Thursday, April 20, 2017

Banning red beacon is good, but lot more required

Banning of red beacon atop all kinds of vehicles is a good decision taken by the Narendra Modi government. With a view to strengthening healthy democratic values in the country, NDA govt. took another historic step. It has decided to do away with beacons of all kinds atop all categories of vehicles in the country. Beacons, however, will be allowed on vehicles concerned with emergency and relief services, ambulance, fire service etc. It will end one of the signs of VIP culture that prevailed among govt. dignitaries. Red beacons atop the vehicles of dignitaries added glamour to their position. They had created a sense of importance for them among the people whenever a govt. dignitary in vehicle with red beacon on top of it visited them. But as far as the decision of doing away with red beacon atop all kinds of vehicles is concerned, it would make no impact in any way on the common people in the villages. It is the educated middle class people who understand how the vehicle of govt. dignitary with red beacon atop it makes differences. One message that Prime Minister Narendra Modi intended to send by banning the red beacon atop all kinds of vehicles is that his govt. treats the people as VIPs. All are equal in status as far as govt. privilege is concerned. But by doing away with red or blue beacon, the Govt. will not in any away curtail other privileges of ministers and MPs. Will there be any cut in the facilities- of the sprawling bungalow, fleet of vehicles and security- that are provided to ministers, MPs, MLAs and other dignitaries? If these facilities are cut down, it will be beneficial as far as the govt. exchequer is concerned. The decision of doing away with red beacon will end the British reminiscences as some ministers in the Modi govt. say. As far as British reminiscences are concerned, our parliamentary democracy is itself based on Westminster model. Can the Govt. replace it? So the decision of doing away with red beacon is nothing but a populist one to show the people that Modi govt. is closer to them than any other previous govt. That is why it has also been said that red beacon should have been banned long before. To go closer to people to identify with them, the govt. dignitaries whether they are ministers, MPs, MLAs or govt. officers, they should emulate the life style of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation, as far as his simplicity is concerned. Mahatma Gandhi identified with the common men through his simplicity. His dress, life style and his humbleness identified him with the poor people very easily. Can anyone of the present day leader have the moral authority to emulate the life style of Gandhiji to go closer to the poor people? Million of rupees are spent only on security, maintaining residences and fleet of vehicles of our ministers, MPs, MLAs and leaders. Can the govt. curtail their facilities to be closer to the common people? It is not only red beacon that reflected VIP culture. More than that, it is the mindset of ministers, MPs and MLAs that makes them VIPs. Red beacon has been removed, but big SUVs are there for them to move along with convoy of security vehicles. The security vehicles that accompany the ministers themselves reflect their VIP status. So, Only removing red beacon will not help end the VIP culture. It is the convoy of vehicles of security personnel to protect ministers, MPs, MLAs and high bureaucrats that establish them as VIPs. Banning red beacon from atop all kinds of vehicles is a decision that appeals the people in the first place but it will make no difference to their VIP status that they enjoyed. If the sprawling bungalow and security personnel are not taken away from the govt. dignitaries such as ministers, MPs, MLAs and high bureaucrats, VIP culture among them will not end.

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