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It's time VIPs be treated as commoners
India is the largest democracy in the World and we have been so for the last 71 years. The basic concept of democracy is that we are all equal in the eyes of the Constitution and law, but still our netas yearn to be treated as Very Important Persons (VIPs).

Recently, the Madras High Court issued a stern notice to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) that at all toll plazas there should be a separate lane for VIPs including judges so that they do not have to wait and show their IDs as it is very embarrassing. The notice was accompanied with a threat that if NHAI does not take cognisance of this letter it would be treated as contempt of court.

Some time back during the Congress-led UPA regime, more than 50 MPs had put up a signed petition in Parliament that they should be authorised to use red beacons on their official cars. As it is our elected representatives have abrogated to themselves all possible perks which were not even available to Maharajas, whom they have replaced.

An Indian neta enjoys more perks than the lawmakers of any other country in the world. What is surprising is that despite 80 per cent of our population being youth having 72 per cent literacy, such practices still find acceptance. These netas still seem to be living in the Colonial era.

It is unbelievable that independent India's Police Act is a true copy of the police Act of 1861 made by the British. In 2007, the Supreme Court had issued a seven point directive to states to bring in police reforms. Since it did not suit the netas no state took the initiative. If the judiciary can issue a notice of contempt of court over an issue which is causing inconvenience to VIPs, why not for police reforms? Why can't we amend the Constitution and bring law & order in the concurrent list? We too can create a central police force on the lines of FBI.

What happened to Lok Pal, the ombudsman who was to keep an eye on corruption? Four years have passed since the Lok Pal bill was cleared by the Parliament but still no implementation as the netas don't have the will. Both the Congress and the BJP have been accusing each other of wrong doing in the Rafael fighter deal. Had Lok Pal existed, the matter could have been referred to him.

However, some credit must go to the Modi government for curbing the VIP culture like removing red beacons from cars. Up to 20 years after independence, we had very educated and capable netas across all political parties. Debates in the Parliament were a treat to hear. However, as we progressed, the standard of netas started falling. Even in a sham democracy like Pakistan they have laid down minimum educational qualifications for a neta but not in India. In India an illiterate person can even become prime minister. The result is that currently there are 178 parliamentarians who have criminal cases registered against them. Instead of being in jail they are passing laws for the country with gunmen protecting them. A democracy put upside down, a brainless criminal ruling class ruling brainy people.

No solid and sustained effort has been made by any government in power in India to put an end to VIP culture. The Election Commission has been urging political parties to select only those candidates who have a clean image. However, this appeal is falling on deaf ears. In desperation, the Election Commission has approached the SC to issue a directive accordingly. All these VIPs must understand that this country is not the India of 1947.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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