Prime Minister Narendra Modi has tried to give a body blow to VIP culture in India and his government at Centre has taken a decision to do away with red bacon vehicles. According to the decision taken by Union Cabinet, no one is allowed to use red bacon or blue bacon vehicles in India, exceptions being some urgent services like Fire Brigades, Police and Ambulances. The decision was effective from May 1st last.
Though the decision was taken for whole of India, there are certain ambiguities, which have to be cleared. India is a federal state, where provincial governments also exist. The first question being asked is whether Union government can take a decision about the Ministers of provincial government? A legislator of Bihar has asked this question and has vowed to use red bacon on his vehicle till he is not barred to use it by Bihar government. It is worth mentioning that in Bihar even legislator use red bacon in his car.
Though most of the state governments have asked their ministers to discontinue the use of red bacons, there are certain states, where this policy is not being implemented. Under pressure, they may follow the decision sooner or later. But, red bacons are not the only mode to enjoy VIP status in India. No one will deny that the vehicles flaunting red or blue bacons were the most visible sign of VIP status and naturally it should have faced the first brunt.
Red and blue bacons vehicles were also being misused by the relatives and even drivers of the so called VIPs and they were also being used by criminals to cheat the police and law enforcing agencies. They are being used by anti national elements and terrorists, too. That is why, it was a very good decision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to end these bacons from the vehicles of those people who represented State and posed themselves different from the people, they were supposed to serve them.
But, Prime Minister Modi should not stop after removing red and blue bacons from the so called VIPs. In some places, those VIPs, who want get identified, when moving on roads are using siren to make others feel their presence. These sirens are disturbing the traffics and raising noise pollutions on roads. Bereft of colorful light, they are using sounds to demonstrate their VIP status. There are laws to deal with such noises on roads, but the traffic police is finding it helpless, because the people creating those noises are VIP. Hence, those sirens and sound systems should also be snatched from the vehicles used by the Ministers and bureaucrats. If they are not checked, there is danger that many other people will start using those sirens to attract the attention of others and to see the roads are cleared for them.
Apart from vehicles, there are many means of demonstrating the VIP status. After ending the menace of red and blue bacons, the government must take action against them, too. Another important way to show VIP status is to have police security around oneself. The government provides security to those VIPs, who may have securities risks. This provision is also misused and many people keep security forces as their personal guards only to show their VIP clout, though they have no security risk at all. Hence there should be proper scrutiny before providing security cover to anybody.
There are many policies, rules and regulations, which promote VIP culture. They must be reviewed. Because of those policies, rules and regulations, not only VIP culture gets a boost, but also the state incur too much expenditure. One such policy is to provide large Bungalows to former Chief Ministers in many states. While hearing a PIL regarding the Bungalows of Uttar Pradesh former Chief Ministers, Supreme Court had ordered to revoke their allotment, but the State Assembly enacted a Law to facilitate them such accommodations taking the sting out from the SC order.
Why should a former Chief Minister get such a big Bungalow? In many cases, the former CM having a government accommodation also has his own private accommodation in the same city. Hence a former CM can be provided accommodation according to his/her need and not as a matter of right.
Prime Minister should constitute a committee to give recommendations to end the VIP cultures in other fields also. Efforts must be made to bridge the gap between the State and the people by removing VIP tags with those running the State.
-Contributed by Kriti
Picture Credit:- indiawest.com