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Mamata Bans Red at the Railways

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Indian Railways is going green. Literally. Mamata Banerjee, whose visceral dislike for communists is well known, has banished the colour associated with communists from her terrain. Red carpets are no longer laid out at any railway event she attends, nor are red plastic chairs. Green is Trinamool’s adopted colour, so rail functions are green carpet affairs and a profusion of foliage has replaced red roses. Next up for the green makeover would be railway stations declared adarsh (ideal) by the minister.

Why are most railway structures in India red? It has nothing to do with communism. Red was the colour used by the British to paint government buildings. Such buildings were exposed brick structures and the best way to protect them from the elements was deemed to be a coat of red oxide that, incidentally, lasts longer than other colours.