-racking night in the organization of a rowdy regiment; we were anxious, on the slight line among respect and shame. Every single other traveller appeared to have disappeared, alongside the Traveling Ticket Examiner.


We arrived at Delhi railway station from Lucknow, the next day morning without being truly hurt by the goons of corrupt MP’s, however, we were genuinely destroyed mentally. My best friend was so damaged she chose to avoid the following period of preparing in Ahmadabad and remained back in Delhi. I chose to carry on since another batch-mate was going along with me. (She is Utpalparna Hazarika, presently Executive Director, Railway Board)

lady in train engine

We took a train to Gujarat’s capital, this time without reservations as there wasn’t sufficient opportunity to reserve it. Our reservation was waitlisted and we planned to travel again to witness the new experience.

We met the Ticket Collector of the top of the line coach and disclosed to him how we needed to get to Ahmedabad. The train was intensely reserved, yet he pleasantly drove us to a roadster to sit as he attempted to support us.

Meet the other two politicians

I took a goose at the two potential co-explorers, two POLITICIAN’S (again), as could be recognized from their white khadi clothing, and froze. “They’re respectable individuals, normal explorers on this course, nothing to stress,” the Ticket Collector guaranteed us. One of them was in his mid-forties with a typical, loving face, and the other in his late-thirties with a warm yet to some degree impenetrable demeanour. They promptly made space for us by nearly pressing themselves to one corner.

BJP Leader Politicians
BJP Leaders with Narendra Modi

They presented themselves: two BJP political leaders from Gujarat. The names were told however immediately overlooked as names of co-travellers were unimportant at that point. We likewise presented ourselves, two Railway administration probationers from Assam.

The discussion went to various themes, especially in the territories of History and the republic nation. My companion, a post-graduate in History from Delhi University and smart, participated. I also contributed. The conversation veered around to the development of the Hindu Mahasabha and the Muslim League.

narendra modi and shankarsinh vaghela
Shankarsinh Waghela, Keshubhai Patel & Narendra Modi

The senior one was an energetic member. The younger one, for the most part, stayed calm, however, his non-verbal communication passed on his all-out mental inclusion in what was being examined, however, he barely contributed. At that point, I referenced Syama Prasad Mookerjee’s passing, why it was as yet thought to be a secret by many. He out of nowhere asked: “How would you think about Syama Prasad Mookerjee?”

I needed to disclose to him that when my dad was a post-graduate understudy in Calcutta University, as its Vice-Chancellor he had masterminded a grant for the youngster from Assam.

Narendra Modi with Waghela politicians
Shankarsinh Waghela and Narendra Modi

The more young man at that point nearly turned away and talked in a quieted tone nearly to himself: “It’s acceptable they know such a large number of things …”

Invitation to join political party in Gujarat

Abruptly the senior man proposed: “Why not join our political party in Gujarat?” We both ignored it, saying we were not from Gujarat. The more young man at that point commandingly contributed: “So what? We don’t have any issue on that. We invite talent in our State.” I could see an unexpected sparkle in his quiet aura. 

The food arrived, 4 vegetarian thalis. We ate in silence. When the pantry-car manager came to take the payment, the more young guy paid for all of us. I muttered a feeble ‘thank you’, but he almost disregarded that as something entirely trivial. I observed at that moment that he had a different kind of glow in his eyes, which one should hardly ever miss. He hardly ever spoke, frequently listened.

The Ticket Collector then got here and informed us the train turned into packed and he couldn’t arrange berths for us. Both men immediately stood up and said: “It’s okay, we’ll manage.” They unexpectedly spread material on the ground and went to sleep, at the same time as we occupied the berths.

What a contrast! The previous night time we had felt very insecure travelling with a group of politicians, and here we had been visiting with two politicians in a coupe, and not using a fear.

The next morning, while the train neared Ahmedabad, both of them asked us approximately our lodging arrangements within the city. The senior one instructed us that during the case of any problem, the doors of his residence have been open for us. There become some form of actual concern in the voice or the facial contours of the otherwise difficult more young one, and he informed us: “I’m like a nomad, I don’t have a proper home to ask you however you could accept his offer of safe shelter on this new place.”

We thanked them for that invitation and assured them that accommodation becomes not going to be a problem for us.

Before the educate got here to a stop, I pulled out my diary and asked them for their names again. I didn’t need to overlook the names of two large-hearted fellow passengers who nearly pressured me to revise my opinion about politicians in general. I scribbled down the names quickly as the teaching turned into about to stop: Shankersinh Vaghela and Narendra Modi.

I wrote in this episode in an Assamese newspaper in 1995. It becomes a tribute to 2 unknown politicians from Gujarat for giving up their comfort ungrudgingly for the sake of bens from Assam. When I wrote that, I didn’t have the faintest idea that these two human beings were going to come to be so obvious, or that I might hear extra approximately them later. When Mr Vaghela has become Chief Minister of Gujarat in 1996, I turned into glad. When Mr Modi took office as Chief Minister in 2001, I felt elated. (A few months later, some other Assamese every day reproduced my 1995 piece.) And now, he is the Prime Minister of India.

Modi and waghela in lighter mood
Waghela & Modi

Every time I see him on TV, I recall that warm meal, that mild courtesy, caring and feel of security that we got that night a ways from domestic in a train, and bow my head.

Recently due to coronavirus pandemic PM Narendra Modi has declared Unlock 2.0. Where central government has released a state wise guidelines for each individual state of India.

Also according to the latest resources, we came to know that Shankarsinh Vaghela also found COVID-19 positive few days back and he is under treatment at the sterling hospital. We wish for his speedy recovery.


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