Pune: Though the Centre took the decision of banning red beacons on the cars of politicians and other officials to put an end to VIP culture in the country, it has remained only a symbolic gesture among politicians and bureaucrats in the city.
Those in power have the same mindset - they do not want to let go of this VIP culture. Red beacons from vehicles have been removed, but most VIPs still use police protection and take all advantages and perks that are associated with the beacon. VIP’s cars are accompanied by police vans that ensure their car gets a clear road while the common man looks on.
The intention of not singling out men in power where it is not required also goes for a toss when elected members in the city put up big sign boards outside their residence. Even their public relation offices have fancy boards, and interestingly, most of these boards are put up by the municipal corporation.
My work, public’s money
Fancy plates and carvings on bridges, roads and buildings have been put up since ages, giving credit to a particular politician who got the work completed. It does not matter whether the work was initiated under some other leader or the fact that public money was used for it. It’s not just politicians, but bureaucrats are also not ready to leave the ‘VIP’ tag.
The common man gets fined for parking a car in a ‘no parking’ zone, while a politician’s vehicle has the freedom of standing anywhere - even if it is disrupting normal parking. This liberty is often taken by their family members as well.
Many political leaders admitted that there are people who don’t want to take advantage of their position, but otherwise, it is common practice that elected members as well as bureaucrats take enough benefit of their VIP status in the society. The red beacon was a prestigious trophy - often aspired by every UPSC student.
In many ways, the decision of Modi government to remove it has remained a symbolic gesture.