Etawah, Jul 5 : Does what one wear matter? Yes, a lot.
A 72-year-old Gandhian was not permitted to board the Shatabdi Express in Uttar Pradesh, as he was not in proper attire. Baba Ram Awadh Das, a follower of Mahatma Gandhi's principles, was dressed in a dhoti and had a cloth bag along with an umbrella. He was denied entry by coach attendant despite having a reserved ticket.
An annoyed Mr Das filed a written complaint with the Etawah station manager and then proceeded to Ghaziabad on a bus though authorities assured to accommodate him in some other train.
Etawah railway station Superintendent Puranmal Meena told reporters here on Friday that the Gandhian had filed a written complaint on the complaint book. "Can't say much about the issue as we only have a written complaint," the railway official said when asked about the details.
However, when contacted, Mr Das, a native of Barabanki, said that he made the reservation to visit the house of his disciple at Vijay Nagar area in Ghaziabad. "The incident and the behaviour of the Railway Police Force personnel and the coach attendant has hurt me a lot and I have decided not to travel by train in the future," he said.
Mr Das had a reserved ticket in coach C-2 with seat number 72 of 12033 Kanpur-New Delhi Shatabadi epxress train for July 4 morning. The train came at the Etawah station at 0740 hrs and he tried to board it. But the security personnel standing on the gate objected to his attire. Later, the security personnel along with the coach attendant cracked jokes on his attire and asked him to
de-board the train, Mr Das wrote in his complaint.
After a brief stoppage of two minutes at the station, the train left. The railway officer at the station assured him to help and make arrangements so that he can board the next train Magadh express to reach Ghaziabad. But Mr Das refused and said he had been insulted by the railways and wrote a complaint in the log book.
Mr Das said that he will raise the issue with the railway ministry. In May 1893, while Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was on his way to Pretoria in South Africa, a white man objected to his presence in a first-class carriage, and ordered him to move to the van compartment at the end of the train. Gandhi, who had a first-class ticket, refused, and was thrown off the train at Pietermaritzburg.