Lalu wants kids to say ‘Chak de! Railways’

February 26th, 2008 - 2:48 pm ICT by admin  

(Rail budget sidelights)

New Delhi, Feb 26 (IANS) If Railway Minister Lalu Prasad has his way, every child in India will proclaim “Chak de! Railways” in the manner actor Shah Rukh Khan popularised the game of hockey in a Bollywood film. Detailing the multifarious achievements of the world’s largest rail network under a single management, Lalu Prasad said at one stage during his budget speech in parliament: “Goal pe goal daag rahe hai, Desh ka bachcha bole, Chak de Railways!” (We are scoring goal after goal, every child should say ‘Chak De Railways’).

It served its purpose as laughter rippled through a packed Lok Sabha.

Lalu Prasad, however, was not done with collecting brownie points.

“Everybody is happy with our performance,” he said at one stage, adding at another: “Customers are our god.”

This remark, in itself, is indicative of the new thinking in the Indian Railways that have seen a dramatic turnaround in the last five years.

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Water please!

Sooner or later, given the purposeful manner in which Lalu Prasad delivered the budget speech, he was bound to feel thirsty.

Halfway into the speech, he seamlessly inserted the line “aur aab ham pani piyenge!” (Now I’ll drink water).

Needless to say, this too brought the house down.

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Language problems

That the railway minister is a considerate man was evident Tuesday.

While reciting a couplet in Hindi, he suddenly realised it was not making sense to many members, in spite of the English translation available to them over their headphones.

“Don’t worry, I’ll translate it into English for you,” Lalu Prasad said, and promptly did so.

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