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An end to red beacon ego era

An end to red beacon ego era
Highlights

In a truly historic decision the Union Cabinet has decided to ban the use of red beacons atop vehicles of dignitaries and government officials, including the Prime Minister and the President. The decision is all set to come into effect from May 1. 

In a truly historic decision the Union Cabinet has decided to ban the use of red beacons atop vehicles of dignitaries and government officials, including the Prime Minister and the President. The decision is all set to come into effect from May 1.

What the Cabinet took away from our VVIPs' today is not just the beacon light but also a slice of the VIP culture itself that disgustingly dominates our society. This premium class of citizens in the country are extraordinary human beings having not a single trait of a non-VIP - compassion, consideration, logic, reason or rationale - barring a few.

Moreover, this segment is notorious for using the most questionable means in deploying their wherewithal at the drop of a hat. We often wonder why judgment flees to the brutish beasts and men lose their reason once bestowed with these privileges and why they resort to this stately display of cruelty towards the les miserables!

Shall we ponder over the injustices heaped all around by these VIPs'? We have seen them thrashing toll booth employees and those who overtake their vehicles. They are known to hold up traffic even if a patient in an ambulance is dying. A beacon is supposed to guide someone or something such as a country giving them hope.

Those using it since long are known to not only mow down people but also customs, conventions, practices and the law itself as we have seen in the case of a recent Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaekwad who reiterated his VIP culture in thrashing a poor Air India staffer and got away with it. Two Chief Ministers, Yogi Adityanath and Capt Amarinder Singh of UP and Punjab, have already removed the beacons from their vehicles the moment they occupied the high positions.

The Cabinet decision will extend to the vice-president, the Chief Justice of India, Union ministers, Chief Ministers, State Cabinet ministers, bureaucrats and judges of the High Court and Supreme Court. It will be interesting to see whether VIPs like Gaekwad follow the rule now.

It was in 2013 that the Apex Court dubbed the use of beacons by ministers and government officials "ridiculous and synonymous with powers" while seeking removal of the same, at once. The next year too it described beacons as a 'status symbol' and described that besides Constitutional functionaries, it was the ambulances, fires services and army who are in need for red lights.

Rest can be excluded and there is no need for our orders" The present move is step in the right direction. In fact, if the law makers were to stay united in condemning the ugly behaviour of the Shiv Sainik the other day, the aam aadmi would have been much happier.

Well, if this is the beginning, then more symbols of the Raj era should also go. This is a democracy not an autocracy. There are several invisible beacon lights of this black mass of power that should also die out. Hope the government makes the right moves not just the right noises.

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