The Railway Men : Riding the Rails of History

Unveiling the unsung heroes

The Railway Men from Netflix : photo collected from the thetimesofindia.com

All Aboard the Netflix Express

So, I recently hopped on the Netflix train and found myself glued to a series that's been making waves— "The Railway Men." Now, it's not exactly the kind of show you'd expect the whole world to binge-watch, given its Indian roots. But hey, I've got a story to share, and it's not about spoilers; it's about a spine-chilling tragedy that unfolded in Bhopal in 1984.

Unmasking the Mysterious Methyl Isocyanate

I won't spill the beans on the series, but I can't keep mum about the eerie dance of Methyl Isocyanate (MIC).
Back in the day, it decided to tango with the air and turned into cyanide, spelling out a painful death in hours—if not minutes. Childhood stories can only take you so far; witnessing the series lays bare the true extent of the massacre that occurred.

The Railway Men : Railways to the Rescue

Now, let's talk about the unsung heroes. These aren't the caped crusaders but everyday folks who stood tall against the impending doom.
We usually hear about their courage for a fleeting moment after disasters, but "The Railway Men" gives us a real view of a railway station master, a bandit, a diligent loco pilot, the general manager of central railways, and a journalist who orchestrated a symphony of survival that fateful night.

Scenes from Netflix series collected from hindustimes.com

The aftermath of the tragedy:

During the time of disaster, immediately almost 4000 people died. Later on that number went around 20000(on records).

Not just that, since this poisonous gas was exposed to about half a million people all over, not only they suffered from slow poisoning, their next 3–4 generations ended up bearing the baggage of neurological disorders like cerebral palsy, dow’s syndrome ,higher mortality rates, respiratory diseases, lower chances of pregnancies — over all leading the next few generations handicapped.

Vikas Yadav, 19, and Aman Yadav, 17, brothers, have muscular dystrophy and are being cared for by their mother at their home. Affected by toxic waste which seeped into the groundwater, they will live short, painful lives. Image by Rohit Jain. India, 2018

That day, if these unsung heroes didn’t stand up for their people, few more millions would have joined the death parade on that day.

Khalasi: A Song for Fearless Leaders

Speaking of fearless leaders, I stumbled upon a song a few weeks back called "Khalasi." The lyrics echoed the call for a fearless leader, and guess what? After watching "The Railway Men," I'd say we've found them right among the railway tracks.

Photo of Khalasi singers ,collected from Coke Studio Bharat YouTube channel

The show is a homage to the real-life heroes who rose to the occasion, saving countless lives and proving that courage wears many faces.

A Tragedy Repeated: Lessons Unlearned

Now, let's fast forward to 2023. The world witnessed yet another environmental catastrophe—a staggering one billion tons of crude oil spilled in the Gulf of Mexico. The price? Paid by the innocent wildlife and common people. It's a stark reminder that history repeats itself, and the cost is often borne by those least responsible.

A Clean Gulf Associates 95-foot response vessel skims crude oil approximately 4 miles southeast of South Pass Louisiana, Nov. 17, 2023. (U.S. Coast Guard photo, courtesy Clean Gulf Associates / FOX Weather

The Bhopal Gas tragedy is far more horrific than the oil spills. However, it is a testament of ignorance by industries which still continues.

In the end, "The Railway Men" isn't just a series; it's a window into the courage that resides in the ordinary. So, let's ride the rails of history, learn from the past, and hope that the tales of fearless leaders keep inspiring us to change tracks for a better future. All aboard the wisdom train!

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Oishee Chatterjee 💎 || Blogger| Writer| Dreamer||

Welcome to my world of scribbled thoughts and musings! I am a passionate Lifestyle blogger, dedicated to sharing the essence of life through the art of writing.