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How many beacons to a VIP?

How many beacons to a VIP?
Highlights

Every civilisation seeks its own symbols to preserve its own culture. Beacon-off situation is no challenge to the VIP-raj in this country. I am sure...

Every civilisation seeks its own symbols to preserve its own culture. Beacon-off situation is no challenge to the VIP-raj in this country. I am sure that with or without a beacon, a Ravindra Gaekwad, would always seek recourse to his 'chappalbrandishing' as a symbol of his power.

Another MP like Tarun Vijay may flaunt his skin colour as a beacon of his supremacy. Our own Telugu Bidda Lokesh Babu has removed beacon, we hear. Still, a satirist gets arrested for his spoofs, albeit on a different charge. The beacon here is the ego itself. Cosmetic surgery does not affect the real transformation, after all! Beacon or no beacon, we should therefore, conclude that this species of VIPs is an advanced species


Man is a featherless biped," is an Aristotelian definition. It places man in a class of twolegged animals (bipeds) as distinguishes him from other members of that class such as birds. This is not semantics that I am talking about but a fact of life.

Going by the same definition, could we say plucked chickens and kangaroos, which are also featherless, are featherless bipeds? Such serious pitfalls do occur sometimes. If we agree that anything could be described formally, whether it exists or not, it leads to another predicament too.

The class and the distinguishing characteristics, in Aristotelian terms and definitions, may be no clearer than the thing defined itself. Semantics have long argued that if 'xyphia' is defined as a three-legged bird, and if there are no three-legged birds, then the very name is just as meaningless after having been defined as before.

They go on to add "if worry is defined as a species of anxiety accompanied by hypertension, the definition is useless unless anxiety and hypertension are closer to our experience than worry.” Hence let us prefer an operational definition in contrast to the Aristotelian definition by 'class' and 'characteristic.' This operational definition is widely used in science.

This is, this subject of science, a strange subject in the sense that it tells us what to do to experience the thing defined. That is what science tells us to understand the operational definition of anything.

After this somewhat lengthy description, I would like to pose this simple question to the Air India staffer who was thrashed with a chappal by the Shiv Sena MP, Ravindra Gaekwad, in one of his flights recently for not providing him a Business Class seat in the economy class flight.

"Sir please define a VIP?" Like Aristotle, if the employee seeks to explain to us in terms and phrases that a VIP could be an MP, more so that of the Shiv Sena or for that matter any politician or anyone connected to Indian politics..blah blah blah...Do we understand who a VIP is? Not sure? Eh?

Well if this employee, who had done exactly what he should do to experience the VIPism of our country, were to seek recourse to science would explain it differently like this: "He is a VIP who is an MP and in whom there is no reason or logic. He is neither answerable to the voter who elected him nor would he respond to civility.

He is the one who presumes that helpless people's cheeks are the parking place of his chappals and who trusts that badmouthing others alone rinses his mouth perfectly and takes away the bad breath. A VIP is the one who believes in the fact that if he cannot change the optics, he could change the sound bytes and seek recourse to lies..." Now we understand a VIP better in this country.

Is not it so? There are other definitions too in our country for a VIP. The one who has a beacon adorning his vehicle is a VIP. Our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, says every one is a VIP in our country and bans the beacons of all such VIPs. A beacon is only a symbol.

Rather, just one of the symbols. It adorns the space above the VIPs' head and resting on the roof of the car. From top to bottom, our VIP is a beacon in himself. He is a beacon of arrogance and impunity, of lawlessness and disorder and of shamelessness and a personification of illogical stupidity. This is the general perception of people in this country.

There are no doubt good human beings among them and they dedicatedly pursue the larger good. So how to handle them when we come across them as brash personalities giving no heed to the societal norms and conventions?

Taking recourse to scientists once again and we understand thus: "If a block of some material is dragged horizontally over a surface, the force necessary to drag it will, within limits, be proportional to the weight of the block. Thus the ratio of the dragging force to the weight is a constant quantity. This quantity is the coefficient of friction between the two surfaces".

The physicist will also tell us how to proceed further and what to observe. So like the block he will exert as much friction as he sees is being applied on him. Be careful. And, hence, the word is not the thing it signifies. The moment one says 'beacon' it is not the thing it signifies - a guiding light or a leading light or the one that prevents accidents in the shoals during the nights to save the ships.

This word here signifies the authority that these guys wield, rightly and wrongly. So even if the beacon is off, these VIPs have other beacons – symbols – all around them to announce their arrival. Take for example the VIP’s gunman...the same one as the safari wearing mean machine.

He is seen perched in the front seat of the VIP vehicle mostly, or, just behind the VIP himself on the window seat. Come an obstruction, he is seen dangerously hanging with the door of the vehicle ajar or with his head thrust into the open through to his shoulders only to shout at the obstacles, including a toll booth operator, wielding his gun “raasta chodo, Nethaji padhaar rahe hain.” Then there are others like the 'Nethaji-dependent people.'

These always hang around the Nethaji and regulate the world around them. These guys not only believe and trust in, but also implement their own ways of 'participatory management' as stakeholders in power. This is mostly a self-employment programme and these are all beacons around the Nethajis. Then there are the members of other self-help groups among his relatives who are sometimes invisible to general public but are no less beacons.

A common refrain one hears in identifying them is "have you met chote babu..bade miyan..bhai saab.."etc. To "get your work done" you need to meet these beacons too apart from the PAs PSs and OSDs.” Beacon or no beacon, we should therefore, conclude that this species of VIPs is an advanced species than other bipeds like us.

Members belonging to this category are not just energy-binders like ordinary animals but also 'space-binders' and also 'time-binders who can move about to seek their necessities in space and also transmit experience by means of symbols. A VIP thus has an extracorporeal mechanism of 'heredity' culture. It can work for better or worse.

But having transmitted it to his genes effectively, this VIP becomes a master of his environment and of himself. Of course, there is always the danger of his experience getting organised into false-to-fact orientations, to make the man a slave of his neurolinguistic reactions and a menace to the society and to himself.

That is the tragedy with our VIP culture! Sigh! What to expect of them? Every civilisation seeks its own symbols to preserve its own culture. Beacon-off situation is no challenge to the VIP-raj in this country. I am sure that with or without a beacon, a Ravindra Gaekwad, would always seek recourse to his 'chappalbrandishing' as a symbol of his power.

Another MP like Tarun Vijay may flaunt his skin colour as a beacon of his supremacy. Our own Telugu Bidda Lokesh Babu has removed beacon, we hear. Still, a satirist gets arrested for his spoofs, albeit on a different charge. The beacon here is the ego itself. Cosmetic surgery does not affect the real transformation, after all!

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